8 Cheap Universities in Taiwan for International Students

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Taiwan is famous all around the world for a long list of things. Besides politics and its rich history with Chinese and Japanese influences, Taiwan is a big manufacturer, has delicious food and impressive architecture that mixes traditional buildings with modern skyscrapers. But have you ever heard of Taiwanese universities? You may not be able to mention the name of any, but dozens of them have managed to earn high places in university rankings worldwide. In this article, we will be looking at cheap universities in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s higher education system mixes quality, a wide variety of institutions, affordable prices, and the intention of attracting international students.

This country currently has more than 100,000 international students enrolled at its universities, and the goal is to attract even more!

Although the majority of their high school students go to a university, they are worried about enrollment rates, which may decrease because of low fertility rates1. This is an issue that might become more serious considering that they have more than 160 universities!

This is why the government and the institutions are doing efforts so more international students choose their classrooms. They are including more international programs, giving more scholarships, and offering competitive tuition fees.


How are universities in Taiwan?

Both private and public universities are accredited to grant bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. Taiwan is known for its research and engineering programs. Around 25% of their programs are in this field.

Bachelor degree programs last for four years, master degree programs last between two and foour years, and doctorate degree programs usually last for three years but can be longer. There are exceptions like medicine, whose programs last for six years.

Lastly, there are vocational schools. These have two-year programs that grant certificates and five-year flexible programs that grant associate’s degrees.


Do I need to speak Mandarin to study in Taiwan?

Mandarin is spoken by most of the people in Taiwan and is used in education and by the government. Naturally, a great number of programs are taught in this language.

However, there are many options available in English as well, so it’s just a matter of looking for a program that you like in this category.

Universities also give the choice of learning Mandarin. Actually, Taiwanese higher institutions are very popular among language learners. They have comprehensive Mandarin courses and highly qualified professors.

On today’s list, we are only featuring universities that have programs fully taught in English.


How are admissions at Taiwanese universities?

Admissions usually include entrance tests. There are schools known as “cram schools” were Taiwanese students go to prepare themselves for these tests and have more chances to be admitted.

For international students, the process may only include interviews and/or the submissions of documents. It will depend on the university.


Tuition fees at Taiwanese universities

Taiwan is one of the most affordable destinations for studying abroad. It is on the top ten of countries with the most inexpensive tuition fees according to the Times Higher Education2.

Tuition fees go from 1,000 USD to 5,000 USD per year. They usually stay below 3,000 USD.


Living costs in Taiwan

The New Taiwan Dollar (TWD) is Taiwan’s currency. 1,000 TWD is around 32 USD.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment can cost between 9,500 TWD and 15,000 TWD depending on the area, which is between 300 USD and 475 USD.

If you are using public transportation, your monthly budget should be of around 45 USD.

Eating out can be really cheap if you choose local food. There are delicious options for only 3 USD and even less than that!


Cheap Universities in Taiwan

1. National Taiwan University (NTU)

National Taiwan University (NTU) is the best university in the country according to international rankings. It ranked as the 69th best in the world on the 2020 QS University Ranking and as the 170th best on the 2019 Times Higher Education Ranking.

Its main campus is located in the capital city, Taipei, but there are other three located in Yunlin County, Nantou County, and Hsinchu County, and a fifth one in another district of Taipei.

With over 30,000 students, this cheap university in Taiwan has 11 colleges of medicine, science, bioresources and agriculture, electrical engineering and computer science, public health, management, life sciences, liberal arts, law, engineering, and social sciences.

NTU has more than 50 research centers and institutes throughout the country, a botanical garden, an experimental forest, a farm, an experimental farm, and a school of professional education and continuing studies.

Important figures have obtained their degrees at NTU. This includes the current president of the country, multiple former presidents, and a winner of a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

NTU has several residences exclusively for international students. Prices go from 50 USD to 280 USD per month.

Admissions for international students only require submitting documents. Carefully read their admissions section where they provide very detailed information. Check here which courses are available in English.

Tuition fees go from 1,682 USD to 2,638 USD per semester for undergraduate programs. For graduate programs, they go from 1,710 USD to 5,600 USD.


2. National Tsing Hua University (NTHU)

Originally established in Beijing in 1911 and then moved to Taiwan in 1956, the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) is research-focused and has a great reputation internationally.

This affordable university in Taiwan was ranked as the 173rd best in the world on the 2020 QS World University Ranking and between the 401st and the 500th place on the Times Higher Education Ranking.

NTHU has 10 colleges, including the College of Nuclear Science, where around 15,000 students are enrolled. It also has 18 research centers, a university clinic, and 18 student residences with places for 5,000 students.

In general, admissions only require submitting documents, but depending on the department you may have to take tests or attend interviews. Click here to see which programs are offered in English.

Tuition fees go from 46,100 TWD (around 1,470 USD) to 53,200 TWD (around 1,700 USD) for undergraduate programs.


3. National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)

Founded in 1931, the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) is the third best university in Taiwan according to the QS World University Ranking and the 5th best according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

The university is located in Tainan City, where it has 11 campuses. It has nine colleges that offer more than 40 undergraduate degree programs and over 120 master and doctorate degree programs.

Regarding admissions, you’ll have to make an online application and submit the required documents. Each department has its own additional requirements which may include tests and/or interviews.

The university has dormitories available for international students. Fees go from 1,130 TWD (36 USD) to 14,450 TWD (460 USD).

Tuition fees go from 14,760 TWD (480 USD) to 61,472 TWD (2,000 USD) for undergraduate programs. They go from 34,200 TWD (1,100 USD) to 44,010 TWD (1,410 USD) for graduate programs. Click here to see the programs that are fully taught in English.


4. Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU)

Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU) is a private higher institution that was opened in 1954.

It has six colleges of health science, life sciences, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy. The college of medicine has a post-bachelor medicine program that lasts for five years. It consists of two years of lectures and problem-solving classes, two years of clerkships, and a final one-year internship.

KMU’s teaching hospital is the Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital. Additionally, they develop research programs in partnership with eleven centers, and they have cooperation agreements with other universities in Taiwan and abroad.

Admissions at this cheap university in Taiwan are based on an entrance exam and an interview. They are highly competitive because less than 300 students are admitted to each program. KMU has around 6,000 students and offers student residences for their accommodation.

Tuition fees for undergraduate programs go from 47,000 TWD (around 1,500 USD) to 145,000 TWD (around 4,700 USD) per semester. They go from 48,000 TWD (around 1,550 USD) to 61,000 TWD (around 1,950) for graduate and postgraduate programs. Rent at student residencies costs 10,000 TWD (320 USD) per semester. Check out their FAQ section to learn more.


5. Yuan Ze University (YZU)

Opened 30 years ago as a comprehensive private university, Yuan Ze University has a large number of programs taught in English, calling themselves a bilingual university.

This cheap university in Taiwan has six colleges of electrical and communication engineering, humanities and social sciences, management, general studies, informatics, and engineering. It also has a research center, a health center, an arts center, and a school of lifelong education.

Admissions are done online and only require submitting documents. YZU has student dormitories and international students are given priority. Rent per semester for undergraduate students is of 9,200 TWD (around 300 USD) and for graduate students is of 12,000 TWD (around 390 USD).

Tuition fees for undergraduate programs go from 39,000 TWD (1,250 USD) to 40,810 TWD (1,300 USD). For graduate programs they are of 42,950 TWD (1,380 USD). Visit their FAQ section to get more details.


6. National Yang Ming University (NYMU)

Although it is often classified as a comprehensive university, the National Tang Ming University (NYMU) is best known for its research approach in the medical and life sciences fields.

It is considered the 287th best university in the world and the 6th best in Taiwan by the QS World University Ranking.

It has seven schools of biomedical science and engineering, humanities and social sciences, medicine, life sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, dentistry, and nursing. It also has 28 graduate institutes and research units that specialize in nine areas.

It is affiliated to the National Chengchi University and Taipei City Hospital System for offering healthcare services and medical education.

If you’d like to study at NYMU, you’ll have to fill an online application and submit the documents they require. Tuition fees per semester go from 1,004 USD to 7,676 USD for undergraduate programs, and from 855 USD to 1,208 USD for graduate programs.

Student dormitories are also available and fees per semester go from 534 USD to 2,700 USD without including summer breaks. Check the page of the international affairs office to learn more.


7. Asia University

Asia University was opened in 2001 as a private university with an international approach. It currently receives more than 12,000 students each year. Now, it is one of the most affordable universities in Taiwan.

It has an international college and six faculties of information and electrical engineering, medical and health sciences, humanities and social sciences, creative design, management, and artificial intelligence. It also has a sports center, student dormitories, and a hospital.

Asia University has a wide variety of programs taught in English and a language center in case you want to take a course taught in Mandarin. They are also affiliated to universities in other Asian countries.

Applications are done online. The university offers assistance regarding student visas. They have part-time jobs and internships available, so they also provide assistance when getting a work permit.

Tuition fees per semester go from 47,170 TWD (1,500 USD) to 57,160 TWD (1,830 USD) for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. Read the information at the international college’s page to learn more.


8. National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU)

Ranked as the 7th best university in Taiwan and the 331st best in the world on the 2020 QS World University Ranking, the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) is a comprehensive institution and normal school because trains high school graduates to be teachers.

This cheap university in Taiwan has nine colleges that receive over 16,000 students and offer 36 undergraduate programs and almost 100 graduate programs. There are dual degree programs in both English and Mandarin. Click here to check which programs are available in English.

The university has three campuses in Taipei and New Taipei. There, they have 12 student residences.

NTNU is internationally famous for its Mandarin Training Center, which is one of the oldest language centers in Taiwan. It is very popular among international students as it receives language learners from 60 countries each year.

Applications are done online by filling a form, submitting certain documents, and paying the application fee.

Depending on the program and your nationality, tuition fees go from 16,690 TWD (540 USD approx.) to 33,700 TWD (1,080 USD approx.) plus other administrative expenses. Explore the FAQ section at the Office of International Affairs’ page to learn more.


I hope that this article on the cheap universities in Taiwan was helpful. If you are interested, visit the cheap tuition category!