Greece is one of the oldest and historically significant countries in the world. It lies on the Aegean Sea in Southeast Europe and also comprises of many islands that are one of the top tourist attractions in Europe and beyond. Despite many financial setbacks in recent years, Greece is slowly on its way to recovery and remains a crucial country in politics and trade.

Due to its beautiful scenery, beaches, weather, and some advanced urban areas like Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece also attracts a fair bit of international students. While tuition fees are not necessarily cheap, living costs are significantly lower than in some other parts of Europe, especially other EU member states. In this article, we will be listing cheap universities that you can find in Greece.

Who Is an EU or EEA Student?

This post is written to international students from the perspective of the European Union and European Economic Area, so let’s clarify who is an international student and who is not.

If you are a national from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, or United Kingdom, you are qualified as an EU student.

If you are a national from Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, you are qualified as an EAA student. If you are not from any of these listed countries, then you are an international student!

What Are the Requirements for Studying in Greece?

F0r undergraduate programs, the requirement for studying in Greece is that the candidate must provide a translated photocopy of his high school certificate, as well as proof of proficiency in either Greek or English. Some master’s degrees also require work experience, but that is very rare.

Can You Study in Greece in English?

Across the 20 universities in the country, Greek is by far the most predominant language, but there are also quite a few programs in other languages, including English. The University of Thessaly has a page that lists all of their departments that offer programs in English, while has a master’s degree called the International Master of Sustainable Tourism Development that is very popular and taught in English.

Check Also: Available Programs in Europe for International Students

Cheap Universities in Greece

1. University of Crete

The University of Crete sits on the beautiful island of Crete, with offices in both Rethymnon and Heraklion. It is one of Greece’s most highly regarded higher education institutions and has a quite large student pool of around 16.000 students, many of which come from outside Greece. With the tuition fee starting from 0 Euros, the University of Crete is the cheapest university in Greece for international students.

The university offers 16 main undergraduate courses, as well as over 30 master’s courses across its departments. It is a relatively young university, having been established in the late 70s, and is currently ranked within the top 70 universities that are younger than 50 years. Despite being young, the University of Crete is already a staple within many EU organizations and student exchange programs, which brings a lot of international students to the beautiful island of Crete.

2. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

The University of Thessaloniki is the sixth-oldest university in Greece and one of the top-ranked ones as well. It sits in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in the country. Based on campus size, the Aristotle University is the largest in the Balkans and is attended by over 40.000 students, including many international ones, who have the option to study in one of six foreign languages: English, German, French, and Italian. However, most of the programs are carried out in Greek.

This affordable university in Greece consists of 11 faculties and 36 departments, which means that there is no shortage of options to choose from when it comes to choosing a field of study. There are also plenty of world-class facilities including libraries, sports centers, and more, which provide many extracurricular activities for the students.

3. University of Patras

The University of Patras is the third-largest university in Greece and is based in the third-largest city in the country – Patras. It is considered among the most affordable universities in Greece, and people from all over the country and beyond come to study there. Over 30.000 students currently attend the university.

There are 7 schools that consist of the University of Patras, and they are further split into a total of 35 departments. Recently, the university also began offering courses that are carried out digitally, attracting even more students from all over the world. The University of Patras has plenty of notable alumni coming from all spheres of life.

4. University of Piraeus

Located just around 10 kilometers from Athens’ city center, in Piraeus, the University of Piraeus is a public university that mainly focuses on economics and finance studies, as well as business management, and computer science. It is one of the most established higher education institutions when it comes to business and finance, and is the country’s second-oldest business school, having been established in 1938. It is separated into 4 schools, which are home to nearly 10.000 students.

The university also has its own research center, which was founded in 1989, which allows it to greatly contribute to various research efforts. The university is part of many cooperation agreements, including the Erasmus program, which brings plenty of exchange students who have a background or interest in business and economics.

5. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Next on our list of cheap universities in Greece is the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, or NKUA. It is by far the oldest university in Greece, as it was founded in 1837. Over the years, it remains one of the most important higher education institutions for the country, as it is home to nearly 70.000, which makes it one of the largest universities in Europe. The university is also at the forefront of fighting for civil rights, which only adds to its popularity.

NKUA consists of 9 faculties, which offer courses in nearly all areas of study, including a few programs in English, which are particularly popular with international students.

6. Hellenic Open University

Accepting its first students in 1999, the Hellenic Open University in Patras is one of Greece’s youngest universities and the only one that offers both open and distance learning opportunities for students in all three levels including bachelor’s master’s and doctorate. The university was founded in order to meet the growing demand for new forms of education and places a very high emphasis on innovation and research. The university is organized into four schools: Humanities, Social Sciences, Applied Arts, and Science and Technology.

Due to its long-distance capabilities, this cheap university in Greece is attended by over 47.000 students from all over the world, making it one of the largest in Greece. Despite a large number of students, admission is not guaranteed, as only 1 of 10 students who apply get admitted into the school. The university also has a very low graduation rate, which hovers around 10%.

7. International Hellenic University

Established in 2005, the International Hellenic University is among the youngest university in Greece, and the first and only Greek university where all programs are exclusively taught in English. It is based, in Thessaloniki, and since 2019, it academically separated into 9 schools and 33 depar tments, spread across Thessaloniki and other cities including Kavala, Drama, Katerini, and others. The university is a project in cooperation between the EU and the Greek government.


I hope that this article on the cheap universities in Greece was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!