Located between China and Russia, Mongolia has centuries of history and traditions that are known all around the world. Genghis Khan, the Mongol Empire, Nomads, and communism are part of the most important elements of Mongolia’s past that have transformed the identity of the country. One of the elements that were also transformed throughout the years was education, including universities. Improvements in this area have made the country an attractive destination for international students. We will be looking at cheap universities in Mongolia for international students.

Higher education institutions appeared in Mongolia during the 1920s under the communist government. After democracy was established in the country in the late 20th century, the model started to change slowly and there have been many efforts to improve it.

Mongolia currently has 178 higher institutions, and more than 100 of them are private. However, public ones have a better reputation for their quality, so out of the 145,000 students, almost 100,000 study in one of the 48 public higher education institutions.

Mongolia’s higher education system divides into colleges, universities, and institutes. Colleges focus on undergraduate programs, offering bachelor’s degrees, and universities focus on undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate education.

Bachelor’s degree programs usually take between three to five years to be completed (120 credits). The only exception is for programs related to the health field, which take from five to six years. Master’s degree programs take two years and Ph.D. programs last for three years.

There are other degrees like the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science which require a lot of work, research, and the writing of a dissertation to be obtained.

Tuition Fees at Mongolian Universities

Mongolian universities are very affordable when compared to many universities in Europe and the U.S.

Public universities used to be completely free, but in recent decades, they started charging tuition. However, tuition fees can be as cheap as 2,000 USD per year if you take around 30 credits.

They also recognize academic excellence and usually give scholarships or discounts to the best students.

Another good aspect is that international students usually pay the same fees as local students.

Private universities are a little bit more expensive but are usually below 5,000 USD per year.

The Admission process at Mongolian Universities

The admission process for international students tends to be direct, so you’ll just have to submit certain documents and get a student visa. However, some universities may ask you to go to an interview and/or take an exam. This may include the National General Examinations.

The Language of Instruction at Mongolian Universities

Most programs are usually available only in Mongolian, the official language of the country. Universities usually have intensive language programs of a year offered to international students before they start their programs.

There are certain universities that have a couple of programs or courses taught in English. Actually, you’ll notice that the majority of the younger population in Mongolia speaks English.

Living Costs in Mongolia as an International Student

Along with university fees, you’ll have to include other elements in your budget. Mongolia’s currency is the Mongolian Tugrik (MNT). 10,000 MNT is around 4 USD.

Renting a small one-bedroom apartment would cost around 350 USD in the city center. It could cost 200 USD in other areas. Also, many universities have student residences, so accommodation might be even cheaper.

Your monthly budget for transportation should be 15 USD. Eating a local inexpensive restaurant can cost 6,000 MNT (2,2 USD approx.).  A meal for two people at a mid-range place could cost 50,000 MNT (18 USD approx.).

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Cheap Universities in Mongolia

1. National University of Mongolia (NUM)

The National University of Mongolia is often considered the best in the country. This affordable university in Mongolia has three campuses, two in the provinces of Zavkhan and Orkhon Aimags, and one in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar.

There are 12 faculties where more than 21,000 students are enrolled.

The application process doesn’t include any exams or interviews. Their one-year language program Mongolian costs 6,840,000 MNT (around 2,560 USD). Tuition fees for bachelor’s degree programs are 7,035,000 MNT (around 2,635 USD).

They also have student residences and a lot of information for international students.

2. Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST)

The Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) is one of the top 10 public universities in Mongolia according to the Webometrics University Ranking.

It has 13 schools that specialize in the science, engineering, and technological fields. Around 20,000 students study in one of the campuses that MUST have in the cities and provinces of Ulaanbaatar City, Erdenet, Darkhan, Sukhbaatar, and Uvurkhangai.

The university also has over 30 research and experimental institutes and centers.

Tuition fees are calculated according to the cost of credits. Depending on the career and the campus, credits go from 64,000 MNT (24 USD) to 78,900 MNT (30 USD). So, the cost of taking 30 credits per year would be between 1,920,000 MNT (720 USD) to 2,367,000 MNT (990 USD).

3. Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences (MNUMS)

The Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences (MNUMS) has six colleges of dentistry, nursing, public health, medicine, bio-medicine, and pharmacy. This cheap university in Mongolia also has three medical colleges.

MNUMS has three campuses in the provinces of Sainshand, Darkhan-Uul, and Gobi-Altai. Learn more about admissions applications by clicking here.

4. Mongolian University of Life Sciences (MULS)

The Mongolian University of Life Sciences (MULS) started as a faculty of another Mongolian university in 1942. A few years later, it became an independent institution and was renamed.

MULS has five schools of agro-ecology, veterinary, economy and business, animal sciences and biotechnology, and engineering and technology. This cheap university in Mongolia also has a graduate school, four research institutes, and different sports facilities.

Over 11,000 students are enrolled in one of their schools. They also offer joint bachelor and post-graduate degree programs with universities around the world.

5. University of Finance and Economics (UFE)

Established in 1924, the University of Finance and Economics (UFE) is one of the oldest higher education institutions in Mongolia.

The university is located in the city of Ulaanbaatar. It has several departments and institutes that offer undergraduate and graduate programs.

They have a program of scholarships for the best students. Depending on their GPA, they can get a tuition discount that goes from 25% to 100%.

UFE also has student residences for international students. Visit their admissions section to learn more.

6. Ulaanbaatar State University (USU)

Located in the capital city, Ulaanbaar State University (USU) is a public university that has 10 departments that offer 44 bachelor’s degree programs.

This affordable university in Mongolia also has a research department that is currently developing 13 projects. They also have cooperation and exchange agreements with other universities in Asia and Europe.

Tuition fees for bachelor’s degree programs are 2,108,500 MNT (around 800 USD). Master and doctoral degree programs go from 1,600 USD to 2,000 USD depending on the year.

7. Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture (MSUAC)

For those who are more creative and love expressing themselves through arts, the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture (MSUAC) is on Mongolia’s top 10 of higher education institutions according to the Webometrics’ ranking.

Originally founded in 1945 with less than 30 students and only two classes, they now receive more than 4,000 students in their programs. There are 26 bachelor’s degree programs, 34 master’s degree programs, and two doctorate degree programs.

This cheap university in Mongolia has six schools, a college of dance, an institute of foreign languages, and a research institute. They have modern facilities available for all the programs.

If you’d like to study here, click here to check the requirements for international students. Contact the department of international students to learn more.

8. Mongolia International University (MIU)

Mongolia International University (MIU) is relatively new because it was founded in 2002. However, it is already considered the 7th best university in Mongolia according to Webometrics’ ranking.

This private university offers various academic programs to its prospective students. There are also dual degree options with universities in the U.S. All of the programs are taught in English.

It has around 800 students and 34% of them are international students.

MIU has student residences available. They are actually mandatory for first-year students. There’s one complex on the campus and another one off-campus. It also has a bus service.

Admissions here consist of submitting a list of documents, doing an interview (online), and taking an entrance exam (online). There’s an additional skill test for those who’d like to study Music Education, Media, and Communication, or English Education. To learn more about requirements and tuition fees, visit their admissions section.

9. Ider University

Opened over 20 years ago, in 1995, Ider University is another private university with great opportunities for international students because their programs are available in English.

This cheap university in Mongolia has three schools that offer 14-degree programs. Also, they offer a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, which are in high demand among international applicants.

As it happens with MIU, Ider University has dual degree programs in affiliation with universities in the U.S. They offer scholarships in case this option is too expensive for you.

Its campus has student residences available and a sports center.

As for admissions, the process only requires sending documents online. Online degree programs cost 15 USD per credit, except for the MBA which costs 150 USD. This means that tuition fees for each academic year would of around 3,000 USD.

10. Mandakh University

Mandakh University is a private institution that was established in 1992. It is in the top 20 universities in Mongolia according to Webometrics’ ranking.

The university has three departments of accounting, science and engineering, and economics and business. They offer a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in financial management, banking management, information systems, software information, engineering economics, and different specializations of accounting.

11. Otgontenger University

Named after the 4,000-meter mountain, Otgontenger University is a private institution that was established in 1991. This cheap university in Mongolia is also in the top 20 universities in Mongolia according to Webometrics.

It has three schools of humanities, law, and economic and business administration. These offer 14 bachelor’s degree programs that last for four years, seven master’s degree programs that last for 1.5 years, and two doctorate degree programs that last for three years.

They offer joint programs in affiliation with universities in Korea, Taipei, and the U.S. There are many scholarships available for students that had an excellent academic performance.

Admissions do not include interviews or exams. Visit their enrollment section and contact them to learn more.

12. Enerel Institute

Founded 20 years ago, the Enerel Institute specializes in nursing and was the first private university in Mongolia to do so. This university has a great employability rate since 95% of those who graduate obtain a job at a hospital once they receive their licenses.

It has three bachelor programs (four years) in nursing, pharmacy, and midwifery. There’s only one doctorate degree program in Public Health. There are other degree programs that last for three years and specialize in nursing, beautician, midwifery, public health, and pharmacy technician. There are shorter degree programs that last for a year and specialize in family service work and nurse assistance.

Each year, the university hosts academic conferences where they present their research projects.

Their campus includes student residences and simulation laboratories. They are partnered with over 20 hospitals for student practices.

Admissions are done through the national exams. Applicants need to obtain a good score in certain areas in order to be admitted. Contact them to learn more about tuition fees and other academic aspects.


 I hope that this article on cheap universities in Mongolia was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

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