Tunisia is a wonderful destination to study, on the North African coast and with a rich heritage from the Romans to Carthage to Islamic arts. It has six universities in the overall Times Higher Education World University Rankings, as its higher education system has rapidly expanded in recent years.

With a rich and diverse culture and many exciting destinations to travel to while you’re in the country, studying in Tunisia would be a great choice. Besides, the cost of living is considerably cheaper than in European universities, whether in the capital city Tunis or in other towns. Moreover, there are no fees for public universities and the cost of private universities is very low.

Below we have listed the best picks for universities in Tunisia.

Affordable Schools in Tunisia for International Students

1. University of Carthage

Established in 1988, this university was originally the University of Law, Economics and Management Tunis III. It has since then grown to 21 different departments and institutions. The name changed to the University of Carthage took place in 2011, inspired by its location in a district within the city of Tunis which was once part of the Carthaginian empire. However, today the campuses are spread across the North-East of Tunisia, as there are departments based in Sidi Bin Said, Carthage, Ariana, Soukra, etc.

The student body is c. 10,000 per year graduating class at this cheap university in Tunisia and the most popular university departments are the School of Science in Bizerta, the School of Languages in Tunis, and the IHEC Business Studies in Carthage. In parts, the university is highly selective, e.g. only 50 students are accepted annually in the Polytechnic, from c. 4,000 applicants. Whilst only 1% of students are international, there is a low student to faculty ratio of 10.1:1.

There are 170 international students at the university, coming from 31 different countries.

2. University of Manouba

This public university is based in Manouba and has come under some attention recently due to political tensions among its students during the Tunisian revolution. It was founded in 2000 and is close to the capital city, Tunis, operating from only one campus. Their motto is “Criticism, Creativity, and Conviviality” and is aiming to be broadly secular, in order to create citizens that “transform the world”.

As of 2017, there were just over 16,000 students enrolled at Manouba University, within 14 different institutions/departments. The original institute within the university was its faculty of arts and letters, one of its proudest departments covering six languages, history, geography, and comparative religion. They are also well-known for their School of Veterinary Medicine, the High School of Digital Economy, and the High School of Special Education.

As far as international students are concerned, they make up c. 1% of the student body.

3. University of Monastir

A major Tunisian establishment, the University of Monastir was set up in 2004 as part of a series of governmental educational reforms. Its aim is to prepare future generations for high-ranking positions in a wide range of fields.

Monastir is a remarkable touristic city and a brilliant place to live. The university also has sections in the small fishing town of Mahdia and covers two schools, five faculties, and nine institutes. Monastir University prides itself on counting three former Tunisian prime ministers among its alumni.

Here, you will find collaboration programs with a number of universities outside Tunisia in France, Spain, Belgium, Algeria, and Morocco. There are about 19,000 students enrolled here and 1% international student population reported.

4. University of Sfax

Also known as the University of the South, this cheap university in Tunisia is located in Sfax and was established in 1986. It is now split across three bodies: the University of Sfax, the University of Gabes, and the University of Gafsa.

There are 21 higher education institutions, five research faculties, three colleges, twelve institutes, and a research center at the University of Sfax. One of its most recognized area of expertise is in the social sciences, and only 10% of applicants gain admission there every year.

This is a very large university complex with just under 50,000 students in total. There are many collaboration and exchange programs undertaken with universities in France, Canada, Morocco etc. The university has c. 500 international students enrolled in its various institutes.

5. University of Tunis

Founded in 1960, the aim of the University of Tunis is to ensure a high-quality education in line with rules and traditions of knowledge sharing, in the respect of modern science and within a broader development strategy for society as a whole.

They have one faculty, 11 institutes, and 4 schools of higher education, and count c. 20,000 students. There are an impressive 41 research centers within the university and you can study for a wide range of undergraduate and Master’s degrees as well as PhDs.

6. University of Sousse

We end our list of cheap universities in Tunisia with the University of Sousse. In 2004, the huge University of Centre was divided into three new institutions, of which one was the University of Sousse, in Tunisia’s third-largest city. It aspires to be “one of the major players in the socio-economic development of the country and region”.

The university offers degrees in law, economics, management, technology, agronomics, arts, social sciences, humanities and medicine. As of 2006, the University of Sousse was the first Tunisian university to adopt the qualifications of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate (differentiating from the previous French-style qualifications).

Its oldest department is the medical school which was founded in 1974 independently, and worked closely with the University of Montreal between 1978 and 1992. This is one of the best-known study programs at the University of Sousse, with three teaching hospitals attached to it as well. 

A large number of prominent Tunisian politicians have graduated from the University of Sousse, counting amongst them a recent candidate to the presidential elections – Abdelkarim Zbidi, previously Dean of Medicine here and subsequently Tunisian minister for national defense.

The University of Sousse counts c. 26,000 students enrolled, of which c. 1% are international students. It has a large number of international cooperation and exchange programs as well.


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

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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