Cheapest Universities in Canada for Nigerian Students

If Canada is your preferred study destination, that’s a good choice. However, Canada is a top-tier country, so education here isn’t very cheap or affordable to some people. I’ve received a lot of requests to share information about the cheapest universities in Canada for Nigerian students, so that’s the focus of today’s post. I’ll be talking about 10 universities I know that are particularly budget-friendly for Nigerians. There may be other universities out there that are even less expensive, but these are the ones I’m certain offer great value.

You’ll also have to check that everything matches up with the university and program you want to study. Tuition fees can change from one year to the next. Some universities or colleges may adjust their fees over time, so this is something to keep in mind. Also, tuition fees can depend on your type of program. The cost for one program could be different from another, so that’s another thing you need to know. I’ve made sure that every university I mention is recognized as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), but remember, there are other eligibility criteria to consider, especially if you want to qualify for a postgraduate work permit after your studies.

In discussing these universities, we’ll consider some important areas, including location, demographics, the programs available, living costs, unemployment rates, whether there are programs eligible for a postgraduate work permit, and, of course, tuition fees.

Cheapest Universities in Canada for Nigerian Students

1. Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Let’s start with the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, easily one of the cheapest universities in Canada for Nigerian students. It happens to have low tuition fees for international students. This university is situated in Newfoundland but it also has a campus in England, known as the Harlow campus. They enroll around 19,000 students, with international students from approximately 115 countries, including Nigeria, accounting for about 20% of their total student body.

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador offers many programs including certificates, diplomas, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees. Altogether, they provide about 300 programs. When it comes to living expenses, the estimated cost for a single student can reach up to 20,596 per year. However, I found out that this total includes the graduation fee. If you remove that from the equation, the cost comes down to about 15,700 Canadian dollars per year.

The unemployment rate in Newfoundland stands at 8.7%. Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador also offers programs that are eligible for a postgraduate work permit. As for the tuition fees, the graduate tuition fee at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador is among the lowest in Canada, starting at $6,390 per year for a graduate program. The application fee is CAD$120 for international applicants from Nigeria.

2. University of Waterloo

Now, let’s talk about the University of Waterloo located in Waterloo, Ontario. It’s home to 38,166 students from more than 120 countries, including Nigeria. What really stands out about this university is its good student-to-employer ratio. They have over 100 undergraduate programs including leisure, arts, health, biotech, and data sciences. The University of Waterloo also offers 180 postgraduate programs. If you are the party type, you probably want to avoid Waterloo; it’s easily the worst party school in Canada.

When it comes to living off-campus, the cost is typically between $3,893 per month. However, your living expenses will depend on your personal lifestyle and needs. Waterloo’s unemployment rate was at 5.3%.

Tuition here is charged per term, and there are three terms in an academic year for undergrad. The tuition fee depends on your faculty. For example, $55,000, for the Faculty of Arts. However, Master’s is cheaper, for example, English – MA (Experimental Digital Media) on-campus is $7,696.00. As for the postgraduate work permit program, the University of Waterloo does offer programs that are eligible for this permit.

3. University of Northern British Columbia

Next up is the University of Northern British Columbia. As the name suggests, it’s located in British Columbia. Specifically, you’ll find it in Prince George. If you visit the university’s website and head over to the finance section, you’ll come across the tuition information. As you go further, you’ll notice there are additional fees besides the tuition that need to be paid.

For the academic year 2023-2024, for example, especially for graduate students per semester, the fees depend on the program. For instance, the tuition for Masters of Social Work, and Masters of Education programs is about $3,400 per semester. Social Work is slightly less, at $2,900 per semester. Typically, there are 2 to 3 semesters in a year, and you may not have classes during the summer. This means you could end up paying the tuition twice a year, totaling less than $10,000, unless you take summer classes.

For the Masters of Nursing program, the tuition is $3,200 per semester, and for the Masters of Applied Science and Engineering, it’s $2,500 per semester. There are also some external fees to consider.

4. Acadia University

We’ll also consider Acadia University as one of the cheapest universities in Canada for Nigerian students. You can find this university in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. This place is part of Canada’s maritime and Atlantic provinces. Acadia University is home to about 3,485 students coming from more than 60 different countries, including Nigeria. This university offers 17 graduate programs and 34 undergraduate programs from science to arts. The living expenses in this city can cost you anywhere from $1500 – $2000 a month. The unemployment rate here sits at 7% percent.

As for tuition fees, Acadia University bills these fees on an annual basis. While I didn’t come across any mention of a registration fee, it’s clear that your registration isn’t considered complete until you’ve paid at least the initial tuition fee installment.

The lowest tuition fee I found at this university is $13,347 for international students, specifically for the Masters in Science and Masters in Social and Political Thought programs. Acadia University does offer programs that are eligible for the postgraduate work permit, but this doesn’t include English language programs.

5. Brandon University

The next school on this list is Brandon University, which you can find in Brandon, Manitoba. This place is home to around 3,700 students, both full-time and part-time from countries such as Nigeria. They have a variety of programs including degrees, graduate studies, and certificates. By the way, Brandon does not accept NECO.

Living in Brandon, Manitoba, costs about $1,185 per person in a month. The city’s unemployment rate sits at 4%. Brandon University is also known for programs that allow graduates to apply for a post-graduate work permit. When it comes to the cost of applying, Canadian students pay a non-refundable fee of $70, while international students pay $140. I wrote an article on universities in Canada with no application fee—check it out for options on this.

Tuition fees at Brandon University vary from 5,150 Canadian dollars to 6,300 Canadian dollars each semester. This means for a whole academic year, you’d spend about 10,300 Canadian dollars to 12,600 Canadian dollars. These fees are specifically for those enrolled in the Rural Development program and the Psychiatric Nursing program.

6. University of Guelph

We also have the University of Guelph (U of G) situated in Guelph, Ontario. It’s home to 29,507 students, including 1,400 international students from more than 120 countries, including Nigeria. This university provides both degree and diploma programs.

The cost of living in Guelph, Ontario, can cost between 14,800 and 25,000 Canadian dollars per year. Breaking it down monthly, expenses range from 1,230 to 2,100 Canadian dollars. Guelph is actually one of the most expensive cities in the world. The local unemployment rate is about 5.8 percent. U of G also offers programs eligible for a postgraduate work permit. As for tuition, it’s charged per semester, with two semesters in a year: fall and winter. The tuition for the first semester is approximately $6,700, and for the second semester, it’s around $6,000. Adding both semesters, the total annual tuition is about 12,800 Canadian dollars. This fee is for the Masters of Conservation Leadership program. There’s also a tuition fee of $15,150 for the Masters of Science program.

7. Booth University

We will also talk about Booth University College, which is connected to a Christian group called the Salvation Army. It’s located in the heart of Winnipeg, Manitoba. This is one of the cheapest universities in Canada for Nigerian students and provides degrees, diplomas, and certificates across four main faculties.

The cost of living on campus is about $6,150 for each academic year. The unemployment rate in Winnipeg, Manitoba, stands at 4.0%. Booth University allows for a postgraduate work permit, but this is only for those enrolled in non-theological degree programs. Moving on to the costs, there’s a non-refundable application fee of $150. A non-refundable $500 tuition deposit will be required. There’s also a yearly health insurance fee of 767 Canadian dollars. The annual tuition fee at this university is $4,960.

8. University of Calgary

The next school I’m considering as one of the cheapest universities in Canada for Nigerian students is the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta. This city is ranked as the most livable in North America. The university is home to 33,000 students, including 26,000 undergraduates and 6,000 pursuing graduate studies. They have 250 programs spread across 14 different faculties, covering areas like arts, science, business, and law. They provide undergraduate, graduate, open studies, and professional education programs. For students living on campus, the estimated monthly cost of living varies between 8,300 and 21,150 Canadian dollars. Students living off campus might spend about 1,500 to 3,000 Canadian dollars each month. Calgary’s unemployment rate stands at 10.4 percent. And yes, the University of Calgary does offer programs that make you eligible for a postgraduate work permit.

As for the tuition fees, you’ll need to pay a non-refundable deposit of 500 Canadian dollars to secure your spot. The annual tuition fees at this university start from 8,100 Canadian dollars.

9. University of Saskatchewan

The next school I’m looking at is the University of Saskatchewan (USask), often called the University of Sask for short. This school is home to around 26,165 students, including 3,125 international students from various countries such as Nigeria. USask has programs for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Living in this city will cost you about $1678 each month. The unemployment rate in Saskatchewan is about 4.9%. The University of Saskatchewan also has programs that make you eligible for a postgraduate work permit. When it comes to the cost of studying here, there’s a non-refundable application fee of C$90, and the cost per credit unit is $1,096. Meanwhile, for masters and doctoral programs, the tuition fee is $3,699.00, paid 3 times. Meanwhile, I wrote a topic about whether Saskatchewan is a good school or not—do read this article.

10. University of Manitoba

The first school we’re looking at is the University of Manitoba, which is, of course, in Manitoba. It’s home to 31,000 students from more than 110 countries, including 26,500 undergraduates and 3,800 graduates. About 20.5% of all students are from other countries. They have programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. The estimated living costs in Manitoba are between C$17,200 and C$30,000 a year for first-year students, who have extra fees. As a returning student, you will spend about C$12,300 to C$25,900 per year, or C$1,000 to C$2,150 a month.

Manitoba’s unemployment rate is 4.0%. The University of Manitoba also makes you eligible for a postgraduate work permit. There are three academic terms a year. The estimated tuition for one year of undergraduate study at this university is $19,300. If you complete your program in two terms, you don’t need to pay for a third.

If you go over two terms, there’s a continuing fee of 553 dollars. So, if you are there for just two terms, you’d pay about 11,695 CAD in total. With the continuing fee, it would be around 12,195 CAD a year. Masters can be around $8,749.18 per term, depending on your program.


So, we’ve just looked at 10 cheapest universities in Canada for Nigerian students. These are not as cheap as you’d expect because this is Canada. I actually wrote an article disclosing the cheapest country to study for Nigerian students—so check this one out if the application fee, tuition fee, and cost of living here in Canada are outside your budget. I assume many of the readers will be considering masters programs. Yes, masters and other graduate programs in Canada are cheaper compared to undergraduate programs.

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