Germany has never been known for having high tuition costs, but last week it officially voted to make college education free for everyone. According to German senator Dorothee Stapelfeldt, the decision was made because they felt paying anything for tuition was “unjust” and discouraged students with difficult economic circumstances from receiving a high level of education.
Though tuition was already
incredibly low by American standards – sitting at about $600 for a year –
this decision completely does away with it: even for international
This move isn’t unprecedented for Germany. Higher
education was free in the past, but in 2006 institutions across the
country began charging.
Public outcry caused most schools to phase
out their tuition policies rapidly. Last week, Lower Saxony was the
final state to formally end all of theirs, driving the proverbial nail
into the coffin for tuition fees.
American students, who typically
graduate university with about $29,000 of student debt, could now be
eyeing Germany as a place to continue their studies. Of course, they’ll
have to learn German. Universities have accounted for this, however,
with many German language classes on offer. Other schools offer some
classes taught in English under headings such as “International
At the very least, it is good to know a place with free
tuition exists, and that going to school there might entail lots of
schnitzel and bratwurst, which wouldn’t be a bad thing either.