Germany has just recently cancelled all forms of tuition fees within the country's higher education system, basically providing all German students free college education. Today, good news comes from the European nation as Germany announces that it is extending its tuition-free college education to all students from the U.S. and around the world.
While the cost of American college education is on the rise -- with undergraduate tuition ranging from $14,300 for state universities like UCLA to $37,800 for private non-profit schools like Harvard -- Germany's former college fees aren't too expensive to begin with. Averaging at $630 per semester, universities in Germany offered one of the cheapest college educations in Europe. Not only was tuition inexpensive, discounts on food, dormitories, and other necessities are commonplace among university systems in Germany, with some institutions even providing free transportation to all its students.
While the country's former management of its higher education was already the envy of many a nation, German legislators still believed they could do better. CBS News' Moneywatch quoted Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator from Hamburg, who described tuition fees as "unjust", adding that imposing fees on higher education discouraged people from particular sectors from undertaking the journey of knowledge.
"[Tuition fees] discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study.
And because the campaign for free education was strong, the ruling for its commencement was swift. Just recently, after a brief ruling by the senate, it was decided that from this year on, college education in the country will be free for all students. This week, as the last German state to abolish tuition fees makes its transition to free education, Germany announces that it is extending its gift of knowledge to students from the U.S. and around the world.
German universities do have a request for foreign students who plan to embrace the country's offer. Aside from the usual credentials and records needed for applying to any other universities, a conversational fluency of German is a prerequisite for applicants coming from outside the country. It appears to be an easy ticket towards free education, until hopefuls realize how difficult it actually is to learn the language. Fortunately, there are plenty of programs both in Germany and in the U.S. that offer courses on basic and advanced German.
Germany hosts some of the world's best universities, including the University of Heidelberg, which has produced 56 Nobel laureates, and Leipzig University, which has nine Nobel winners and one current chancellor, Angela Merkel.
[Image of Leipzig University from Wikimedia]