The question is are tuition-free universities really free for international students? Well, we are going to reveal to you some facts about tuition-free universities that no one talks about.
It is true that some European countries offer tuition-free education for international students, but how free is this tuition-free education, let’s find out more.
Finland used to offer tuition-free education for non-EU students but the rule changed in January 2016. After a heated debate, the Finnish parliament passed new regulations to introduce tuition fees for non-EU students. So, non-EU students hoping to study in tuition-free universities in Finland, you now know your fate as the rule does no longer cover non-EU students.
Sweden is another Europen country that used to offer tuition free education to non-EU students. But they introduced tuition fees for non-EU international students in January 2010.
Facts About Tuition Free Universities No-one Talks About
What is it about free tuition education that is often kept silent when mentioned?
First, tuition-free education is not exactly free because somebody has to pay for it. The amount of money a college usually receives for tuition would now be covered by the federal and state governments.
Germany, for instance, holds a deeply rooted belief about the value of a public education which precludes the government from shifting costs to the students. Germans believe that higher education is a public good to be totally subsidized by the government.
Again, tuition-free education applies to only public schools. Private schools charge more for tuition. So, when you hear tuition-free education, count private colleges out of it.
READ ALSO: How to Study in Germany for Free-Tuition.
Here is a point to note; it is living and feeding that hits your wallet the hardest. For instance, in Germany, the average annual administration fee is €170 (~US$200) for most undergraduate programs at public universities; €243 (~US$280) for most master’s programs. However, the average cost of living is €9,900 (~US$11,550) per year.
What you don’t pay in fees, you make up for in living expense.
Another thing you should know is that it was difficult for some countries to sustain free tuition education. For some countries, lack of tuition fees has been the biggest obstacle to promoting education export for the country.
The interesting thing is that these countries still offer tuition FREE education for their domestic students. That is the price to pay for a better society; invest in education and you invest in your growth and development.