The region of Lower Saxony is the last one to scrap the fees for all universities in Germany. That means the whole Germany offers free higher education for all students, including foreigners. This decision of the German governors is based on the belief that free university education is a basic human right and that the fees had only been making student’s lives more complicated. Policy-makers state that these fees were unfair and only discouraged poorer students that wanted to continue with their education.
Hamburg’s senator for science, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, says that education fees are “socially unjust”. The region of Hamburg has abolished fees in 2012. She believes that is the politicians’ duty to stimulate and provide the people who have desire to study high quality, free of charge education in Germany.
Last March, Germany’s ruling political party, the Social Democrats, stated that fees deprive young people from poor families from attending university and only tends to cause obstruction.
Students in Germany also consider university charging in other countries “crazy”. The vice-president of Hamburg University, Dr Holger Fischer, says that it is traditional for the education in Germany to be free.
Free of charge education relates to international students, too. Although scrapping educational fees in Germany doesn’t go for masters degrees, they are still much affordable than in other countries like the UK and the US. Prices can vary but it is most common that only a small administrative fee is demanded. For students from countries who are not members of the E.U. the only things that needs to be acquired is a visa but this matter is also being worked on.
Other countries in Europe that offer free higher education are Finland, Denmark and Sweden.