Are tuition free universities really free for international students?
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.
Sweden also used to be tuition free to non-EU students. But they introduced tuition fees for non-EU international students in January 2010.
Countries like Germany still offer tuition free education for non-EU international students. But there is more to it than is mentioned while being discussed.
What is it about free tuition education that is often kept silent when mentioned?
Find out more in this short animated video.
First, it 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, hold 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.
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.
Hopefully, countries in Africa are paying attention on how to develop its people.