Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Germany ends free education

Germany’s higher education system was heading for its biggest shake up in decades late last month after the country’s high court overturned a ban on tuition fees.

The court in Karlsruhe ruled that individual German federal states can now introduce fees at university, effectively ending the principle of free education in Germany that had survived since the 1960s.

Student groups immediately denounced the ruling and promised a series of demonstrations across the country. Three states ruled by Germany’s opposition conservatives – Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg and Hamburg – immediately indicated that they will introduce fees as quickly as possible.

Other states, run by the Social Democrats who lead the federal government, said they have no plans to introduce fees. Opponents of tuition fees in Germany argue that they will deter students from poor backgrounds from attending university and force existing students to abandon their studies.

But supporters argue that fees will bring much-needed revenue into Germany’s notoriously overcrowded and under-funded higher education sector, and might prompt students to work harder.

Until the court decision, Germany was one of the last countries in Europe to adhere to the fading principle of free university education. Britain introduced tuition fees in 1998. The Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Italy and Portugal have since followed suit. Scandinavian countries such as Sweden are currently alone in not charging fees. – Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

The basic income grant is surely on the horizon

It is becoming clear SA needs a BIG, as many ANC cabinet members, opposition parties and experts agree. But there is still dissent from some quarters

Bargaining council looks into complaint against Blade Nzimande

Two months before the long-serving higher education director general was suspended, he reported Nzimande to the bargaining council

More top stories

The basic income grant is surely on the horizon

It is becoming clear SA needs a BIG, as many ANC cabinet members, opposition parties and experts agree. But there is still dissent from some quarters

Bargaining council looks into complaint against Blade Nzimande

Two months before the long-serving higher education director general was suspended, he reported Nzimande to the bargaining council

Ace claims the state’s witness

The ANC’s suspended secretary general believes the state’s witness is, in fact, the defence’s witness

Taxi violence: Fight for survival in Cape Town’s dangerous turf...

The flare-up of the taxi war in the Western Cape has again shown the industry’s ability to hold commuters, the state and the local economy to ransom
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×