The German political decision to introduce tuition fees was defeated by popular opposition. The protests-leading German Free Education Movement was born when 200 organizations, including student unions, trade unions and political parties, formed the Alliance Against Tuition Fees. Students took to the streets all over Germany in response to the seven West German states that introduced fees in 2006 and 2007.
In Hessen Students occupied their universities and in Hamburg there was a fee strike. In Bavaria, a movement that began with hundreds of students protesting in 2008, grew to several thousand protesters by 2013. Then is when public opinion changed. Protesters proposed a state referendum on higher education policy and the petition was signed by 1.35M voters and caused the state’s premier to scrap tuition fees just a few days later.
And that was not all. On October 10, Germany announced that it is extending its tuition-free college education to all students from around the world. While cost of American college education is on the rise — with undergrad fees in non-profit schools ranging from $14,300 for state universities like UCLA, and from $37,800 for private non-profit schools like Harvard to 50,000+ in other schools -, this decision puts Germany in very advantageous position to attract international talent. The UK, where tuition fees have risen by 50% under Tory’s administration, might appear as less appealing for many international students.
Germany scraps tuition fees after mass student protests cause shift in public opinion
Germany extends free college education to all students in the US
Germany offers free college tuition to US and international student
All German universities will be free of charge when the term starts