Germany made headlines a few weeks back when it had the unmitigated gall to condemn its student population to a life of non-Ramen Noodles and non-debt when abolished college tuition fees. But now you can really blast that techno music as it seems all German universities are free to Americans as well.
But before American kids start pretending to give a crap about Octoberfest and minoring in David Hasselhoff, they must learn German in order to attend. As long as it’s not 1939-1945 German, then that’s one hell of a deal.
Last week, the final German State (Laender) to charge tuition ended the practice, allowing all income groups a shot at bettering themselves without the onerous burden of spirit-crushing debt. According to Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a Hamburg senator, tuition fees were simply unjust. I guess Dorothee Stapelfeldt is german for ‘corporations are not people’.
‘Tuition fees discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany,’ said Stapelfeldt (WTSP.com)
It should probably be noted that Germany offered free tuition until 2006. That move triggered so much rancor that the German states began abolishing the policy. In America, schoolkids can get murdered and policies don’t budge.
How Germany Funds Education Is Quite Different From The US
Just in case you were curious how Germany can offer free tuition, it’s crucial to understand how Germany funds its education.
First, Germany is a federal country with 16 autonomous states responsible for education, higher education and cultural affairs. Second, the German higher education system – consisting of 379 higher education institutions with about 2.4m students – is a public system which is publicly funded. There are a number of small private institutions but they enroll less than 5% of the total student body.
Meanwhile, America has the most expensive education on the planet and the average student debt is upwards of $29,000. That state funding in 2011-201 for public universities in America dropped by a whopping 7.6 percent explains why so many students have to borrow in the first place. Even in low-cost tuition countries, such as Spain and France, the amounts are considerably lower than what American universities charge.
America, however, will sooner offer free guns and “Truck Nutz” than anything that might actually better the lives of its lesser-off citizenry.
Featured image via Hellogiggles.com)