University fees are exponentially rising across the globe and in this scenario the concept of a free or low-cost degree seems like an impossible dream. It is indeed heartening to note that there are countries in this planet who value education and governments in such countries offer schemes and subsidies for an almost-free or at least an affordable education or degree. Some of the countries are listed below:
Germany: There is a lot of interest picked up among Indian students to study in Germany in recent times. This is because the German government does not levy any tuition fees in public universities both for German and foreign students. Only a nominal amount of fees towards administrative costs are collected from students. If you succeed in finding a German university of your choice for free, then you will need to budget for living costs including food, clothing and accommodation.
Another critical point of importance is that most of these free courses are in the German language and requires a proficiency in German to get admission. However, driven by demand, there are a number of English-based courses which are being designed in the country especially for international students.
Low-cost education, strong economy and an excellent higher education system is very appealing for pursing studies in Germany, both for students and parents. Germany comes third after US and UK in terms of perceived quality of education. There are many German universities that are considered among the best in the world including Heidelberg University, Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Technical University of Munich, University of Hamburg, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and many more.
France: also offers nearly-free education for both domestic and international students regardless of nationality. Although the tuition fees are not entirely waived as in Germany, it is only a small fraction of what is normally charged in other paid universities. However, it is pertinent to note that specialized courses such as medicine and engineering charge a little more yet well below what US or UK fees. Some of these courses need students to appear for an entrance test.
Here too, a large percentage of low-cost degrees are taught in French, but just like in Germany, there are a lot more English-based programs that are being created for global students. It is important to know that if you are keen on pursuing your studies in one of the grandes ecoles of France, then the tuition fees cost could vary quite a bit.
While course fees are nearly negligible, standard of living in France is quite high and cost of food, clothing and accommodation can be substantial high especially in Paris. Yet, since it is cheaper than London laying across the Channel, many French universities are among the top universities of the world including University of Paris-Sorbonne, University of Paris-Sud, the Paris Descartes University, University of Strasbourg and many more.
Belgium: offers complete waiver of tuition fees for EU students, however, the fees for international students are also in the affordable range. Some of the universities here include University of Leuven – KU Leuven and University of Antwerp.
Czech Republic: Students both domestic and international who are fluent in Czech can study here for free. Those who wish to pursue education in English can also do so at affordable rates. Living costs are more economical in this country than most other European country. Some of universities in this country are Charles University in Prague and Masaryk University.
Nordic Countries: The Northern European countries, dubbed commonly as Nordic countries, famous for their natural beauty, high quality of life and stunning locales and liberal political policies also offer students free education regardless of nationality. Four of the five Nordic countries including Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark completely waive tuition fees while Iceland does charge tuition fees. These 4 countries have certain prerequisites to fulfill for the free seats.
Norway offers free courses at the undergraduate programs only in Norwegian and a proficiency in the language is a must for admissions. However, masters and PhD courses (which are also free) are available in English. Some of the universities in Sweden include University of Oslo and Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Sweden and Denmark extend free education only to students from the European Union, Switzerland and European Economic Area. Others will have to pay the requisite tuition fees for all courses in the undergraduate and master’s levels. However, PhD programs are completely funded in both these countries. Candidates pursuing PhD programs not only get free education but also get paid a salary or a stipend.