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  • No unity in Europe’s tuition fees

    - Big differences exist between EU-countries in tuition fees and grants. The European Commission presents facts and figures: what is the best country for a penniless non-EU student?

    Student Walhalla

    Finland's system is famous in Europe since tuition fees do not exist and students receive a study grant for the full length of their study as long as they obtain sufficient credits. Also a Housing Supplement is provided that covers 80 percent of one's rent.

    Finland might be most famous, but Danish universities do not have tuition fees either and an extensive system of student grants and loans is available for all students. Not only in Scandinavia tuition fees are non-existing. In Poland for example 70 percent of all students pay only an administrative fee, the remainder mainly studies part-time.

    The large countries

    Even between and within the largest countries large differences exist. Europe's frontrunner in economic growth an innovation is a bargain for students. Only in Bavaria, Lower-Saxony and Hamburg students pay fees, but Hamburg will relinquish tuition fees the first of October. Also in France entrée to a university is bon marché with 177 Euro and grants for 30 percent of the students with lowest incomes. In Italy prices are almost eight times as high and only 10 percent receives a grant.

    Students in times of crisis

    Despite the economic crisis and the major budget-cuts Greek students do not pay fees for their Bachelor-degree. The impact of the Euro crisis is more visible in the level of study grants. Solely one percent of the Greek students can still receive one. Comparing Greece to the UK puts things in perspective. The highest fees of Europe are charged in the UK, until 2012 they were set at £3 375 per year. As of September 2012, this level increased in England to a new basic tuition fee of £6 000 and a maximum of £9 000.

    International students

    For students coming from outside the European Union, fee levels tend to be higher. They are generally set by higher education institutions themselves, although in Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal and Romania there are central-level regulations governing fee levels. Czech Republic asks regardless of one's nationality a fee of twenty Euro. Only in Norway it is cheaper to study, since even for non-EU students tuition fees are non-existent.

    For the full report of the European Commission: click here