The reaction follows a report in online publication University World News detailing news that higher education fees have been abolished in Lower Saxony, the last German state to have still been advocating them.
The move will come into action by next week, meaning that when the university term starts across the country, there will be no costs in place. It spells an end for the final chapter on the issue, which has been deliberated by politicians and education officials for almost a decade.
In 2006, the government began experimenting with the removal of fees for higher education, and since then Germany has seen a number of changes that have prevented a smooth transition from one policy to another.Conservative-led state governments objected to the initial approach and instead decided to re-introduce a 1000 euros-per-year rate for anyone studying in their region.
Slowly, however, these states – all based in the west of the country – began to overturn the ruling in favour of the abolition of fees. Lower Saxony was the final of these states to agree to the proposal following a vote that saw their ruling party, the Christian Democrats, leave office.
The move is seen as a positive step in the providing of a high-standard of education that does not exclude those on lower incomes. Combined with relatively low living costs in Germany, it will undoubtedly continue to be a popular destination for students from all over the world.
A spokesperson for Interdean, market leaders in international relocation, has released a statement following the news. ‘Germany continues to prove itself as one of the most attractive destinations for prospective expatriates the world over.
‘Higher education costs are contentious issues across the continent and for a country with the economic power that Germany has; this is a huge move that will impact their society for generations to come. Those looking to move to Germany and study now have the freedom to choose from all sixteen states without the risk of surplus tuition fees. With their universities held in such great esteem throughout the world, we can expect to see an increase in the number of students who wish to take advantage of this.’
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