(17 October 2014) – Levels of student tuition fees, grants and loans continue to highlight stark differences across Europe, according to a report published today by the Eurydice network.
The report, covering 33 European countries, reveals that fee systems have remained relatively stable across the continent, despite some notable exceptions. Germany is the only country to recently abolish tuition fees, despite introducing them only in 2007.
Estonia significantly changed its funding system in 2014, linking fees to study performance: only students who fail to stay on track with their studies (ie do not achieve the required number of credits each year) are charged. Fees are similarly linked to poor performance in other countries including the Czech Republic, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Poland and Slovakia.
The highest tuition fees in Europe are in the UK (England), following a major overhaul of its higher education system in 2012. The fees are not paid immediately, but only after graduation when students’ earnings exceed a defined threshold – a unique model in Europe. Relatively high fees are paid up front by students in Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, the Netherlands and Slovenia.