Is Free Post-Secondary Education a Reality in Europe?

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In summary, most European countries offer free post-secondary education to their citizens, including Nordic and Central European countries, Switzerland, France, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. However, the definition of post-secondary education may vary by country, and some may only offer free further education or college, while university education may still require payment. The cost of education varies greatly from country to country, with some countries offering practically free education while others can cost up to €30,000 per year. City colleges in the US may have a lower reputation in terms of quality compared to larger universities, but they offer cheaper tuition and often provide financial aid options for lower income students.
  • #1
Nusc
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Do most European countries offer a free post-secondary education to their citizens?
 
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  • #2
Let's rephase that.

Does anybody here come from a European country, or know of a European country, which offers a free post-secondary education to its citizens?
 
  • #3
Switzerland does i THINK...
 
  • #4
Post secondary=after high school?

In that case all nordic countries do and I believe most of central-European countries do aswell.
 
  • #5
I wish we had that over here. I hear France does as well.
 
  • #6
After about 10 pages of googling, all i can find is Germany has free-postsec. education and that a looooooooooot of people in Canada want free-postsecondary education. I also found this hilarious line "Any modern industrial society that does not understand that post-secondary education is an investment in the future is doomed to be a society that lives up to its potential". People really need to proof-read.

Guess google isn't the best source of information :-/
 
  • #7
I know the Czech Republic does.

It's a darn shame that bug hasn't been caught over here. Maybe it only works with smaller countries?
 
  • #8
I dobut its dependant on the size of your country. One of the sites said China has had free-postsec. education for 40 years. I for one don't want to see free-postsec. education in the US. College is heavily subsidized in California and i got the short end of teh stick this summer because of it. 1/3 of the classes were cut because the state didnt have the money to fund the classes. Plus of course tuition has been going up for years now. Universities should be funded by market forces like any other business. They should be funded based on how well they teach and not how well they can take money from a multi-billion dollar budget pie. As an afterthought, maybe postsec. education is based on how well countries can keep a balanced/surplus budget. I thought germany normally had a surplus in their budgets.
 
  • #9
Universities should be funded by market forces like any other business. They should be funded based on how well they teach and not how well they can take money from a multi-billion dollar budget pie.

+1
 
  • #10
We have free further education here (college/sixth form), that's post-secondary in our terminology. Still have to pay for university, of course.
 
  • #11
Nylex said:
We have free further education here (college/sixth form), that's post-secondary in our terminology. Still have to pay for university, of course.

Wait... college and university arent the same thing?
 
  • #12
The Netherlands does, we get 5 yrs sponsored secondary education and cost of living, we can get a loan after that. We do have to finish your education, otherwise we'll have to pay back the money.

We can get €475 max a month, or €730 when you include a loan.
 
  • #13
Pengwuino said:
Wait... college and university arent the same thing?
Not in the UK.
5-16=Primary school > Secondary school. (compulsary).
16-18=Sixth form/college (A-Levels) (Voluntary).
18- =University (Voluntary).
 
  • #14
Belgium has a practically free university system. You only pay €500(about $600) a year tuition, that's it. I pay about €80 because I'm scholarship ellidgeable.
 
  • #15
Gaz031 said:
Not in the UK.
5-16=Primary school > Secondary school. (compulsary).
16-18=Sixth form/college (A-Levels) (Voluntary).
18- =University (Voluntary).

Oh ok... and i assume those mean roughly the ages as to when you actually enroll...
 
  • #16
Dimitri Terryn said:
Belgium has a practically free university system. You only pay €500(about $600) a year tuition, that's it. I pay about €80 because I'm scholarship ellidgeable.

Thats what you consider practically free? :D Man i feel like I am getting off lucky. But I am in CA so yes, i am getting off lucky.
 
  • #17
Pengwuino said:
Wait... college and university arent the same thing?

Not the same thing here either.

College is for the kids without the grades for university. It is usually a two year school that offers university transfer for top students, or something like that. Basically it's for the kids who tried really hard in high school but were too dumb to get into university but wanted to keep on trying hard to get some sort of education. Good for them I suppose, but a college diploma really isn't going to get you anywhere in life.

As for the OP, I wish university was free here. I pay just under $5000/yr ($4000US). This is after three straight years of tuition hikes. Five years ago tuition was under $2000/yr.
 
  • #18
haha well my australian friends situation all of a sudden makes sense. 2 years younger then me and i swear she was finished with high school the same time i was.
 
  • #19
Pengwuino said:
Thats what you consider practically free? :D Man i feel like I am getting off lucky. But I am in CA so yes, i am getting off lucky.

Considering that without state sponsorship, the cost would be around €30,000 yes! :biggrin:
 
  • #20
Dimitri Terryn said:
Considering that without state sponsorship, the cost would be around €30,000 yes! :biggrin:

haha. City college around here is like $300 a semester... probably 99.999999% subsidized here.
 
  • #21
Three hundred dollars per semester? So you pay exactly the same as a Belgian student then :uhh:

Also, not to sound pretentious or anything, but don't city colleges have the reputation of being of lower quality then larger universities? That's what Americans I know have told me anyway, I was wondering whether it was true.
 
  • #22
Dimitri Terryn said:
Three hundred dollars per semester? So you pay exactly the same as a Belgian student then :uhh:

Also, not to sound pretentious or anything, but don't city colleges have the reputation of being of lower quality then larger universities? That's what Americans I know have told me anyway, I was wondering whether it was true.

Oh god yes! Its like... barely a step up from high school! But to be fair, its only reached $300 in the last couple years. A decade ago it was probably $100 a semester or so. Of course, since only poorer people go there, they usually easily qualify for financial aid if they arent too lazy to sign a few papers which means they'll pay nothing. Of course, the more middle class... yet stupid people... well.. there stupid and have the money, they deserve to pay a piddley $300 a semester.
 
  • #23
Dimitri Terryn said:
Belgium has a practically free university system. You only pay €500(about $600) a year tuition, that's it. I pay about €80 because I'm scholarship ellidgeable.
Do you get money for cost of living, or do you have to take care of that yourself? Tuition in the Netherlands for University is €1475 a year.
 
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  • #24
Depends on your financial situation. I'm currently not receiving anything to cover cost of living, but I think I might be able to get it. It's not like we're going to starve anytime soon, the plateau's for receiving aid are quite high.

And Monique, I think I understand now why there are so many Dutch in Flemish universities :)
 
  • #25
Why? We get a minimum of http://www.ib-groep.nl/studiepunt/ShowContent.asp?cID=1000004805&sID=3332 a year to cover cost of living and tuition, so you'd be better off studying here. It does explain why I've never met a single Belgian person here :tongue:

I think they study there to be able to say they studied 'abroad', while still being able to visit their parents and friends every weekend :rolleyes:
 
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  • #26
The government here covers about 70% of the costs of university, and the other 30% can be loaned. We pay it back through the tax system once our income reaches a certain threshold and interest rates are only equal to inflation. We can also get a living allowance of up to $800 per month which is on a sliding scale depending on how far we travel, parents financial situation etc. $800 is just barely enough to cover rent + essentials so most students work as well.
 

1. What is free post-secondary education?

Free post-secondary education refers to the provision of higher education without any cost to the students. This means that tuition fees, as well as other expenses such as textbooks and supplies, are covered by the government or an institution.

2. How is free post-secondary education funded?

In most cases, free post-secondary education is funded through taxes. The government allocates a portion of its budget to cover the costs of higher education for its citizens. Some countries also use a combination of public and private funding to provide free education.

3. Does free post-secondary education guarantee equal access for all?

While free post-secondary education aims to provide equal access to education for everyone, there may still be barriers that prevent certain individuals from taking advantage of it. This can include geographic location, financial constraints, or other socio-economic factors.

4. What are the benefits of free post-secondary education?

Free post-secondary education can have numerous benefits, including promoting social and economic equality, increasing access to education, reducing student debt, and improving the overall quality of education. It also allows individuals to pursue higher education without the burden of financial constraints.

5. Are there any drawbacks to free post-secondary education?

While there are many benefits to free post-secondary education, there are also potential drawbacks. These can include an increased strain on government budgets, potential decrease in quality of education, and the possibility of limited program options. However, these drawbacks can be mitigated through proper planning and implementation of free education policies.

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