Study in Germany for Free – Universities Offering Free Education

free education in germany

Sounds too good to be true? But it is in fact true and in this article, we will tell you all about free education in Germany for international students. All German public institutes offer free education and students are only required to pay some administrative charges. This means that tuition fees will be waived completely, irrespective of a student’s nationality. Overseas students will also have to prepare sufficient funds for living expenses. Also, it should be noted that free tuition in Germany is only for UG students and these waivers do not apply to PG and PhD programs.

Read More: How to study in Germany for free

Why Is There Free Education In Germany For International Students?

The reason behind free education in Germany for Indian students and those from other countries is the fact that Germans do not perceive education as a commercial offering. The country is of the opinion that a higher education which is free of charge will benefit the economy at a faster pace and development for the greater good. However, there are some exceptions.

In 2014 all 16 German states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public German universities. This means that currently, both domestic and international undergraduates at public universities in Germany can study for free, with just a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester. However, in 2017 the southwest state of Baden-Württemberg reintroduced tuition fees for non-EU students. This tuition fee in public universities in Baden-Württemberg is approx €3,000 per year.  

Germany has always welcomed the brightest and smartest global talents into the country, encouraging them to stay on and pursue employment opportunities after graduating. This is another reason behind the absence of tuition fees at leading public universities for international students. The universities in the country feature among the best in the whole world and foreign students can expect high-quality standards of teaching there. Many of the bigger public institutions regularly find a spot in the top 100 international rankings institutions.

Read More: Guide to career opportunities in Germany

Who Can Study In Germany For Free?

As mentioned above, a student of any nationality is eligible for free education at public institutes. However, this waiver is only for undergraduate students, and postgraduate and doctoral students will have to pay tuition fees. However, even this fee is much more affordable than in other countries, including the UK, USA, and Canada. Also, it should be noted that most public universities in Germany will only charge a minimal administrative fee if the master’s degree being pursued is in the same field as the aspirant’s bachelor’s studies. These are called consecutive master degrees. Meanwhile, if MS is in a different stream than previous qualifications, there will be a tuition fee charge.

Important Resources to Read for Study in Germany:

Top Universities Offering Free Courses in Germany

If you are still thinking about how to study free in Germany, you can apply for admission at leading public universities in the country. There are approximately 300 public universities in Germany, with over 1,000 study programs available in all. Some of the top universities offering free courses include the following:

Name of the Institution

2022 THE Global Rank

Top Courses

Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich

32

English, Computer Science, Data Science, Management and Economics

Technical University of Munich

38

Management, Data Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Heidelberg University

42

Physics, Data Science, English, Electrical Engineering and Economics

Humboldt University Berlin

74

Economics, English, Social Work and Data Science

Charite Universitatmedizin Berlin

73

Neuroscience, epidemiology, medicine and health sciences

University of Freiburg

108

English, Computer Science, Robotics and Embedded Systems

University of Tubingen

78

Machine learning, Computer Science, Economics and English, Theology, Natural Sciences

RWTH Aachen

108

Computer Science, Automotive Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Data Science

Technical University Berlin

139

Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Energy Engineering

Free University of Berlin

83

English, Psychology, Computer Science and Management

University of Bonn

112

Computer Science, Biotechnology, English and Economics

Read More: Finding Accommodation in Germany for international students

Important Expenses for Studying in Germany

Free education in Germany notwithstanding, there are several additional costs that you will need to take care of. While most public universities will not charge tuition fees, you may still have to pay the semester or administrative fee. This is known as Semesterbeitrag locally. It is a nominal charge of approximately €300-400 for an entire semester. This also includes public transportation tickets for the city and its surrounding areas which is also another benefit. 

Approximate monthly costs of rent and other utilities may range from around €300 to €500 while food and drink costs may require €200-250 every month. Monthly health insurance will require €100 while phone and internet charges can be approximately €30 every month. Miscellaneous costs including hobbies and leisure activities may necessitate funds of €50-100 every month as well. €850 is a decent sum for managing comfortably every month, depending upon the city of study. Bigger cities like Munich, Hamburg or Frankfurt are comparatively costlier than smaller cities and towns in Germany. Yet, with free education being offered by leading public universities, students save a lot of money on tuition fees. Hence, they can pursue their academic and professional dreams without burdening their pockets.

How To Apply To Study College In Germany?

  • The first step is to shortlist the course and university. Ensure that you have all the required documents ready, including academic transcripts. 
  • Most public universities in Germany accept admission applications through the uni-assist platform. You need to create an account on the portal, choose the course, and university you are applying for, and upload scanned application documents
  • Few universities may require you to apply on their own online application platform. Check the respective university website to identify the right platform to apply at.
  • Once you have completed your application, wait for a response from the institution. 
  • You can apply for a German student visa, also known as a residence permit, and buy health insurance after securing a seat.

Eligibility Criteria for Free Education in Germany

Here are some things to keep in mind to be eligible for free education in Germany

  • Candidates must shave a good track record including a minimum of 85% or 9 CGPA in class 12th. 
  • Language proficiency entrance test score: To be eligible to study in Germany, one must meet the eligibility criteria for the respective programs at the university. Some commonly accepted tests include GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, and others. 
  • Some universities in Germany may exempt you from having a language test score if you prove that you have studied the English language in high school.
  • University acceptance letter: Gaining admission to a public institute is primary to be able to study in Germany for free. 
  • Most public universities in Germany will only charge a minimal administrative fee if the master’s degree being pursued is in the same field as the aspirant’s bachelor’s studies. These are called consecutive master degrees. Meanwhile, if MS is in a different stream than previous qualifications, there will be a tuition fee charge.
  • Blocked account: Every year, each university requests that a monthly amount be provided for every student for enabling their living costs along with other miscellaneous expenditures. This money is deposited into the ‘Blocked Account’. This may vary from one university to another, and the average is somewhere around €853 a month or €10,236 for a session, covering accommodation, travel pass, and living costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How to apply for free education in Germany?

If you wish to pursue an undergraduate degree, all public institutes have a no tuition fee policy in Germany, irrespective of the student’s nationality. Students can apply to German universities via the uni-assist platform.

Q. Why is education free in Germany?

Quality and accessible education is key to economic growth. German states in 2014 abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public universities. This helps the nation attract the best of minds irrespective of their financial background.

Q. Which universities offer free education in Germany?

All public universities in Germany offer free tuition at the undergraduate level.

Q. Are there any other costs apart from tuition fees in German public universities?

Studying in a foreign country not only involves tuition but living costs too. Approximate monthly costs of rent and other utilities may range from around €300 to €500, while food and drink costs may require €200-250 every month.

Read to Know About Top Universities in Germany::

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