The world has become a globalized one where the movement of people, goods and ideas is not a big deal. The technological advancement, vast communicational network and innovation in transportation have made the world a global village where every sphere of life has become interconnected. The field of education has benefitted a good deal in this connected and inclusive world. Every year hundreds and thousands of students go from one part of the world to another in order to get good quality education. Because of the increasing poverty in the peripheral countries of the world, and a number of countries torn by civil unrest or international conflicts, most of the students from the underdeveloped or developing countries go to developed countries to get better education.
Most of the developed states offer various scholarship programs for international students. However, many of the European countries have made education free for all students. Following are some of the countries providing free education for students in 2015.
Finland is providing free education for all the students including the international non-EU students too. No tuition fee is charged from students whether at undergraduate or at post graduate level. The education is funded by state via the education ministry in Finland. However, students have to bear all of their living expenses on their own while studying in Finland. There are many Finnish universities which are providing free education including National Defense University, Aalto University, Lappeenranta University of Technology, University of Oulu, University of Helsinki, Hanken School of Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, University of Lapland, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, University of Vaasa, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Tampere University of Technology, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and many more universities covering diverse fields of study.
Moreover, the cost of living in Finland is not very high too. Students can afford to live in Finland as compared to other expensive European countries like Denmark or Netherlands. The average cost of living of a student in Finland is around 500-800 euro per month.
Norway may seem expensive for living but not for education now. The state universities in Norway do not charge any fee from international students and it is likely to remain so for 2015-2016. This applies to all levels of degree i.e. undergraduate as well as and post graduate. However, students shall have to pay a semester fee of around $50-100 per semester. Norway has a high standard of education and considered the best in the world among many other. Some of the names of the Norwegian universities offering tuition free educations for international students are The University of Oslo, University of Bergen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), University of Stavanger, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), University of Agder (UiA), Norwegian Business School, University of Tromso (UiT) and many more. Moreover, some private schools in Norway are also offering free education for all the students including the international ones, for example; Queen Maud University College and Norwegian School of Information Technology (NITH) etc.
Though most of the private institutions charge fee but the fee is relatively low as compared with other countries. In addition, the foreign students do not have to pay higher tuition fee than the Norwegian students. However, the cost of living is higher in Norway than in many other European countries. The average of 1200-1500 euro per month is the cost of living including residence.
Germany is among one of the powerful countries in the EU block with the high standards of education. The pursuit of higher education in Germany is not a hard nut to crack now as the education in Germany has been made free for all irrespective of the nationalities or the level of degree. The universities in Germany are considered among the best in the world with the good research facilities and high quality of education and this is all is now for free. All the internationally recognized programs are offered free in Germany except for few universities in some federal states which charge a semester contribution of around 50 euro. Some of the top German universities offering free education are Technische Universitat Berlin, Freie Universitat Berlin, Technical University Munich, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Furthermore, the cost of living in Germany is not very high as compared to other European metropolitans like London or Paris. The average living expenses for a student in Germany are about 500-800 euro including the residence, food, clothing, transportation and other expenses.
Presently, there are no tuition free universities in Sweden for non-EU international students though it offers various scholarship programs through which international students can get free education. However, the degree program at PhD level is free for international students in Sweden irrespective of their nationality. Top tuition free universities in Sweden (at PhD) are Stockholm University, Uppsala University, Halmstad University, Jonkoping University, Stockholm School of Economics, Lund University, Gothenburg University and University of Boras etc. Moreover, the cost of living in Sweden is higher as compared with other European countries.
Austria is another attractive destination for international students particularly for the students of liberal arts, music and art history etc. There is no tuition fee for the EU students in Austria. Also, there is no tuition fee for the international students from underdeveloped countries studying in Austria except for the Student Union membership fee. The tuition fee is free for most of the African countries’ students in addition to a number of other less developed countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Philippines, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Ukraine Bangladesh, Libya, Zimbabwe etc. Names of some of the tuition free Austrian universities include University of Graz, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), University of Linz, Graz University of Technology, University of Salzburg, University of Klagenfurt, Danube University Krems, University of Leoben, and Leopold-Franzens-Universitat Innsbruck.
In addition, the cost of living is not very high in Austria. The cost of living for an international student in Austria is around 500-800 euro per month.
Apart from the above mentioned countries that are tuition free, there are many countries offering tuition free education through various scholarship programs designed for the international students. Moreover, there are many online tuition free universities operating to facilitate the foreign students. An initiative by MIT and Harvard named edX provides a lucrative platform for the foreign students from any country to have online access to various courses offered by three big US universities i.e. MIT, Harvard and UC Berkeley. On the similar lines, many universities are offering online free education for all the students around the world.