President Obama proposing free community college
President Obama has moved America one step closer to that of a forward thinking country. He is proposing free community college for most students. Hopefully America will make all four years free in the long term.
College in Germany is free.
All German universities are now free to Americans and all other international students. The last German state to charge tuition at its universities struck down the fees this week.
Even before Germany abolished college tuition for all students, the price was a steal. Typically semester fees were around $630. What’s more, German students receive many perks including discounts for food, clothing and events, as well as inexpensive or even free transportation.
In explaining why Germany made this move, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a Hamburg senator, called tuition fees “unjust” and added that “they discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”
Actually, German universities were free up until 2006 when they started charging tuition. That triggered such a crush of criticism that German states began phasing out this policy. Lower Saxony was the last holdout.
Canada has very affordable rates.
According to each university, here is what it costs for a year of undergraduate tuition at a select group of U.S. and Canadian universities:
- University of Chicago – $45,945
- George Washington – $45,780
- Stanford – $41,250
- McMaster (Hamilton, Ontario) – $20,966
- McGill – $14,561
- University of Winnipeg – $11,115
Most western countries offer much more affordable university tuition rates than the US. Following are the normalized yearly rates as stated in the Global Higher Education Rankings 2010. While it is a bit dated it suffices for comparison.
- Mexico $5077
- Japan $11,865
- USA $13,856
- Australia $7,692
- Latvia $3,299
- Canada $5,974
- England/Wales $5,288
- New Zealand $3,118
- Netherlands $3,125
- Finland $1,243
- Germany free
- Sweden $600
- France $585
- Denmark $530
- Norway $596
Some countries emphasize investment in their most important assets, their citizens. The President’s proposal is just a start.