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Countries operating tuition free education in Europe

Updated on May 21, 2016

Some countries in Europe are offering free tuition study to students both EU and international. What this means is that as a student, you will be exempted from paying tuition fees, since it’s the government that is responsible for the tuition fee payment. These countries that operate tuition free universities are Germany, Finland and Norway. Sweden used to, but they have backed out now. Each of these countries have their own admission requirements. For example, Germany requires undergraduate applicants from certain countries to apply with an A’ level result. Finland on the other hand requires undergraduate applicants to sit for an entrance examination which is usually conducted in Finland and other selected countries around the world. In this article, we will take a look at these countries that operate tuition free, the cost of living and the admission requirement.


In Germany, the universities there are operating tuition free to students who apply for undergraduate programs only. If you apply for a graduate program like a masters or a PhD program, you will have to pay some tuition fees to the institution. The tuition fees for graduate programs is not high in their public universities and usually range from €1500 to €3000 per year and about €5000 in their private universities. You may like to know the cost of living in Germany, so you will know how much you budget as you are preparing for your study. Yes, cost of living in Germany is a little bit high compared with other European countries. The average cost of living in Germany is estimated at about €600 per month which will cover the cost of accommodation, food, books, travels etc. A student can live on more or less epending on his/her spending habit.

Admission and visa requirement

The admission requirement for study depends on your course of study and your country or where you got your certificate from. But generally most schools will request for a high school/secondary school certificate or an A’level result for admission into a bsc program. For graduate study, a good first or second degree is usually required. Students who come from countries where the first language is not English will hav to prove their proficiency in the use of the language by presenting language certificates like Ielts or Toelf. If you chose to studying German language, you will need to prove your proficiency in the use of the language by presenting a German language certificate like TesDaf or Goethe.

For the visa requirement, you may need to contact a German embassy in your home country to find out the specific requirements for your country. But in most cases, students will be required show in a blocked account that they have sufficient amount of money to take care of their living expenses for a period of one year. This amount is put at 8000 Euro and must be transferred to the student account in Germany prior to visa application.


Finland is another country that operate tuition free education to all students. Higher education in Finland is financed by the government and so students are exempted from fee payment. For undergraduate study, applicants will first and formost apply for admission after which they will be called to write an entrance examination in Finland or any selected country in each continent. After the entrance examination, successful applicants will be offered admission letters. The cost of living in Finland is estimated at about 550 Euro per month, which will cover the cost of accommodation, feeding transportation, books etc. For the visa processing, please contact the nearest Finnish embassy or consular office to get the requirements.


Norway operates tuition free education to students too. If you want to study in Norway free you will need to apply for admission directly to the universities over there. To get more information about the application time, deadlines, universities, programs etc visit . Once you have applied and your application is accepted, you will be issued an offer letter which you will take to the embassy for visa processing.

So these are the three countries that are operating tuition free education in Europe. If you have any question, feel free to ask on the comment box below and I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading my hub!


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