Free Education in Germany

10 minute read
Free Education in Germany

At some point in our life, we all think of going abroad for higher studies. But due to financial constraints, some drop the thought of pursuing their dream. Further, due to lack of awareness, the students stay ill-informed about the various schemes, scholarships, and free educational institutes that provide financial assistance to those who are willing to study their dream courses. When we talk about receiving higher education, countries with the best education system come to our mind. Though many countries are pacing forward to offer affordable and quality education to international students, Germany pioneered the idea of providing free education to students across an array of disciplines. In this blog, we will explore universities that offer free education in Germany but first let us understand the reason for pursuing higher education in the country. 

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Why Study in Germany for Free?

Students all over the world see Germany as a potential destination for studying various courses in a number of disciplines. The unique specialization and a healthy study environment make it a viable choice for pursuing overseas education. Students often are sceptical about the quality of free education in Germany but the educational institutes of the country are constantly ranked amongst the top universities in the world

Offering an unconventional blend of professional training and research in academics, the universities in Germany are lauded for incorporating sophisticated teaching methods and making use of cutting-edge technology in the educational process. 

Public universities in Germany give you the choice to take advantage of the multicultural environment suitable to take your educational experience to the next level without paying anything or a minimum value. The only charges that you are needed to pay are Administration, enrolment, and confirmation fees. If you are looking for a way to cover your accommodation and other expenses, then the DAAD Scholarship, which is a viable option.

Why Germany Provides Free Education?

Now you may be wondering, is university education free in Germany? So, the answer is ‘in a way.’ Tuition fees are charged by universities almost everywhere in Europe and across the world, even if just from foreign students who come to study there. Germany is one of the few nations in Europe where you may study for free, regardless of your nationality.

In general, Germans think that education should not be viewed as a commodity. It is rather looked at or viewed as a necessity and a basic right of all human beings. Germans believe that free access to higher education promotes economic progress and wellbeing for the whole population. There was legislation in the past that allowed public institutions to charge very cheap tuition rates of 1,000 euros each year. However, in recent years, German administrations have recognized the economic and social benefits of immigration.

Germany wants the brightest brains to come to the nation to study, and preferably to stay and work after graduation. As a result, there are no general tuition costs for overseas students who are coming to Germany for free or affordable overseas education. But there are other expenses like accommodation, travel, etc but as tuition fees are the highest charges that students pay, a large burden is reduced by studying in Germany.

Is Education Free in Germany for Indian Students?

There is a multitude of public universities in Germany that avail free education with no tuition fees but minimal administrative costs. For Indian students, free education in Germany can be accessed by opting for these public institutions though the criteria are quite complex to fulfil. Further, an administrative fee of 200 EUR-500 EUR (16,750-41,800 INR) annually is only needed for admissions into public universities while private academic institutions also charge quite a minimal tuition-fee amount of somewhere between 3000 – 20,000 EUR/year (2,50,500-16,70,300 INR) which varies as per the course and university. However, studying business, medicine or engineering degrees from private universities prove to be quite a little costly as compared to social science programs.

Steps for Pursuing Free Education in Germany 

Students who want to study for free in Germany must complete the steps below to achieve the same: 

  1. Selecting a suitable course to study in Germany 
  2. Selecting a best-fit university/college in Germany 
  3. Checking the entry requirements to study in Germany
  4. Knowing about the tuition costs (if any)
  5. Calculating the living and accommodation costs to study in Germany 
  6. Filling the application forms to apply for German universities 
  7. Applying for a German Student Visa
  8. Flying to Germany and living a student life in the country 

We’ll be discussing each of these above-mentioned steps to pursue free education in Germany in the upcoming sections of this blog! 

What to Study in Germany?

If you are worried about what to study in a European country, then you should know that German universities are renowned for offering intensive courses in almost every field. More than 17,000 study programs are offered across 380 universities out of which 300 universities offer free education in Germany. Whether you want to study STEM courses, Humanities or Arts and short term job oriented courses after graduation, Germany offers it all. The popular courses that you can study in Germany include MIM, Automobile Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and MBBS, etc. Further. being home to the leading automobile companies and tech giants, German universities enjoy close links with top tech companies giving students an opportunity to do internships and gain industry exposure.  

Universities Providing Free Education in Germany

There are almost 3000+ universities and educational institutions that exist in Germany and some of them are either giving free education to international students (no tuition fees) or are charging very low to bare minimum administrative/service fees. 

Universities giving free education in Germany Location QS World University Rankings 2022
University of CologneCologne=311
Ludwig Maximilians University MunichMunich 
Goethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt 
Universität HamburgHamburg214
University of Erlangen-NurembergErlangen
Technical University of Munich Munich =50
Julius Maximilian University of WürzburgWürzburg
RWTH Aachen UniversityAachen165
University of MünsterMünster
Ruhr University BochumBochum
University of Duisburg-EssenDuisburg and Essen

Check out all the Free Universities in Germany

List of Top Public Universities in Germany (BONUS)

When it comes to offering world-class education, German universities have etched their name in the list of best universities including that in QS World University rankings 2022. Here is the list of top universities offering free education in Germany:

Check out the complete list of Public Universities in Germany!

Study in Germany for Free in English (BONUS)

Another advantage of attending college in Germany is the availability of English-taught courses. As a result, you can avoid learning academic German, while we do urge that you acquire the basics. Keep in mind, however, that undergraduate degrees in Germany are only provided in German. Unless you’ve enrolled in a private university, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find an English-taught degree; otherwise, you’ll have to learn German. There is a range of postgraduate degree programmes where English is the medium of instruction. Here is a list of some  colleges that offer free education in Germany and postgraduate courses taught in English:

  1. Technical University of Munchen
  2. University of Bonn
  3. University of Hamburg
  4. TU Darmstadt
  5. FAU Erlangen Nurnberg
  6. University of Munster
  7. Hamburg University of Technology
  8. SRH University of Heidelberg
  9. University of Applied Sciences Wurzburg Schweinfurt
  10. Leibniz Universitat Hannover

Eligibility Criteria for Free Education in Germany

To study in Germany, the first thing apart from selecting the university and a course are to check the eligibility criteria of the specific institute. Having a valid English proficiency test score like that in IELTS, TOEFL or PTE is the foremost prerequisite. It is important to note that 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. Further, some institutes may also require a valid GRE/GMAT score to grant admission. The other important documents required to avail education in the European country include a German study visa, acceptance letter from the university, LOR and SOP. If you have been a meritorious student, then your chances of getting a free education in Germany are maximized.

Also Read: Study in Germany without IELTS

Cost of Studying in Germany

  • Although you can study for free as an undergraduate at public German institutions, there is a fee every semester for enrolling, confirmation, and administration. This is usually between €250 (INR 22,148) and €500 (INR 44,297) every semester, although it varies depending on the university.
  • Master’s degrees at German institutions, on the other hand, are typically free if they are classified as “consecutive”, that is, they follow immediately on from a comparable bachelor’s degree obtained in Germany. There is once again a modest fee every semester for enrollment, confirmation, and administration, as well as a Semesterticket. Tuition prices for “non-consecutive” master’s degrees, for individuals who earned their bachelor’s degree elsewhere in the globe, vary by university and can range from €20,000 (INR 17,71,912) to €30,000 (INR 26,57,868) per year at public institutions and up to €30,000 at private German universities
  • Tuition at the Ph.D. level is once again free at all German institutions — at least for the first six semesters. Ph.D. students, like all other levels of study, are expected to make a semester contribution of no more than €250 or so for administration and other expenditures.

Know more about PhD in Germany Here!

Other Costs to Consider While Studying in Germany

Studying at the public universities in Germany, students will be required to submit a semester fee or administrative fee (mentioned above) and only tuition fee costs are exempted in this case. But the living costs are unavoidable which you might be aware of while availing of free education in Germany. Moreover, it would largely depend on the city you have chosen to study in like Munich, Frankfurt or Hamburg are more expensive cities than other smaller ones. Here are the average costs (indicative) you can expect to spend in a month while pursuing higher education in Germany:

  • Rent and Utilities: 300-500 EUR (roughly 24,620-41,100 INR)
  • Health Insurance: 100 EUR (roughly 8,200 INR)
  • Phone and Internet: 30 EUR (roughly 2,500 INR)
  • Food: 200-250 EUR (roughly 16,420-20,520 INR)
  • Leisure and Hobbies: 50-100 EUR (4,100-8,200 INR)

Read more on our exclusive blog on the Cost of Studying in Germany!

Scholarships to Study in Germany for Indian Students

Along with having a multitude of public universities providing courses with no tuition fees, Germany has also a varied range of scholarships on offer for students across the globe. Here is a list of prominent scholarships through which you can minimise the costs and to an extent, get free education in Germany:

  • DAAD Scholarship Programs (For master’s and doctorate courses)
  • Deutschland Stipendium National Scholarship Programme (For all programs)
  • The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Scholarship (Doctorate programs)
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships in Germany for International Students (Postgraduate, doctorate and research programs)
  • Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarships (Undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate programs)
  • Erasmus Scholarship Programs (1-year exchange programs) 
  • Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers
  • Bayer Foundation Scholarships (Fellowships in Medical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Agricultural Science, Non-academic professions)

Take a look at our exclusive list of Scholarships for Indian Students

Student Visa for Free Education in Germany

In Germany, applicants need a residence permit or student visa for Germany if they remain for over 90 days as a student. Candidates would be needed to demonstrate to the immigration officer that they have sufficient funds in a Blocked Account for one year, as previously indicated. The monthly payment would be €800 (INR 70876) to €900 (INR 79736) or €10,000 (INT 885956) to €11,000 (INR 974551) per year. A student’s residency permit is valid for a maximum of two years. If the course lasts longer than the specified two years, it must be renewed. After receiving your university admission letter and successfully applying for a German Student Visa, the next and last step is to go to Germany to follow your aspirations and dreams. 

Know more about the Germany Work Permit Visa

List of Countries Giving Free Education (BONUS)

If you think that Germany is the only country that is giving free education to national and international students, then let us allow to break this misunderstanding. Given below is the list of few countries from around the world (including Germany) that are providing almost free education to the students. 

  1. Germany 
  2. Norway 
  3. Sweden 
  4. Austria 
  5. Finland 
  6. Czech Republic 
  7. France 
  8. Belgium 
  9. Greece 
  10. Spain 


Is education free in Germany?

In 2014, there are around 16 state universities in Germany that abolished the tuition fee for all undergraduate programmes as well as some select master’s programmes for domestic and international students.

Why is education in Germany free?

Germany has always believed that education should not be commercialised and this is why the country has a multitude of public universities that provide academic programmes at no tuition fee but only minimal administrative or semester fees.

Which university in Germany is free?

The public universities in Germany offer all undergraduate courses along with some postgraduate programmes at no tuition fees and some of these universities include,
-Bundeswehr University Munich
-Albert Ludwig University
-Karlsruher Institute of Technology
-Dresden University of Technology
-University of Hamburg
-University of Bonn, amongst others.

Can I study in Germany without knowing German?

Yes, one can study in Germany without knowing German as many universities offer varied English-taught programmes in almost every field of study and English is also one of the commonly spoken languages in the country.

Availing free education in Germany while being part of one of the leading universities in the country is a dream for many. If you are planning to pursue a course in the great educational infrastructure of the country but are not sure about how to get started with it then the experts at Leverage Edu can help you choose the right German university that best fits your career ambitions. From helping you complete the admission related formalities to preparing for visa interviews, the counsellors will assist you at every step!

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  1. I want to pursue ms in international business course in english language is it free in germany in english or in german and what all i need to do for that

  2. Iam rom lower middle class family but still i wish to study in germany at less cost.Is my thing is considerable.