Free Education in Germany

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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Study for Free in Germany: Overview

The 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 the viable option.

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.  

Why does Germany Provide 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 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 is the highest charges that students pay, a large burden is reduced by studying in Germany.

Is Education Free in Germany for Indian Students?

There are 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 is quite a complex one 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 quite a little costly as compared to social science programs.

Must Read: Free Universities in Germany

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 Cologne Cologne =311
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich Munich 
Goethe University Frankfurt Frankfurt 
Universität Hamburg Hamburg 214
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Erlangen
Technical University of Munich  Munich  =50
Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg Würzburg
RWTH Aachen University Aachen 165
University of Münster Münster
Ruhr University Bochum Bochum
University of Duisburg-Essen Duisburg and Essen

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 at Public Universities in Germany!

Free Education in Germany: Entry Requirements

To study in Germany, the first thing apart from selecting the university and a course is 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 prerequisites. 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 Germany 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

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Costs to Study 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 Ph.D. 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 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 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

How to Apply for 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. 

List of Countries Giving Free Education (BONUS)

If you think that Germany is the only country that is giving free education to national ans international students, then let us allow to break this misunderstanding. Given below is he 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 fee.

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 language 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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