A southwest state in Germany has announced plans to reintroduce tuition fees for international students from next year, in an attempt to fill a funding gap.
The minister of science, research and the arts, Theresia Bauer, has announced plans to charge €1,500 a semester to international students outside of the EU studying at institutions in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
“We would have a negative impact on our welcome culture, internationalisation and professionalism”
The fees are planned to be introduced at the start of the next academic year, to help fill the government department’s €48m funding gap.
The World University Service, a network of non-governmental organisations in the fields of education, said in a statement that it is “strongly opposed” to the request to implement tuition fees for international students.
“I am very surprised that the minister of science, Theresia Bauer, is trying to compensate for the budgetary constraints of the “Green-Christian Democratic Union government” by means of study fees, instead of fighting for a significant increase in its budget rate,” said Kambiz Ghawami, chairman of the World University Service.
“The Green-CDU coalition agreement of May 2016 affirms clearly that the Green-CDU government will not introduce a general fee for studying,” said Ghawami. “[This is] no longer valid six months later.”
In 2014, tuition fees for international students in Germany were phased out.
“With study fees for international students, we would have a negative impact on our welcome culture, internationalisation and professionalism,” said Ghawami.
“International students enrich our country and provide highly skilled immigration – whether as future professionals in this country or as friends and ambassadors of Germany in the world.”