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Germany: NRW confirms tuition fee proposal

The coalition CDU-FDP government in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has confirmed its intention to reintroduce tuition fees for non-EU students.

Germany: North Rhine-Westphalia confirm tuition fee proposal for non-EU studentsUniversity of Cologne. Photo: Flickr/AStA Uni Köln

Students from non-EU countries will be required to pay €1,500 per semester

Last month, the Christian Democratic Union in the state published its coalition agreement for 2017-2022 with the Free Democratic Party outlining the plans.

Fees are being introduced to improve the teaching quality and study conditions in the state, which require additional financial resources, the party has said.

“The coalition agreement aims to improve the student-to-teacher ratio and to increase the financial resources”

However only students from non-EU countries will be required to pay the €1,500 per semester fee.

At the same time, the coalition agreement says that students from developing countries, refugees and people with special needs or social hardship will be excluded from the policy and provided with scholarship programs.

The proposal to reintroduce tuition fees is also earmarked as an additional means for the state’s 2017-2021 Higher Education Agreement, which provides universities in NRW with €250m for securing and boosting its financial framework.

“The coalition agreement aims to improve the student-to-teacher ratio and to increase the financial resources,” Ministry of Culture and Science spokesperson Verena Hoppe commented. “The plan is to reintroduce tuition fees for non-EU countries, which will be oriented on the model in Baden-Württemberg.”

The state of Baden-Württemberg reintroduced fees last year for non-EU students which excludes refugees, international students who earned their Bildungsinländer qualification in Germany, students from non-EU Erasmus member states, those with permanent residence in Europe and existing non-EU students.

The future of tuition fees in the NRW, however, is contingent on the approval by parliament. Universities in the state said they are waiting for the policy to be voted on in the coming weeks before they react.

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