Free university tuition may sound like a worthy model but the question of whether or not it’s the best way to attract and keep foreign talent is never too far from public debate. As Finland’s plans to introduce fees take hold this year, Beckie Smith looks at current and former fee-free countries to see what the future may hold for this ideal.
Student demonstrations against tuition fee hikes have escalated into violent clashes and could lead to year-long campus closures. A government spokesperson has admitted it could deter foreign students.
Universities in Finland will begin charging tuition fees to students from outside the EU and EEA from September 2017, it has been announced. International students must pay a minimum of €1,500 per year to study on any undergraduate or master’s course taught in a language other than Finnish or Swedish.
International student tuition fees in Australia account for almost 72% of total tuition gains at public university level, according to a recent report, sparking suggestions of over-reliance on this revenue.
The University of the West of Scotland could become the first UK university to offer a fee refund to students – including international students – who fail to graduate, in an effort to boost its global competitiveness.
A new bill has been proposed by legislators in Washington state, USA, to add a 20% surcharge to tuition fees for international students starting in the 2013-2014 academic year. Supporters of the bill say it could raise US$60 million over the next two years. However educators fear it will deter foreign students, more than 20,000 of whom studied in the state last year.