Countries that offer free higher education

Published: Wednesday, July 10 2013 2:26 p.m. MDT


With rising tuition costs, some states such as Oregon, Washington and California have begun experimenting with how they fund public universities.

Oregon in particular has recently made headlines for a new proposal to wave tuition fees in favor of a 20 year post-graduation payment plan.

They aren't the first to experiment tuition free education, however. Many countries, particularly in Europe, subsidize higher education, allowing them to wave tuition fees.

Here's a list of 10 countries known for offering a free college education.

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
New York, NY

Unfortunately, even someone like Robert Reich has proposed:

"Eliminate tuition and fees for public higher education, and require instead that students pay 12 percent of their earnings for the first 12 years of their full-time employment into a fund that finances public higher education. . . . , and no one would begin paying until they're working full time."

Sounds like a needlessly "capitalist" approach to educating the public, when what we need is to re-examine the issue in terms of publicly subsidizing the education of America's future workforce.

Other countries understand that education is a public good all around and therefore their approach involves government support in the bargain. And none of them is a “communist” or “socialist” country.

Why can’t we in America prioritize human needs as a public good and subsidize them through tax revenues, which go right into the pockets of consumers, who then turn around and spend what they get, buying goods and services, which creates economic demand, generates jobs and more taxpayers, and positions us in the direction of prosperity instead of debt and decline?

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