Tuition-Free Universities in Finland, Norway and Germany in 2021

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Due to the availability of Tuition-Free Universities, Finland, Norway, and Germany are some of the most popular European destinations for international students. But what draws students to these countries? Their free-tuition programs, high-quality standards of education and institutions, and the value universities put on research and practical training.

Together, Finland, Norway, and Germany offer more than 500 Bachelor’s and 2,100 Master’s degree programs. The quality of their study programs is verified by global rankings, which list schools from Finland, Norway, and Germany among the best in the world.

It is crucial to distinguish between the best tuition-free universities in Finland, Germany and Norway so as to decide if they are the appropriate choice for your foreign study adventure.

Below, we’ll elucidate on who can study for free in these nations and we’ll give examples of some of their Tuition-Free Universities. As a bonus, we have also added the average acceptance rates (if we could find appropriate data).

1. Tuition fees for international students in Finland

Who doesn’t pay tuition fees in Finland?

State-owned universities in Finland are split into regular universities and universities of applied sciences. They are all Tuition-Free Universities for scholars coming from EU/EEA nations and Switzerland.

Non-EU/EEA scholars enrolling in English-taught degree programs are expected to pay tuition fees. Still, study programs delivered in Finnish or Swedish are free for all foreign students.

The lowest tuition fee set by the Finnish government is around 1,500 EUR annually for Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, but most study programs charge tuition more than this amount.

Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students who enroll at public Finnish universities range from 5,000 to 15,000 EUR per year, with the University of Helsinki being the most expensive institution. Private universities usually charge higher fees.

Ensure you also take into consideration the costs of living while studying in Finland. The average costs range between 700 – 1,300 EUR per month and they also hinge on your spending habits. Of course, expenses can be greater in Helsinki.

Tuition-free universities in Finland for EU/EEA students

  • University of Vaasa – 10% acceptance rate
  • University of Helsinki – 17% acceptance rate
  • Tampere University – 9% acceptance rate
  • University of Turku – 10-20% acceptance rate
  • University of Jyvaskyla – 10% acceptance rate
  • Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT University)

2. Tuition fees for international students in Germany

Who doesn’t pay tuition fees in Germany?

For both undergraduate and graduate degree programs, you can school abroad for free in state-owned German Tuition-Free Universities. This is commonly true for international students globally, inside or outside the EU/EEA zone.

The only fees needed are called “administrative fees”, which cost around 100 – 350 EUR per semester, and they cover student services, student cafeterias, bus tickets to the university, and more.

The Federal State of Baden-Württemberg is an exception. At the end of 2017, it made the decision to introduce tuition fees for non-EU/EEA nationals. You will also have to pay tuition at any German state-owned university if you follow a Master’s or PhD in a subject that is not linked to your previous studies.

Privately-owned universities in Germany charge greater tuition fees which span between 1,000 and 40,000 EUR per year.

Living costs in Germany are around 750 – 1,100 EUR per month but can be more in bigger cities like Frankfurt or München.

Universities that offer tuition-free Masters in Germany

  • RWTH Aachen University – 10% acceptance rate
  • University of Mannheim 
  • University of Cologne 
  • University of Stuttgart – 70% acceptance rate
  • University of Hamburg

3. Tuition fees for international students in Norway

Who doesn’t pay tuition fees in Norway?

Like Germany, Norway is one of the few nations with free education for all foreign students, whether they come from EU/EEA nations or not.

Scholars are only required to pay a semester fee of 30 – 60 EUR for the student union. The student union fee covers sports and cultural activities, health and counseling services, all held on campus.

At privately-owned universities, both national and foreign students are required to pay tuition fees. In comparison with other European nations, private universities in Norway are less expensive, with tuition fees ranging between 7,000 – 19,000 EUR per year.

You will require around 700 – 1,400 EUR for monthly living expenses in Norway. In Oslo, you will require around 2,000 EUR per month. 

Tuition-free universities in Norway

  • University of Bergen – 29% acceptance rate
  • NHH Norwegian School of Economics – 10% acceptance rate
  • Nord University – 25% acceptance rate
  • UIT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences