Share of higher education students in Europe paying fees

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Share of higher education students in Europe paying fees (2017/18)

European countries differ significantly in the level of public expenditure allocated to higher education.

They also follow different approaches to requiring contributions from private households (students and/or their families), as well as to the financial support provided to students during their studies. ‘No fee for home and/or EU students’ policies (no fees regardless of cycle, study status or field orperformance) can be found in four countries while universal fee policies are applied in twelve countries.

However, details of fees alone provide insufficient information to understand the policy approach. The combination of fees with financial support tools is crucial to understand the country’s policy reality, and these combinations may be numerous. All 42 systems provide at least one type of direct supportmechanism (grants and loans) and half of them also provide indirect support (family allowances and tax benefits).

To assess the potential immediate effects of fees and support policies on full-time first cycle higher education students themselves, Figure 1 shows how governments distribute higher education fees among students, and how widespread grants actually are (the fee and grant amounts are not considered here).

While grants are only one form of support, they are the most common form ofstudent support in Europe, and arguably the most significant in influencing students’ perception of their financial security during studies. They also demonstrate direct investment in students by governments.

Who pays fees ?

This annual report shows how fee and support systems (including grants and loans) work in higher education in Europe.

It provides both a comparative overview of fees and financial support available to full-time students in 2017/18, and also includes individual country sheets outlining the main elements of national systems.

In particular, the publication describes the range of fees charged to national, EU and international students, specifying the categories of students that are required to pay and those who may be exempt. Similarly, it explains the types and amounts of public support available in the form of grants and loans, as well as tax benefits and family allowances where applicable.

The report focuses on fees and support in public or government-dependent private higher education institutions for short cycle, first cycle (Bachelor level) and second cycle (Master level) programmes, and does not cover private higher education institutions.

Information covers the 28 EU Member States as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.

source: Eurydice

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