Germany: Universities face funding fears as states scrap fees

    Tuition fees for German students are being abolished in many states, only a few years after being introduced

     

    The German university fee system is on the brink of collapse after another state confirmed it would abolish charges for students following a change in local government.

     

    The city of Hamburg – a state in its own right – will follow the lead of several other states that have scrapped fees since last month's elections saw Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats ousted by the centre-left Social Democrats.

     

    A spokesman for the Social Democrats said: "Tuition fees keep young people from low-income families from studying and are socially disruptive."

    North Rhine-Westphalia announced it would scrap fees earlier this month, and once Hamburg follows suit only three of Germany's federal states – Baden-Wüttemberg, Bavaria and Lower Saxony – will continue to charge.

     

    Universities in England are poised to raise their fees to as much as £9,000 a year after a controversial vote was pushed through the Commons last year.

    German universities fear the U-turn over fees will leave them facing dramatic shortfalls in funding.

     

    Read the full article by Alexandra Topping in the guardian.co.uk, published Tuesday 15 March 2011