Several public universities in Germany offer free-of-cost education to international students. Some of these universities are the Technical University of Munich, Ludwig Maximillian University Munich, University of Tubingen, University of Kiel, among many others.
Do you know about the free universities in Germany? International students who wish to study in Germany will be delighted to learn that some public universities do not charge any tuition fees. Students just need to spend a nominal amount for semester contribution fees to study in these German universities.
Germany has become an attractive study destination for international students due to the low cost tuition fee structure of German universities. In addition, the country has an excellent industrial interface and provides world-class facilities. Let us now explore some of the free universities in Germany.
Table of Contents
- Tuition-Free Universities in Germany
- Who can Study for Free in Germany?
- Why do Public Universities in Germany not Charge Tuition Fees?
- Tuition Fees at Private Universities
- Cost of Living in Germany
- Scholarships in Germany
Tuition-Free Universities in Germany
It is important for students to know that no tuition fee does not mean any fee at all! In Germany, universities and colleges require students to pay specific fees such as semester Fees, student union fees, semester passes, registration & application fees, and even social contributions. The following is a list of tuition-free universities in Germany, along with the details of the semester fees charged by each of these universities:
|University||Approx. Semester Fee (In EUR)|
|Technical University of Munich||144.00|
|Ludwig Maximillian University Munich||144.00|
|University of Kiel||120.00|
|University of Tubingen||135.00|
|University of Ulm||160.00|
|University of Stuttgart||165.00|
|RWTH Aachen University||200.00|
|Dresden University of Technology||250.00|
|Johannes Gutenberg University||270.00|
|University of Bremen||273.00|
Technical University of Munich
The Technical University of Munich is among the top German universities and ranks 53rd in the world. Approximately 5000 international students attend the university each year. Over the years, it has been selected multiple times as the best university in Germany due to its high educational standards. Additionally, the Technical University of Munich is a member of a highly regarded group of German research institutes called the TU9. The alumni of this university have consistently been recognized as leaders in their fields.
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Ludwig Maximillian University Munich
LMU was founded in 1472 and is the second-highest ranking university in Germany. It is ranked among the top 100 universities around the world. The alumni list of Ludwig Maximillian University Munich includes over 40 Nobel laureates. This university offers free-of-cost education and has over 50,000 matriculated students, making it one of the largest universities in terms of the number of students.
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University of Kiel
Located in Schleswig-Holstein, the University of Kiel is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country. The university has been a member of the German Universities Excellence Initiatives since 2006. According to CWUR World University Rankings, it has achieved a global rank of 233 and a national rank of 19. Kiel has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and emphasizes research-oriented teaching and learning.
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University of Tubingen
The University of Tübingen is among the most renowned research universities in the world. It is consistently ranked by numerous international ranking organizations. The university currently employs nearly 4,900 scientists and researchers, many of whom are world-class experts. The University of Tubingen offers multiple academic programs at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral levels for international students. These programs are provided in a variety of disciplines, such as medicine, law, theology, economics, etc.
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University of Ulm
The University of Ulm is among the top public research-driven universities in Germany. The major areas of study are medicine, engineering, economics, computers, and natural sciences. The university has a student population of 10,284. 23 undergraduate programs and 38 postgraduate programs are offered at the university. Students can choose from various subjects in these programs in line with their areas of interest. In addition to this, the University of Ulm participates in various exchange programs with more than 200 universities worldwide.
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University of Stuttgart
As one of the leading technical universities in Germany, the University of Stuttgart has a global presence. In terms of research, it views itself as a university-based, non-university, and industrial research centre. In addition, it aims to ensure quality and holistic teaching, with a focus on research-based learning. The university is actively engaged in the transfer of knowledge and skills to society, both in its core capacities and in emerging fields.
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RWTH Aachen University
With an enrollment of over 40,000 students, RWTH University is one of the most highly regarded technical universities in Germany. More than 140 courses are offered at the university. While it is predominantly a technology-oriented university, it offers a range of courses in arts, medicine, business, and humanities. Since the university abolished its tuition fee policies in 2011, students can study at this university for free.
Dresden University of Technology
The Dresden University of Technology is a leading university in Germany for academic excellence. The origins of this prestigious university date back to 1828, when the Royal Saxon Technical School was established. The university combines technical education and humanities. The Dresden School has an interdisciplinary approach and offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and certificate courses.
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Johannes Gutenberg University
The Johannes Gutenberg Universität (JGU) in Mainz, Germany, is ranked among the best public universities in the country. According to the QS Global World Rankings 2022, it is ranked 427. It is among the country's most diverse and largest institutions of higher education. JGU hosts national conferences and international symposia on a wide range of academic topics, attracting a large number of students and scholars from around the world.
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University of Bremen
This medium-sized institute in Bremen, Germany, enrolls around 20,000 students. It provides over 100 programs for both undergraduates and graduates. The university has 2,300 academic and research staff members. In addition to this, the University of Bremen is a part of Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE), which is devoted to creating a new model of higher education in Europe based upon research-based learning.
Read More: University of Bremen
Who can Study for Free in Germany?
Tuition-free education is available in Germany to everyone! The country offers free tuition to all citizens - Germans, Europeans, and non-Europeans. It applies to almost all academic programs offered by public universities. However, there is one tiny catch: you will need a residence permit if you are from outside the EU, and you will also have to complete your studies in Germany.
Why do Public Universities in Germany not Charge Tuition Fees?
Germans believe that education is not a commercial product and that free access to higher education makes an important contribution to the social welfare and economic growth of the nation.
In the past, public universities in Germany were allowed to charge very modest tuition fees, usually around 1,000 euros. Due to public protests, most universities eliminated tuition fees for students in 2014. Currently, Germany has very few public universities that charge tuition fees.
Tuition Fees at Private Universities
The private universities of Germany, just like the other renowned universities across the globe, charge tuition fees from both local and international students. Private German institutions offer specialized courses in order to compete with free education.
For Indian students, an average program at a private university in Germany costs between 1,21,000 INR - 28,30,000 INR, plus about 200,000 INR for accommodation.
Cost of Living in Germany
It is quite affordable to live in Germany, but the costs vary from one city to another. The cost of living in large cities like Munich, Frankfurt or Hamburg is higher than in smaller towns. The table below provides a basic overview of typical living costs for students in Germany:
|Category||Estimated Average Cost Per Month (In Euros)|
|Rent and Utilities||300 to 500|
|Food||200 to 250|
|Books and Stationery||30|
|Phone and Internet||30|
|Recreation||50 to 100|
Scholarships in Germany
Besides the fact that studying in Germany is affordable due to its moderate living costs and low tuition fee, international students can also benefit from scholarships provided by most German universities. Listed below are some of the top scholarships available to international students to study in Germany:
|Name||Maximum Amount Per Student|
|BrokerFish International Student Scholarship||1,000 USD|
|The Financial Sumo Educational Scholarship Program||1,000 USD|
|Global Study Awards||10,000 GBP|
|Central Sector Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship||33,800 USD|
|Go Clean Scholarship||3,500 USD|