Which countries provide free education at a university level?

Jacob Zuma will be leaving the ANC with one hell of a task to complete. The outgoing president is doing everything he can to ensure free education is made available to South African university students.

His plans are controversial, to say the least. He hasn’t yet revealed the sources of funding for the project, which will require billions of rand to make feasible. Despite the nobility of the plan, Zuma is being criticised for ‘cynically timing’ the announcement too.


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However, free education is something that works in other countries, dotted all across the world. It’ll be a scary leap into the unknown for South Africa, but they won’t be on their own. Here’s a list of every other country that provides free university tuition:

Which countries provide free education at university?
Argentina
Austria
Brazil
Czech Republic
Denmark
Egypt
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Iceland
Kenya
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Morocco
Norway
Panama
Poland
Scotland
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Turkey
Uruguay

Where can university students go for free?
In total, 24 countries provide free tuition. Sixteen of those nations are based in Europe. Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina are the three South American countries that do not require fees for tertiary education.


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Panama are the only North American country on the list, whereas free university education is also a tough commodity to come by in Asia. Malaysia are the continent’s sole provider. South Africa would become the fourth African country to embrace the free education model, after Morocco, Egypt and Kenya.

Will South Africa’s free education include international students?
For any prospective students looking to make a life for themselves abroad, we’re afraid most countries have caveats. Only five countries will accept international students onto their free courses: Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg and Panama.

France, Slovenia and Sweden do offer free tuition to foreigners, but that only stretches as far to EU members. South Africa’s free education plans are to tackle the country’s own poverty issues, and it is not likely the offer will be extended to international students.


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