“An understandable and appropriate decision”

Universities of applied sciences commend decision to forgo tuition fees for international students in NRW

Universities of applied sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia are welcoming the official decision to not introduce new tuition fees for non-EU international students, announced today by Minister of Science Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen. Tuition fees had been previously listed as a possibility in the coalition agreement signed by the currently governing parties CDU and FDP. Prior to making this decision, the NRW Ministry of Science spend the past months studying the effects of this decision on the state of Baden-Württemberg, which introduced tuition fees for non-European students in winter semester 2017-18.

“Forgoing these tuition fees is an understandable and appropriate decision that spells relief for us universities,” explained Professor Dr Marcus Baumann, Rector at Aachen University of Applied Sciences and chairman of the State Rectors’ Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia. “We always feared that these changes would lead to an imbalanced cost-benefit ratio due to a sharp rise in administrative costs. Baden-Württemberg’s experiences only confirmed this fear. Beyond that, however, we saw that tuition fees for non-EU students would undermine and oppose the politically-driven internationalisation efforts of our universities in the past years,” explained Baumann the universities’ positions on the issue.

“We are very pleased that tuition fees are off the table and that the government has also pledged to increase quality improvement funding for universities by more than 50 million euros. This funding will benefit students directly, not only in terms of teaching quality, but also in improved conditions for studying at universities in North Rhine-Westphalia. It’s very good news for NRW universities,” said Baumann. Dr Oliver Locker-Grütjen, President of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, also welcomed the move. “This decision is particularly important for us as an international university and provides additional breathing room for our future development,” stressed Locker-Grütjen.