Debateon tuition fee has been a pertinent issue in the global educationsector. Literally, the term is used to refer to cash paid bystudents to cater for their studies. In some countries, particularlyin Africa and Asia, the fee is paid from the lowest to the highestlevel of education (Johnstone, 2014). However, some countries haveadopted free primary education initiatives to relieve parents andguardians the burden of tuition fee at primary level. In Europe, thetuition fee is a feature that comes in the picture, both atundergraduate and postgraduate levels. Countries like Germany havecompletely done away with the issue of tuition fees at all levels ofeducation. Scholars in the education sector will pose questions, likeis it really practical to do away with tuition fee at all levels, andis it really working in countries that have done away with it, likeGermany? This paper will focus onthe history of tuition fee and argue out the benefits that come alongwith the implementation of such fees at various education sectors.
Tuitionfees in Britain.
Likeother European countries, tuition fee in the United Kingdom is onlyimposed on the undergraduates and postgraduate students. The idea offunding for personal tuition within this level of studies was madecompulsory in 1998 by the labor government (Parmela, 2015). Studentswere required to pay up to $1000 annually to cater for their tuition.Standardized tuition fee across the United Kingdom came to a haltwhen devolution of the national administration took its course andmember countries, within the Kingdom like Wales and Scotland,formulated specific policies on the education system.
Structuresset up, after the enactment of Teaching and Higher Education Act of1998, ensured that fees paid were in line with the total earnings ofthe family (Parmela, 2015). Human rights could stage protests incases where the government cut down the fees on richer families andincreased on poor families. Devolution also impacted on tuition feesfor instance, in states like Scotland, maintenance grant wereintroduced making education even more expensive. Generally, a numberof fees issues rose in almost every devolved state due to eitherprice increases rates or the procedures that were put in place. Everincreasing fees in England have led to fierce protests like in Londonfollowing the Browne Review, which raised the fee to $9000. Effortsby legal systems to reduce the amount have not borne fruits.
Tuitionfees in Germany
Therevolutions in Britain have prompted scholars to benchmark on ways onhow to bring the situation under control. British researchers haveturned their eyes on Britain they are ever wondering how the priceof education is ever increasing in their country while Germany canafford to provide education at undergraduate level for free. Theycompare their similarity in the level of wealth and conservatism andwonder why they are unable to ape Germany’s academic system.
How and why Gerhard Schroder coalition administration of the socialdemocrats did away with the feature it is not clear. The Germanylegal court in 2005 lifted the ban on the tuition fees, and the courtargued that the move curtailed the operations of the regionalgovernments (Johnstone, 2015). Basing on this declaration, sevenuniversities started charging 1000 Euros annually. According to them,the fees will make them soar and make other universities follow thetrend. The move was unpopular leading to protests among students,which provided a foundation to the Social Democratic and GreenParties that scrapped off fees in all the states that they ascendedto power. They asserted that fees interfered with the aspect ofproviding equal opportunities and such extremes were unacceptable tothem. The party leader, Horst Seehofer, argued that it wasunnecessary to pay and yet they were not sure what and how the cashwas spent. The idea of free education is only half true today sinceat some level students are asked to pay administration fee whichranges from 150-250 Euros.
Importanceof tuition fee
Theimportance of paying tuition fees is brought out clearly in theGoldsmiths University of London on how they use their tuition fees.Goldsmith’s administration argues that tuition fees made up to 60%of their total income during the 2013/2014 academic year almost 11%up from what they had made the previous year (Stephen, 2016).
Theadministration further argues that the fee play a key role inimproving infrastructure in fact, the surplus of what is paid hasbeen reinvested in the infrastructure within the University.Facilities have been improved to suit the experiences of thestudents, teachers, and even outsiders who visit the school.
Thefee has also been used to venture into research activities within theUniversity for instance, the University boasts of hosting the UnitedNations investigation unit on the legality of the drone technology(Stephen, 2016). Other researchers in the recent past have presentedfacts on how nutrition and IQ relate at early stages of childrendevelopment. Tuition fees also come in hand for the maintenance ofthe subordinate staff within the learning institutions. Such moveshave facilitated the smooth running of administration activities.
Institutionsare also in the quest to attract gifted students from all over theworld this is only possible by the introduction of bursaries,scholarships program, grants and waivers as generosity packages forsuch students.
Fromthe above discussion, it is evident that there are many benefits oftuition fees. Nevertheless, for such benefits to be achieved theremust be clear manifestos and structures to facilitate accountabilityand transparency in the handling of cash. Scraping off the fee hasled to detrimental effects on the level of education a key exampleis Germany, which is unable to attract students from other EuropeanUniversities for post graduate programs following their its decisionto do away with tuition fees.
Johnstone,B. (2014). Tuition fee policies in Comparative Perspective. Journalof Higher Education,29,25-40.
Parmela,N. (2015). CollegeSpending.Chicago: Chicago University Press
Stephen,L. (2016). Benefitsof Tuition Fee.London: Goldsmith University Press.