Free Education

Free education (or subsidized education) is education that is provided at no cost to students. Although primary school and other comprehensive or compulsory education is free in many countries, the Nordic countries are all examples of countries where education is free all the way up including post-graduate studies. In Sweden and Finland, there is not even a fee for foreign students enrolling at a university (exchange or not), although they may not be eligible for the monthly study allowance and loan most nationals are.

Several other European countries, such as England and Germany, have had a history of some forms of free education, as well as Australia. In the 1970s the Australian Labor Party led by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam introduced reforms which ensured free tertiary education. These reforms were removed later in the 1980s by the Bob Hawke Labor government. Students and radicals played an important part in forcing the Whitlam government to implement the free education system as well as opposing the introduction of tertiary fees in the 1980s.

Nowadays, as for many parts of the world outside Scandinavia, free education usually comes to students in the form of scholarship and grants, if they cover all or most of students' expenses while at school. Patrons for grants and scholarships may be individuals, institutions (often the school itself), advocacy initiatives, etc. They may have economic (e.g. tax-deductibility), humanitarian, charitable or religious reasons.

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