With its dual education system resting on the principle of unity of learning and research, and the emphasis on apprenticeship, the German higher education system has played an important role in shaping an economic environment wherein individual and collective responsibility, practicality and innovation are the drivers of change and progress.
German Universities have had a great allure for students from all over Europe (and beyond) for at least the last couple of centuries. One only need check which universities, up until a hundred years ago, most of the Nobel Prize Laureates were associated with, and the likes of Heidelberg and Tubingen would figure among the most prominent.
Although the vast majority of courses offered by German universities are predominantly German taught, there are, due to a growing demand and a steady rise in the influx of foreign students, various universities that are switching to English taught courses, today numbering a total of over 350 university courses taught in English. These courses, offered across the spectrum of disciplines, are internationally recognized, a fact which lay to rest whatever concerns foreign students may have about the validity of their degrees earned in Germany.
The vast majority of universities and colleges in Germany are state-financed, thus making the tuition fees at these institutions highly subsidized. Until fairly recently, higher education in Germany was virtually free - the tuition fee would be entirely waived for all students. However, some changes have taken place in this regard recently; a relatively low tuition fee is now charged (the amount, rarely exceeding €500 per semester, is set by respective Federal States) on the excuse of it being necessary to maintain the facilities and the general quality of services. With tuition fees significantly lower than in most other developed western countries and with many student benefits and discounts available across the board, the total living costs for students in Germany can be kept well below €1000 per month.