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Research conducted in European countries serves as a worrying reminder of the always-increasing costs of higher education and its consequences, advising governments to think carefully in what direction they want their higher education systems to head in the years to come. A survey financed by Push.co.uk in the UK, signals that student debt rose by 9.6 percent compared to last year. UK students are likely to owe more than GBP 17 500 by the time they graduate. This would significantly delay the time when the so-called “generation debt” will be able to buy a house or to start a pension fund, as the students will have to primarily repay their student debts.
Similarly, a report on the social background and access to higher education in Germany, of the Deutsches Studentenwerk, signals that increasingly more school-leavers in Germany are choosing not to study because of financial hurdles, parents’ income being a decisive factor in career planning. Currently, only six Länders are still charging fees in Germany. While it is not very clear whether their introduction in some Länder has determined student migration to tuition-free institutions, 26 percent of the interviewees that choose not to study said they could not afford the fees.