The motive? The lawmakers concluded that charging tuition and fees is "socially unjust," according to the Administrative Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Christopher Denhardt.
What should those legislators have expected would be the market response?
- Nationally, demand for the product (a college degree) would rise, as more German students take advantage of the "freebie."
- Internationally, demand for the product would also rise, as the number of foreign students flooding into the market to take advantage of the "freebie" would also rise.
- With structural limitations, the number of classroom buildings and dormitories would need to be increased. Additional capital would be required.
- With personnel limitations, the number of professors would need to be increased. Budgets would need to increase.
All of this is entirely predictable, using the most elementary of supply/demand, market models.
But, to those who are extremely concerned about matters like "social justice" and remediating "social injustice," reason shouldn't be allowed to interfere with genuinely passionate and heartfelt concern about such issues.
Natasha Bertrand writes in Business Insider that the law has had the effect of increasing student access to college:
- Demand in German higher education has risen dramatically, not only for domestic students but also for foreign students. In the 2013-2014 academic year, both enrolled in German colleges in record numbers.
- Due to limited capital budgets, funding the construction of additional classrooms has presented serious challenges.
- Due to a limited pool of qualified professors, finding, training, and paying new professors presents additional challenges.
- Housing at German colleges, which are receiving 400k new students annually but have only 230k places for them, is compounding the challenges unleashed by legislating this "freebie."
Again, all of this was entirely predictable, using the most elementary of supply/demand, market models.
But perhaps what's worst of all is who's going to be stuck footing the bill for all of that expansion of Germany's system of higher education in response to the "social injustice" of charging those who consume the product. Yep, the German taxpayer is going to pay for that "freebie."
Now, that's a real lesson in how to "right" a social injustice, isn't it?
Let the discussion begin...
To read Christopher Denhart's article in Forbes, click on the following link:
"There Is No Such Thing As A Free College Education."
To read Natasha Bertrand's article in Business Insider, click on the following link:
"Why Germany's Free College Education Is Actually Not That Great."