Foreign students can turn to the Ruhr for various opportunities of higher or further education at university and colleges. Whether purely academic, technological or creative arts, a choice is available.
Students can choose between mathematical, technical, natural or philosophical sciences. Cultural and social studies as well as musical or arts education are also constituent parts of academic life in the Ruhr Metropolis. Furthermore, there are institutions that focus on the effects of science on politics, society and economy.
Studying in Germany has been free for all students over previous decades, a phenomenon which is rare in other countries. Full auditoriums, crumbling premises and a low level of private sponsoring led to the government in NRW to implement tuition fees in 2005. In line with many cities in Germany, nearly every university in the Ruhr introduced charges. Whilst laughable in comparison to many overseas institutions, the € 500 per semester charged was highly disputed and let to student protests.
Monies may have been used for the honorable objective of creating somewhat more independent, leading edge institutions and better quality for students. However, ideology intervened as did election promises and resulting voter swings which led to a return to free studies. The debate remains.