“Should education be free?” This has been a debatable question with a complicated and unclear answer among students and parents. Although the high cost of education is insignificant in primary level, with the advent of higher education, it can be clearly seen how high the education fees are. So, most people are worried and doubted whether their children can seek higher education even though they have graduated from high school. According to the description of the Education Data Initiative about the estimated cost of undergraduate college by country (2021), the tuition fees of colleges are doubled compared with the living expenses. For instance, in Sweden, the college cost is $9500 – $39000 where the living cost is $18400 per year (Hanson, 2021). Thus, even if an outstanding student, he cannot go to university or college without proper money. This is the reason why the governments of most countries lose previous human resources. If the university education is free, this can not only produce the qualified younger generations, but the improved society and boosted economy will be a bonus.

There is no doubt that free higher education can improve the productivity of the students and provide full-fledged generations. Although there are many student loans and financial aids, students always have to think about how to amortize these costs instead of generating ideas to upgrade their skills and expertise. When students don’t have to worry about their financial situation, they can focus on their studies and put full attention and their energy to their education. Moreover, with free education fees, students have a chance to choose the major that they’re really interested in. Some students go to affordable universities and choose the major which is best matched with their financial efforts in place of their interest. According to the saying of Steve Jobs: “People with passion can change the world” (Gallo,2011), having enthusiasm and interest in the study can force the students to boost their creativity which will enable the innovations of the future world. Therefore, days should be gone when the high cost of university is an obstacle for most students. Students deserve free higher education to follow their dreams and passion that can lead them to contribute to the community and become an asset to the country.

Along with the qualified students, free education can enhance the society from positive sides. The more educated the people, the better the society because a well-educated society can spread awareness and stand on the right side. When higher education becomes free, even the poor families can go to universities and colleges, so the problem-solving skills, decision making skills and other knowledge they learned from these universities and colleges will solve the social problems happening in today’s world. As an example, the explosion in the children population. The cause of this problem is inadequate family planning and lack of education about birth spacing. When the number of educated people increases, this problem will be automatically solved in 80 percent. Moreover, free education as the incarnation of equality and empowerment will lead to an equal society. Additionally, people with higher education can understand well about the situations in politics, economics and important fields, and as such, they can participate in different fields and become a great supporter of the country. Thus, if every student can have access to free higher education, they can create a better society from every aspect including economic growth.

Due to the direct proportion of productivity and education, free higher education can drive economic performance well. When the workforce is filled with highly educated people, the economy can improve rapidly. Now, automation and robotics are replacing low-skilled laborers. So, if the education is still expensive and students cannot go to higher education, the rate of unemployment will increase and increase and this will become the burden of the employers. On the other hand, with the advances of technologies, the workplace of the economy needs the high-skilled people to handle these technologies. With the access to free higher education, students can learn how to manage and control rapidly changing technologies. If so, the productivity of the workforce which will give more benefits to the growth of the economy can improve dramatically. Besides, when people graduate with debt, it will take years to get out of this debt, and after this, they have to try to buy houses, cars and luxury things. If students don’t have to pay the fees of the education, they don’t need to worry about spending money for these things that can increase the demand. The higher the demand, the better the cycle of economic activity is. With a strong economy, a country will be well developed and can give welfare to poor families. Therefore, free higher education plays an important role not only in the economy but also in changing a country from developing situation to developed country.


Although free education can contribute to positive effects in every aspect, there are still lots of questions against free education. The first one is when universities and colleges are free to everyone, where can they get the costs of the students? Clearly, the taxes. There, they will ask if they would be forced to pay more that colleges and universities are free. It is possible to give free education if every citizen will pay the full amount of taxes. For example, the United States is losing $1 trillion in unpaid taxes every year (Rappeport, 2021). If there is no unpaid tax, this $1 trillion can contribute to giving access to free education for every student. Everyone should invest in small things that can bring a big change.

Regarding the quality of education, free higher education will have a negative impact on the worth of a degree. When everyone has free access to education, they will consider the education as less valuable and they will never know the quality of education. Every university will be defined as things that are easily accessible. However, there is no university that doesn’t check academic performances and doesn’t have entrance tests. Every university sets up strict rules about the acceptance rate and exam systems. If a student understates the quality of higher education and thinks he can easily graduate, he will be wrong. Without the trail, there will be no degree even though education is free to everyone.

Expanding free access to higher education should be a priority of a nation as it can enhance the generation to become qualified, double up the progress of the society and boost the economic growth. Although there are some worries like the support for the cost of students and the quality of education, a well-designed free higher education plan will solve these barriers. Free higher education may have a short-run cost where it will provide significant benefits in the long-term. To build a better world, free higher education is the only thing that has potential to shape a well-equipped workforce.

14 thought on “Should Higher Education be Free?”
  1. Higher education is for the rich in Myanmar.
    Myanmar, which had previously had a low level of education, has now dropped to the lowest level after two years off.We must work together for equal access to education in the future
    To have a better university in the future, we need good governors to have a better university.

  2. According to my experience,most of the university students in Myanmar are affordable to educational costs.And if you study hard,you don’t need to attend tuition.This is only my opinion and there may be other cases of student’s financial problems.Thanks for sharing this topic I didn’t think about before.

  3. Most of the people in Myanmar are ordinary people and they can’t really afford for their higher education. If we can make a change free education for higher study, it will lead to a better society. Many young people will become educated person and they will make Myanmar great again. Hope we could get free education for our higher study after this bad situation gone. Anyway, thanks for sharing this interesting content. I really enjoy reading it.

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