HughPickens.com writes: BBC reports that Germany has abandoned tuition fees altogether for German and international students alike and more than 4, 600 US students are fully enrolled at Germany universities, an increase of 20% over three years. “When I found out that just like Germans I’m studying for free, it was sort of mind blowing, ” says Katherine Burlingame who decided to get her Master’s degree at a university in the East German town of Cottbus. “I realized how easy the admission process was and how there was no tuition fee. This was a wow moment for me.” When Katherine came to Germany in 2012 she spoke two words of German: ‘hallo’ and ‘danke’. She arrived in an East German town which had, since the 1950s, taught the majority of its residents Russian rather than English. “At first I was just doing hand gestures and a lot of people had compassion because they saw that I was trying and that I cared.” She did not need German, however, in her Master’s program, which was filled with students from 50 different countries but taught entirely in English. In fact, German universities have drastically increased all-English classes to more than 1, 150 programs across many fields. So how can Germany afford to educate foreign students for free? Think about it this way: it’s a global game of collecting talent. All of these students are the trading cards, and the collectors are countries. If a country collects more talent, they’ll have an influx of new ideas, new businesses and a better economy. For a society with a demographic problem — a growing retired population and fewer young people entering college and the workforce — qualified immigration is seen as a resolution to the problem as research shows that 50% of foreign students stay in Germany. “Keeping international students who have studied in the country is the ideal way of immigration, ” says Sebastian Fohrbeck.”They have the needed certificates, they don’t have a language problem at the end of their stay and they know the culture.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.