EDUCATION

Tuition fee hikes diverge further across regions

New academic year brings some pricy surprises to university students across Spain

Differences in tuition fees at public universities across Spain's regions have broadened ahead of the start of the new academic year with hikes ranging from almost nothing at colleges in Asturias and Galicia to 400 euros at faculties in Catalonia and Madrid.

Since the regions were given the authority to set their own tuition fees within a price range fixed by central government, differences had become as large as 100 percent. But from one year to the next, the divergence in what students pay in different parts of Spain has now risen to 136 percent in such fields as architecture and medicine, where the cost in Andalusia is 750 euros while in Castilla y León students have to pay 1,772 euros.

For master's courses, students in some cases are paying 879 euros in the Basque Country while in Catalonia tuition fees have been set at 2,371 euros. Nevertheless, Catalonia has instilled a new policy where fees are based on family income with a maximum cost of 2,371 euros. Many regions are changing even higher fees for students who are repeating courses.

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