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Depending on how cheap that may not be such a bad thing. You are effectively having a "real job" from 25 (if a slightly worse paid one than in industry), and most importantly you get the PhD without accumulating any more debt. This is an important factor in equality and recruitment meaning not only those that can afford grad school will do it.

It's europe, there's not that much debt.

In e.g. Sweden (that has this PhD system), the max student debt allowed (unless you go to a private lender which is more or less unheard of) is for 5 years full time studies. Meaning you already "maxed out" your student debt before starting tour PhD.

In Sweden PhD positions tend to pay around the median wage for a first job out of university.

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