Big week ahead for tertiary education

The coming week will be crucial for the country’s universities as a number of key issues are expected to be settled ahead of elections for rectors in July.

Newly appointed Education Minister Andreas Loverdos is due to meet with council presidents from all the country’s universities and technical colleges on Monday to discuss the issue of transfers, over which they are at odds with the ministry, which wants to make it easier for students from families with low incomes to study closer to home.

The universities argue that raising the ceiling on the number of transfers each institution can approve per year may lead to significant drops in student numbers at institutions on the islands or in remote parts of the country.

“Many departments at institutions on the periphery will no longer be viable, while existing problems at central universities will be exacerbated,” the rector of the University of the Aegean and president of the Council of Rectors, Paris Tsartas, told Kathimerini.

Administrators from all of the country’s institutions have until Monday to present a list with their staffing needs to the general secretary for education, Athanasios Kyriazis. New appointments for teaching or administrative staff will be announced by August 10.

Also this coming week, the Education Ministry is expected to publish a list of candidates for admission into the country’s universities and technical colleges following national entrance exams last month.

Meanwhile, administrative staff at one of the country’s biggest institutions, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), yesterday said that they will be extending their strike, already at the end of its second week, to include Monday. They are protesting their inclusion into a labor mobility scheme that may see them losing their jobs. However, the NTUA did say that it will participate as scheduled in the election for a new rector.