Universities aghast at new schools opening

University officials have decried the government’s decision to open two new departments at the same time that funding for the tertiary institutions continues to be slashed.

It emerged that the government has given the go-ahead for an architectural school, Greece’s seventh, to open at Ioannina University and an environmental engineering department to be set up in Kozani.

The decisions were published in the Government Gazette on July 23. Sources close to Education Minister Andreas Loverdos said the wheels had been put in motion by his predecessor, Constantinos Arvanitopoulos.

“We have often expressed concern about the creation of a seventh school when the needs of the existing six are not covered,” the dean of the architectural school at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Eleni Maistrou, told Kathimerini. “Due to the reduction in funding we cannot maintain our equipment, let alone renew it.”

Greek universities have seen their funding drop by up to 80 percent since 2009.

“It is a shame that at such a time instead of moving towards joining forces and strengthening the schools that already exist, new schools which may face staffing problems and whose graduates may not find jobs are being put into operation,” said NTUA architecture Professor Dimitris Isaias.

The new school in Ioannina will need 12 teaching staff. The university recently lost 48 of its 288 administrative staff.