As thousands of high school graduates on Thursday rushed to see whether they had made the grade for their college or university of choice, Education Minister Costas Gavroglou came under fire from the opposition for announcing plans for changes to the admissions system.
“The university entrance exam system has repeatedly constituted for the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition an object of demagoguery and cheap populism,” opposition New Democracy’s shadow education minister Niki Kerameos said in response to Gavroglou’s comments on Thursday. “The government must stop treating students and their families as potential votes.”
Gavroglou did not go as far as scrapping the grueling testing system, as pledged by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last year. “The current system must change, but that does not mean we should abolish university entrance exams,” he said following a meeting of the government’s social policy council.
He added that the overhaul would place emphasis on the “radical” senior high school reforms.
According to ministry figures, a total of 104,965 students sat the entrance exams this year, competing for 70,726 higher education spots, and 74,511 passed.
The highest score was achieved by Alexia Katsikoyianni from the western Athenian suburb of Haidari with 19,854 points out of a maximum of 20,000.