In the wake of reports of a spike in crime on the grounds of universities and at student accommodation complexes, Education Minister Costas Gavroglou has set up a committee of experts to “study issues relating to academic freedom, peace and lawlessness on university grounds.”
The 12-member committee is to be led by former justice minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos, an honorary law professor at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, and includes several academics as well as representatives of the Greek judiciary and police force.
The committee will be tasked with drafting plans and proposals for the interior, education, justice and health ministers as to the best possible enforcement of the asylum law, which effectively bans police from university grounds, while protecting academic freedom.
Members of the committee will be permitted to conduct inspections on university grounds, subject to the approval of the institution’s rector.
In comments to Kathimerini on Tuesday, Paraskevopoulos stressed that the committee’s role would be advisory, and that it would not interfere in the running of universities.
The move by Gavroglou came a day after an Athens University academic called on the institution’s authorities to stop to what he called unprecedented violence and crime at a student accommodation complex in Zografou and various faculties.
University authorities stepped up security at the Zografou complex on Tuesday, Kathimerini understands, with guards patrolling the area in a car.