Every year, when the University of Shanghai publishes a list of the top 500 universities around the world, here in Greece we are sadly reminded of our pitiable failure in this sector. This year, just as in previous ones, only two of the country's 18 universities even made it onto the list of 500. The only encouraging thing to emerge from this is that despite the turbulence which has buffetted the country's higher education system this past year, and despite the efforts of small groups of troublemakers to undermine the higher education institutions, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki have managed to hold on to their positions somewhere in the middle of the rankings. The latest »Shanghai list» is seen by the French press as sounding an alarm bell for their country's higher education sector too, even though a total of 23 French universities are listed. Shouldn't Greeks be as worried as the French, particularly those who strive to undermine any effort at reform in the higher education sector?