Decades after universities all over the world set out to link their academic and research programs to private enterprise and innovation, Greece is trying to follow suit by subsidizing PhD theses on topics of interest to local enterprises.
The European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Fund, Greek enterprises and the Education Ministry will provide 36 million to finance the research of 249 PhD students. The EU fund will provide 14.94 million, a sum that will be matched by Greek enterprises; the ministry will provided the rest, a little over 6 million.
“Greece is one of the countries that face the greatest difficulties in linking education to the job market and the transition of young people from education to employment,” the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The high level of youth unemployment, the brain drain, and declining technical education and skill acquisition are symptoms of the difficulty to integrate the young into the labor market… Despite the high level of scientific achievement in Greek universities, there is little interaction between academic and corporate research at the doctorate level,” SEV added.
For decades, interaction between the private sector and Greek universities suffered from the prevailing ideology in academia that linking learning and employment was suspect, with knowledge put at the service of greed and profit.
“We had this ideological fixation that education was wholly detached from the market, according to which we study exclusively to become better people. Those industry-specific PhDs are the answer to those outdated world views,” Angelos Syrigos, deputy minister of education and religious affairs and an academic, told Kathimerini.