Interest in private universities gains traction

Interest in private universities gains traction

A private equity fund with a strong presence in the international higher education sector and a Spanish university are reportedly in the frame of those interested in investing in private Greek higher education.

Given that a Cypriot institute of higher education has already announced its plans to do so, the announcement of the institutionalization of non-state higher education has piqued interest.

The National Authority for Higher Education will play a key role in the licensing of the proposals submitted, but many issues are still under development.

Kathimerini understands that the Education Ministry plans to present the relevant bill around the end of 2023 or early 2024.

The moves by foreign institutes of higher education and funds have caused turmoil in the market for Greek private colleges operating as branches of European universities as the industry believes it will be “strangled” by competition.

However, crucial issues such as how students of foreign universities will be selected and what evaluation process will be used to recruit lecturers remain to be clarified.

According to high-ranking ministry officials, the selection of students will be based on the system followed by the parent university and not on national examinations, as is the case in public Greek universities.

The same will happen with the selection of lecturers, as well as the percentage of lecturers holding doctoral degrees.

The National Authority for Higher Education will assess whether each proposal for a non-state university meets the academic conditions, as well as the financial conditions, for the viability of the institution.

At the same time, each file will have to include a specific plan for the development of facilities and infrastructure, “to avoid universities in a rented apartment building.”

As it has already stated, the government plans to institutionalize non-state universities via transnational agreements. The legal basis of the political decision is Article 28 of the Constitution, which facilitates the “circumvention” of Article 16 of the Constitution, which prohibits non-state institutes of higher education.

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