Universities facing serious risk of malfunction

State universities have been left without funding, and without leadership, due to protests by students and professors against the enforcement of a new law aimed at improving academic standards through better evaluation and the appointment of new rectors.

According to a law passed last summer, university rectors must withdraw from their posts by August 31. But due to widespread opposition — both at the academic level and among student unions which traditionally wield a strong influence — there has been no leadership change in any state universities (although 10 of the 14 technical colleges have made the switch). As a result, no universities have a budget for this year as the funding must be approved by a newly elected university senate.

The rector of the University of Ioannina, in northwestern Greece, Triantafyllos Albanis, said the situation was already desperate.

?Universities have started accumulating debts to suppliers and to utilities,? he said.

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