Minister presents university reform plan amid protests by Greek students

Some 2,000 university and technical college students protested outside Parliament on Wednesday as Education Minister Constantinos Aravanitopoulos submitted the government’s plan for an overhaul of the tertiary education sector.

The scheme, called Athena after the ancient goddess, foresees the closure of a number of university departments, which has prompted complaints from students and local officials in parts of the country where the institutions are located.

Arvanitopoulos said that the current number of university departments was not sustainable.

He said that they had increased from 334 in 1993 to 534 today.

“All that was needed [for a department to be created] was the desire of an academic and the support of an MP,” said Arvanitopoulos, who added that he was open to suggestions from opposition parties about potential changes to the draft law.

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