University transfers in doubt after process canceled at two departments

The transfer of thousands of university students between institutions has been put in fresh doubt after the Council of State suspended the process at the architecture departments of Athens and Aristotle universities.

Education Minister Andreas Loverdos played down the court decision, stressing that it only applies to two schools and not the whole scheme, but the move has left thousands of students and their parents wondering whether their transfers might be ruled illegal.

The government relaxed restrictions on transfers this academic year in a bid to help parents who would have difficulty covering the cost of sending a child to another part of the country to study. But the measure has threatened to backfire as some universities have reported overcrowding in certain departments.

The Council of State is not due to give a final decision on the appeal against the transfers launched by the two architecture departments until February.

In the meantime, students will have to complete their first semester at the institution to which they were originally admitted.

As a result of the reactions from universities, the government is aiming to draft a new law governing transfers between institutions. It is likely to introduce limits on the number of students that can transfer to each department based on how many people are already studying there and how many teaching staff there are.