Academics fight back on reforms

University academics are to mount a campaign aimed at preventing the government from passing the reforms it has planned for tertiary education.

Kathimerini understands that professors such as Thanos Veremis, Nikos Alivizatos and Ioakim Gryspolakis are set to lead a public effort to create a debate around the Education Ministry’s proposals, which many in the university community view as backward-looking.

The academics will hold public discussions in various parts of Greece, culminating in an event at an indoor stadium in Maroussi, northern Athens, on May 6. They will attempt to engage with university students who are not members of political parties in a bid to create momentum against the reforms.

Education Minister Aristides Baltas announced last week that the government’s plans include allowing students to play a greater role in electing university officials and the scrapping of independent councils overseeing the running of institutions. Under the coalition’s reforms, students and university staff would be given spots on the institutions’ collective bodies.

The government also came in for criticism on Wednesday from the primary school teachers’ union (DOE), which accused the coalition of failing to consult properly with educators over wider education reforms.

DOE said that it was “enraged” by the government’s “complete transformation” in the three months it has been in power. It accused the SYRIZA-led coalition of going from supporting teachers during their protests while it was in opposition to now ignoring their requests.

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