A decision by Education Minister Aristides Baltas to abolish the country’s only three English-language undergraduate faculties, in spite of the fact that foreign universities have expressed strong interest in the courses, is to be discussed at a session of university rectors on Friday.
Baltas’s decision relates to the tourism faculties at the University of Crete and the University of the Aegean on Rhodes as well as the Democritus University of Thrace’s classical studies faculty.
Democritus rector Athanasios Karabinis told Kathimerini academic authorities had already sent letters to universities in Switzerland, Russia, China, Australia, Canada and the Middle East and received expressions of interest. The university is chiefly targeting members of the Greek diaspora in countries whose native language is not Greek and who want to enrich their linguistic skills and learn about Greek civilization. Karabinis said he sent a letter to Baltas (photo), stressing that the faculty would be 100 percent self-financed as it would charge annual fees of 3,000 euros to students from non-European Union countries. “Not only will it not burden our budget but it will contribute to it while also giving unemployed academics a chance to work,” he wrote.
Meanwhile the Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (POSDEP) lashed out at the government over a decree issued earlier this week which obliges all state entities to hand over their cash reserves.