Study programs abroad remain popular
Queues of Greek school graduates formed this month in front of the colleges and universities of Western countries, with hopefuls seeking information on studies abroad after having failed to gain admission to a Greek university of their choice. Greece has managed to hang on to the dubious distinction, earned over the past few decades, of having the highest number of students studying in other EU member states (and is among the top five in the world). According to statistics by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there are more than 55,000 Greek students abroad. Greece also has the highest proportion of students outside its shores, 5,257 per million of population. Malaysia comes in a distant second, with 1,777 young people per million of population studying abroad. Roughly half of these Greeks are studying either for their first degree or for postgraduate studies, with England first, followed by France, Germany and the USA. The number of students studying in Eastern Europe has dropped over the last few years, to around 5,000 in the past academic year. In addition, many Greek students choose to study the subject that interests them at Greek «liberal studies colleges» that collaborate with universities abroad, either sitting for their degree in Greece or beginning their studies here and completing them at the university collaborating with the Greek institute. However, the Education Ministry does not officially recognize these degrees, except as a professional qualification. This means graduates cannot continue their postgraduate studies at a Greek university, and, in some cases, find the doors shut to them in the public sector. Kathimerini gives basic information on studies abroad and the cost of living in countries traditionally chosen by Greek students.