University is highest of priorities

Higher education ranks first among young people’s priorities and values, due to the impact of education level on employment. Twenty-one percent of students work regularly. Thus being a student helps to find work. The more diplomas one has, the less the danger of unemployment. Moreover, a higher level of education leads to greater independence from the family, the need for the meson, or inside contact, and official employment services. The small proportion of young people (3.8 percent) who find work through the Manpower Organization (OAED) tend to have been educated up to senior high school level. In addition, the more educated the young person, the more important he or she is likely to find education. Equally, they are also more likely to work toward finding solutions to social problems through societies or voluntary work. Such percentages are still small in Greece, but if any people do engage in public issues, it is young people with postgraduate studies. It is therefore logical that the number of young people in education is constantly rising, with the result that it has overshot the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) average as far as the participation of 15- to 21-year-olds in education is concerned. That does not mean that the school dropout rate has ceased to exist. A significant percentage of pupils continues to drop out of school and enter the job market without qualifications. For compulsory education, the dropout rate (11-15.5 percent) is near the EU average, but in higher classes, it is well above the average, with 44.2 percent of 17-year-olds dropping out of school, as against an EU average of 16.3 percent. A significant number of students in higher education also abandon their studies, either because they have to work or because they study in another city and the cost of sustaining them is too much for the family. Of the 100,000 students that live in cities far from their parents, 16,000 students abandon their studies. The average Greek student/internal migrant costs their family between 5,500 and 7,000 euros a year (560-600 a month) for food and accommodation. Only 8 percent live in student accommodation.