Bid to give universities autonomy

Bid to give universities autonomy

As part of the center-right government’s plans to overhaul Greece’s higher education system, and basically roll back changes introduced by the former leftist administration, plans are in the works to introduce university councils, Kathimerini understands.

According to the provisions, which are to be fleshed out in legislation by the end of the year, each university would have its own council which would oversee various issues related to admissions, the operation of the faculties as well as financial management.

The government aims to reach out to universities for their opinions on the planned reform with Education Minister Niki Kerameus due to meet Wednesday with Deputy Education Minister Vassilis Digalakis, who has been tasked to cover the higher education sector, and members of the country’s council of rectors.

The discussion is expected to focus on four key areas, Kathimerini understands: boosting the autonomy of Greek state universities, embracing international best practices, improving the institutions’ organizational flexibility and reducing bureaucracy.

As a top ministry official told Kathimerini, “the debate will be based on the new international academic environment but its aim is for reforms to be arrived at after consensus with the universities themselves, which will be called upon to respond to the challenges of this new environment.”

New Democracy has been very critical of the previous government’s reforms in the education sector, accusing it of reverting to outdated models of teaching and lowering the quality of higher education by merging universities with technical colleges.

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