Roughly four in 10 students listed on the enrollment records of the Aristotle and Macedonia universities in northern Greece have failed to report dropping out formally or to get their degrees in more than eight years.
According to a report on the local Voria website, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has 76,628 registered students, of which 43,051, or 56 percent, have been registered for the past seven years. The remaining 44 percent are considered so-called “eternal” students, meaning that they have been enrolled for more than double the standard four-year degree term and have stopped attending classes, without formally declaring that they’re dropping out.
The Aristotle also has an additional 7,766 postgraduate, 4,364 doctoral and 242 post-doctoral students.
The situation is slightly better at the University of Macedonia, where the number of registered students is 17,385, of which 60 percent are considered active.
The discovery emerged after the institutions submitted their enrollment records to the Education Ministry in order to qualify for a portion of some 7 million euros being given in emergency funding to the country’s universities.
The ministry is reportedly mulling a strict cap on the number of years students can be registered at a university without completing their degree.