University funding to be tied to metrics

University funding to be tied to metrics

University funding will be tied to objective metrics, including performance outcomes, according to a five-pronged blueprint designed by the conservative government to overhaul the country’s chronically dysfunctional tertiary education system.

Greek universities this year received close to 146 million euros in funding for their operating costs, payment of staff on short-term contracts and student meals. Next year, funding will be allocated to universities by means of an algorithm that will take into account a set of objective parameters, including the number of active students per academic program, the annual spending per student and the number of staff on short-term contracts. As of 2022 however, 20 percent of state funding will be tied to performance outcomes in strategic areas chosen by the institutions, such as research activity or the number of overseas students.

According to the same plan, universities will be offered incentives to improve their performance in specified areas. Underperformance will negatively affect their funding status. 

Details on the profile of a university, such as annual figures of incoming students, the introduction of new courses and fresh academic hirings, will be laid out in four-year agreements signed with the Ministry of Education.

Meanwhile, the government plans to take steps to narrow the gap between higher education and market needs and, given the shrinking number of school graduates, examine the impact of demographic trends over the next 10 years.

Universities will be expected to submit their strategic plans by the fall. These will be evaluated by the Hellenic Authority for Higher Education (HAHE), an independent body, before the four-year business plans can be signed.

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