Our Hydra-headed technical institutes

The heads of tertiary technical colleges (TEI) want 21 new departments. The Education Ministry plans to decrease enrollment at city TEIs in favor of those in the provinces, sources told Kathimerini. TEIs in Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus had 2,375 more enrollments for the 2006-2007 academic year than they had originally requested. The ministry will adopt the TEI heads’ proposal and reassign 2,500-3,000 students to provincial TEIs for the 2007 matriculation. The TEI system needs a shake-up, given the number of places and specializations not taken up this year. But none of the proposals made to the ministry have mentioned abolishing any departments. Even where these are problematic due to lack of demand (as with the plant and animal propagation departments), administrators suggest merging departments and creating new ones. In one case (the Kavala TEI), the administration has proposed retaining its very problematic department in Drama, but merging two similar ones in Karpenisi and Karditsa. Other TEIs have proposed departments that are closer to vocational training (such as first aid) than to tertiary education. The ministry, through the Council of Advanced Technical Education (SATE), is aiming at overall rather than piecemeal solutions. It doesn’t want many departments dealing with the same subject, and wants more up-to-date subjects, such as nutrition and food technology, which, however, «may become saturated in a few years,» Athens TEI Vice Rector Michalis Bratakos told Kathimerini. This week there will be meetings for the four disciplines (geotechnical, economy-management, applied technology and health) to examine the following TEI proposals: Western Macedonia TEI wants two additional departments for 2007-2008. It proposes merging two departments (of plant and animal propagation) and creating three new food technology departments. The Kastoria branch wants changes to two departments, adding electronic commerce to the international economies department. Grevena wants two new departments (systems management/logistics and business planning and information systems). The Kozani branch has proposed changes to the subjects studied in two departments. Crete TEI now has 17 departments. It proposes creating five new ones: business planning and information systems at Aghios Nikolaos; information science and mass media at Ierapetra; food production organization and management at Siteia; optics and optometry-occupational therapy at Iraklion; and the renaming of two existing departments. Lamia TEI has seven departments. It proposes founding a new one for ergonomics at Karpenisi and replacing tourism enterprise administration with a commerce and advertising department. Epirus TEI wants four new departments. Three would be in Arta (electronics, medical and scientific instrument technology, and popular and traditional music). It wants to merge the plant and animal husbandry and the ichthyology-fishing departments into one agriculture-biotechnology department. It also proposes merging two departments in Igoumenitsa to make one new department of business administration in Preveza. And it suggests founding a school of health and welfare professionals in Igoumenitsa, with three new departments. No changes have been proposed for the departments at Ioannina. Kavala TEI wants to retain its nine departments but proposes merging the three departments of forestry and natural environment management in Drama, Karditsa and Karpenisi into two, one in Drama and the other in central or southern Greece. Mesolongi TEI has seven departments. Four new ones have been proposed: three in Mesolongi (automation, materials technology, and technology of civil engineering), and one at Nafpaktos (medical systems technology). Patras TEI has a total of 14 departments, in Patras, Pirgos, Amaliada and Aigion. The administration proposes five new departments for information systems processing, first aid, computer science, digital systems and e-marketing, and trade and advertising. Ionian Islands TEI administration wants new subjects taught in existing departments. It would retain six departments (two each in Argostoli and Lixouri) one on Zakynthos and one on Lefkada. It proposes adding diet and nutrition to the organic farming department at Argostoli and marketing-advertising to the public relations department (also in Argostoli). It wants to rename the Lixouri department of sound technology and musical instruments as the musical production department, and add logistics to the business administration department. In Zakynthos, the administration wants to change the name of the ecology and environment department to environmental and ecological technology, while the Lefkada department of computer applications in administration and the economy would called computer science. Larissa TEI would retain its 10 departments and proposes adding the subject of biological applications to the animal husbandry department.