NEWS

Private universities split Greeks

Greeks are divided on whether the government should introduce private universities while most businesspeople believe that foreign university degrees have more weight than local certificates, according to survey results released by Sunday’s Kathimerini. Research prepared by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) showed that 38.7 percent of those questioned did not support private universities while 34 percent supported government efforts to allow them to operate. The New Democracy government has said that it will make the changes needed to the Greek Constitution to recognize private tertiary institutions. Critics argue that the measure, which has been backed by PASOK, will create universities which will not be accessible to all students. The study also found that 78.2 percent of businesspeople believe that undergraduate degrees offered by American and British universities have a higher value for jobseekers in the Greek labor market than those offered by local tertiary institutions. The report highlights the sagging credibility of Greek universities. One in two respondents believes that Greek universities fail to adequately prepare students for the labor market, laying most of the blame on the poor quality of teaching and inadequate facilities.