Deans meet on tertiary reforms

A scheduled meeting between university deans in Athens today could sway academics split on the government’s controversial tertiary education reforms, sources said yesterday. One group of rectors strongly opposes the reforms and has requested more time to discuss the issue. Another group, which held a highly publicized meeting with Education Minister Marietta Giannakou on Thursday, says it welcomes the proposals and wants a relevant draft bill to be published. Meanwhile, PASOK’s withdrawal yesterday from parliamentary talks on reforms to the Constitution threw more turmoil into the discussion. The Socialists had initially supported the changes but said yesterday that they do not want to participate in talks to change the Constitution – something which the tertiary reforms allowing the operation of non-state universities require if they are to become law. Today, the country’s Constitution only allows the operation of state universities. Student groups will also gather outside the deans’ meeting in Kifissia in northern Athens today to make their voices of protest heard. Students have currently shut down 319 university faculties across Greece to protest the reforms. The action could disrupt the exam period for the semester.

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