Strikes stall college studies for foreigners

Foreign students at Greek universities are quietly waiting out the tumult over tertiary reform, which has stalled higher education institutions over the past few months. Most of these students – who hail from countries such as Germany, Finland, France, Pakistan, Iran and Poland – have become de facto tourists, since strikes and sit-ins have closed so many universities. Some are here on scholarships to do postgraduate studies, others are on student exchange programs. Some may have to stay for another semester in Greece because of the protracted sit-ins. «I am struck by the intense politicization at Greek universities,» said one. «In my country politics has no place in the lecture theater.» Though foreign students believe Greek tertiary education is good and that the teachers are well versed and the laboratories well equipped, they are stunned at the disorganization. Said one student: «We run around all over the place just to deal with the simplest procedural matters. Nobody gives you the information you need.»