The government will press ahead with the recent legislative changes affecting the operation of Greece’s universities, but changes to student entry procedures will be decided during the government’s next term, said Education Minister Marietta Giannakou yesterday. Speaking on state television, the minister said the changes would be implemented despite opposition to the reforms. «People want changes in matters which they consider to be wrong and have left us (universities) behind even though we have the ability to be the best,» the minister said. «We have hit rock bottom as far as the profile of universities is concerned,» she added. The conservative government pushed an amendment through Parliament last month as part of efforts to improve the competitiveness of the country’s universities at an international level. Greece is the world’s second-largest exporter of university students, on a per capita basis. Changes include stricter regulation of state funding for universities, time limits for the completion of student degrees and a tougher evaluation system for universities and professors. Responding to recent criticism aimed at the Education Ministry following the introduction of a sixth-grade history book, the minister said she could not understand what all the fuss was about. «If we start intervening like this with all books, it would not be right. Political and personal aspirations would then get in the way,» she said. The Church of Greece as well as certain historians and journalists have spoken out against the book for glossing over key events in Greek history, while some have even called for it to be scrapped.