The number of students taking postgraduate courses in Greece has more than doubled in the last five years, according to figures made public yesterday 24 hours after the government proposed allowing universities to cooperate more with foreign institutions and businesses. The data from the Education Ministry show that there are now some 25,000 postgraduate students compared to 12,000 in the 2002-3 academic year. The number of courses has also increased from 233 to 435. There is now one postgraduate student for every 15 undergraduate students in Greece. The government said that its proposal on Tuesday, regarding giving greater flexibility to universities over their postgraduate courses, was in reaction to the huge leap in students extending their studies. «We are trying to resolve issues that have developed because of the increase in postgraduate courses,» Education Ministry special secretary Athanassios Kyriazis told Kathimerini. «At the same time, we are trying to make postgraduate courses more flexible, while retaining checks and transparency,» he said. Education Minister Marietta Giannakou yesterday underlined that at the moment the government has put the proposals to the National Educational Council and is not about to change current legislation. Giannakou added that the proposals did not include the wider application of fees for postgraduate students.