French eye Greek postgrad market

The debate over whether to change Greece’s Constitution to allow private universities to operate in the country was overtaken by events yesterday as France’s famed Paris-Sorbonne University said it wants to work with a Greek partner to provide students here with postgraduate courses from next year. Kathimerini understands that the head of the Sorbonne, Jean-Robert Pitte, met with representatives of 10 private colleges in Greece to discuss the possibility of setting up a franchise offering six postgraduate degrees in marketing, advertising, communication, information technology, journalism and law. More than 50,000 Greeks are currently studying abroad and the Sorbonne is looking to convince some of these students to continue their education in Greece. «The cost of studying in France is quite high for Greeks,» said Pitte. The Sorbonne’s move met with mixed reaction in Greece. «I do not think the Sorbonne’s move will have a dramatic effect on Greek tertiary education,» said the rector of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, Constantinos Moutzouris. «The Sorbonne’s decision is a positive one, which displays the trend for cooperation between institutions in the tertiary education sector,» said the head of the Hellenic Colleges Association, Constantinos Karkanias. «Greek universities should view things from this angle, leaving behind the insularity they have displayed so far.»