EU backs checks on colleges

The European Union supports Greece’s efforts to implement control on private colleges, as it called on the government to apply guidelines that recognize non-state universities, said EU Commissioner for Education Jan Figel. «You can implement terms of operation on private colleges,» Figel told Kathimerini. «However, at the same time you need to apply EU guidelines that recognize the professional rights of graduates from colleges – branches of European universities operating in Greece.» Greece has said it intends to recognize the professional rights of private college graduates in a move that is heavily opposed by the state university community. Students and teachers argue that equating private tertiary institutions with their public peers will harm the quality of education, while the government believes the move will upgrade the sector. Figel added that the EU rules are aimed at helping universities to work together and foster the exchange of students in Europe.