Non-Greek colleges in for grilling

Foreign colleges offering university degrees in Greece are to be subjected to strict inspections to ensure that they conform to the same basic standards as other universities, Education Ministry sources said yesterday. The initiative comes ahead of an anticipated European Court ruling against Greece for its failure to adopt EU legislation requiring that member states recognize degrees from foreign colleges. Ministry sources say that it will be very difficult for some 45 such colleges in Greece to be recognized on the same level as Greek universities because many reportedly do not have adequate infrastructure, including vital resources such as libraries. In many cases, staff employed at these colleges are not insured by their employers, the same sources said. European Commissioner for Education Jan Figel, recently told Kathimerini in an interview that Greece is obliged to recognize colleges operating as franchises of foreign universities in Greece but that it is free to determine the terms under which these colleges should operate.