Colleges urged to compete globally

A draft law for the reform of the higher education sector will allow Greek universities and technical colleges to follow the example of foreign colleges and attract thousands more foreign students, a senior Education Ministry official has told Kathimerini. Greek colleges and universities already accommodate about 9,000 foreign students. But thousands more could be attracted if these institutions start offering pre-degree studies (also known as access courses), as foreseen in the new bill, senior ministry official Athanassios Kyriazis told Kathimerini. He noted that most other European countries already had joined a global trend of «globalizing» their higher education sectors. Many academics agree that Greek institutions should start evolving to draw in more students interested in pursuing their studies, and possibly also their careers, in Greece or the broader region. «Greek universities can become competitive on the global level,» said Grigoris Prastakos, the dean of the Athens University of Economics and Business, citing the MBA International course offered by his institution as an example of an appealing course for foreigners. Of the 9,000 foreign students currently enrolled in Greek universities and colleges, the most – 1,552 – are from Albania. The next largest number – 445 – are from Bulgaria with 440 from Germany, 277 from Russia and 273 from Syria.

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