NEWS

All options open in education

Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said yesterday that he is open to changes to the law regulating how universities operate as he continues his efforts to ensure that there is as broad a dialogue as possible on impending reforms. Spiliotopoulos met with a group of rectors from several universities yesterday and promised that he would hold talks with each of them individually to discuss what specific problems each of their colleges have. The rectors did not put forward any suggestions on what changes to introduce to the university entrance system, which is at the heart of the current debate. They said that they would be in a position to make proposals after their annual meeting on March 6 and 7. Although the minister’s meeting with the university rectors did not produce any significant breakthrough, the minister began the day by seemingly making a considerable concession to the head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alekos Alavanos. Alavanos has refused to take part in Spilitopoulos’s «dialogue,» demanding more spending on education and that the government repeal the education reforms it passed during its first term in office. He also wants the ruling conservatives to prevent private universities from gaining recognition. In a letter to Alavanos, Spilio-topoulos said that he would ask for more funding for education but that he could not repeal any legislation that has become the law of the land. The minister, however, said that he would consider making «improvements» to legislation. Spiliotopoulos has so far refrained from taking positions on the issue as he wants to avoid antagonizing any of the groups involved in the debate. In a series of radio interviews yesterday, though, he hinted at what his stance might be. «The framework of values involves schools becoming disentangled from exams,» he said. «Exams should not be the one and only chance for students [to get into university].»