Bid to tackle campus violence
Hopes for a breakthrough in tackling an upsurge of violence on university grounds have received a boost with the new leadership of the Panhellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (POSDEP) telling Kathimerini it is ready for talks with the Education Ministry aimed at stopping the abuse of university asylum. Heralding seven measures to kick-start broad-ranging talks aimed at breaking the deadlock in universities, POSDEP’s new president distinguished the association’s position from that of the previous administration, which had been dominated by left-wing groups reluctant to cooperate with the ruling party. «All political forces must condemn reprehensible acts of violence and threats wherever they come from,» Nikolaos Stavrakakis said. He condemned those who «under the cover of asylum… hinder the free elections of university bodies and interrupt university teaching and research.» POSDEP’s vice president Socrates Katsikas stressed that enforcing the asylum law was not only the responsibility of university communities but of the state too. «We cannot expect everything from the deans,» he said. The seven «policies of intervention» agreed by POSDEP members include «re-establishing channels of communication with the Education Ministry,» working with the National Education Council and cooperating with the council of university deans. POSDEP also wants a role in planning university research programs and promoting the cooperation of Greek institutions with others in Europe. The association also intends to push for more government funding and better organization of universities as well as joining a debate about the reorganization of senior high school teaching and university entrance examinations.