Thousands of senior high school students are due to begin sitting their university entrance exams today but many of them will be left disappointed, as there is a shortage of spaces compared to the number of those applying for a place in tertiary education. Some 91,000 teenagers will start their exams today, competing for just under 70,000 places at the country’s universities. It will come as no comfort to these youngsters that university lecturers yesterday questioned the usefulness of the process. «What good will come of the disproportionate investment that the average student makes when he cannot secure a job at the end of it?» said University of Ioannina lecturer Thanassis Gotovos. «Getting into university is important but we should not ignore the fact that a senior high school student works 12 hours a day, more than an adult, to learn by heart some superficial information,» another lecturer, Christos Constantinou, told Kathimerini. «Even after all this, a student may find himself studying in a department that is far removed from his genuine interests.» Meanwhile, Greece faces further penalties over its failure to recognize the degrees obtained by graduates of private tertiary colleges that cooperate with foreign institutions, after students who qualified as opticians from an Italian institute that worked with an establishment in Athens were denied recognition of those degrees. Diplomas obtained by Greek students who spent part of their coursework at the Regional Institute for Optical Studies and Optometry in Vinci, Italy, have not been allowed to work as opticians in Greece. The European Court of Justice ruled against Greece last December for not recognizing the degrees but sources said lack of action since then means further action may be taken.