Professors planning college suit

The two unions representing university teachers and technical college professors have joined forces and are planning legal action to block the recognition of private colleges that have received permits to operate in Greece as franchises of foreign universities, it was revealed yesterday. The appeal, prepared by the Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (POSDEP) and the Federation of Technical College Professors (OSEP), reportedly calls for the revocation of permits granted by the Education Ministry to 41 different colleges. «Our initiative is an intervention in the broader sector of education and training and aims to guarantee a boost in the quality of courses in the broader post-secondary school field of education,» a joint statement by the two unions said. According to sources, the appeal is backed by a legal team headed by an eminent Athens law school professor and is due for submission to the Council of State – the country’s highest administrative court – before the end of this month. In their appeal, the academics reportedly focus on a legislative provision that allows Greek private colleges to negotiate contracts with European universities, meaning that inspections and evaluations can only be carried out by the «mother» university and not by the Greek ministry. Sources told Kathimerini that POSDEP is even considering the possibility of appealing to judicial authorities in the countries where the foreign universities cooperating with Greek colleges are based. Meanwhile, professors and students alike say they will resort to protest action if the permits are not withdrawn.