University entrance law to be scrapped

Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou yesterday heralded the abolition of a law requiring senior high school students to get at least a 50 percent mark on their university entrance exams so that they can go on to tertiary education. During a session of the Cabinet, Diamantopoulou presented a raft of proposed reforms to the education sector, ranging from changes to the way that teachers are hired to the abolition of the entrance exam law. The previous New Democracy administration had changed the law, thereby obliging pupils taking university entrance exams to get 10 out of 20 (the maximum mark), in order to qualify for a place at university. The proposed reform would revert to the old system according to which a minimum grade is not required and all available places at tertiary institutions are filled. Diamantopoulou is also planning to introduce a new evaluation system for universities, following a decision last week by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, ruling that degrees from private colleges be fully recognized. The aim of the evaluation system is for the state to ensure that all colleges meet certain minimum requirements. The bill Diamantopoulou presented to her peers yesterday also proposes changes to the appointment of schoolteachers who henceforth can only be hired after sitting examinations set by the Supreme Council for Personnel Selection (ASEP). Another planned reform for higher education foresees the development of an electronic system for the more efficient distribution of course material to students.

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