Ministry warns colleges to be patient

The Education Ministry yesterday issued a press release warning young people interested in pursuing higher education to beware of foreign colleges without operating licenses advertising themselves as universities purely because they work in cooperation with universities based in other European countries. According to the press release, private colleges do not yet have licenses to operate in Greece. The ministry is due to issue licenses to colleges that have applied for them as of September. «Only after August 31 can [the colleges] start registering students for the new academic year,» the statement said. The ministry also appealed to owners of private colleges «to display a cautious and responsible approach to informing and approaching students and the public in general to avoid misunderstandings.» Last November, Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou riled the directors of private colleges with her decision to revoke 33 licenses, which would have allowed the operation of 40 private colleges, following doubts about the legality of the process by which they had been issued. The licenses had been granted by her conservative predecessor Aris Spiliotopoulos. In April of this year, the country’s highest administrative court paved the way for the recognition of degrees from private colleges, approving a presidential decree that will allow graduates of foreign university franchises operating in Greece to apply for public sector jobs and join professional associations. The ruling by the Council of State brings Greece’s legislation into line with European Union directives introduced three years ago.

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