A decision by the Education Ministry on Tuesday to grant operating licenses to 30 private colleges while rejecting the applications of another 10 institutions has provoked angry reactions from professors at Greek universities as well as representatives of the rejected institutions, it emerged yesterday. The Panhellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (POSDEP) and the Federation of Technical College Professors (OSEP) said they were planning to take legal action against the foreign universities collaborating with the colleges in Greece that are seeking to operate as franchises. The two unions, which fear the operation of private colleges in Greece will result in the devaluation of degrees from their own institutions, are also considering taking out an injunction to stop registration at private colleges, sources said. Meanwhile, sources at the ministry told Kathimerini that the 10 firms which had their applications to set up private colleges refused now had three options: They can start operating as private vocational colleges, which are ranked below universities, they can close down, or they can start preparing a fresh application to set up a new private college for the 2011 academic year. The ministry’s decision to rebuff 10 colleges will also create problems for students who are already registered with them. The students will be obliged to continue their studies at the foreign university with which their particular college had been collaborating. Otherwise, they can continue studying at the same college, which will, however, be downgraded to the status of a private vocational college.