Foreign advice for uni reforms

High-ranking academics from other European countries are to join their Greek counterparts for a conference on higher education reforms to be chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou, sources said yesterday. The foreign guests are to include the eminent and experienced academic and Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education in Portugal Jose Mariano Gago. He and other experts are to advise Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou on how to open up Greek universities to foreign students, make the institutions more self-sufficient and evaluate them to ensure a basic standard of quality. Gago, a former member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, told Kathimerini that «independence is crucial for state universities, as is their evaluation.» He said universities should receive funding according to their excellence, noting that this would be an incentive for academics to strive for higher standards.