OPINION

Supply and demand

The recent decision by a European Parliament committee approving the automatic recognition of degrees offered by «franchises» of foreign universities in Greece has resurrected the debate about whether university education should be provided exclusively by the state. It is clear that the dominating trend in the European Union will, sooner or later, pose questions about the existing situation in our country. And such developments are being pushed by the owners of these colleges, as well as their graduates and existing students. The government of ruling PASOK has entrenched itself behind the relevant constitutional provision, but its policy is nothing more than a rearguard action. And this is not because some people are pushing for the establishment – directly or indirectly – of privately run universities, but because the vast majority of state universities fall way below the mark. The shining exceptions do no more than emphasize the shortcomings of the rule. So the main aim should be to readdress the major problems in higher education with the aim of implementing bold reforms to our existing system. Despite the increase in the number of admissions to universities and technical colleges, there is a strong demand for post-high school studies which on the one hand leads to many pursuing their studies abroad and on the other boosts the foreign university franchises in Greece.