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Academic freedom is misunderstood in Greece

24 November 2010 / 15:11:05  GRReporter
10954 reads

I can not imagine someone suited to be an eternal student ...

If the parents are stupid and pay. They spoil their children. There are students who work but they graduate in these cases. What is wrong in Greece is that there was too much emphasis on higher education before and occupation was ignored. Becoming a good builder, good plumber, good fisherman, good technician - there are so many jobs and why pressure on a child with soul to learn and then become official at a bank or public administration? They all want to become scientists here in Greece. There is no sense of so many university graduates –  they are 600 000 including those who have not graduated yet. There are 1 million students and 85 million inhabitants in Germany.

At the end of the year we make a general report based on these reports. We submit the general report to the Ministry of Education so that the Ministry is aware of the first conclusions and therefore it wants to change the system, to improve it. We play advisory role.

Universities and research centres budgets were cut. What will this affect most?

Yes, there are serious cuts because of the financial situation of the country. You are forced to be thriftier, to have better management when there is no money. These are the expectations.

Will there be mergers of colleges and universities?

This is what the Ministry considers but this is not the problem. The point is that they are very scattered. First, is there a need of forty universities? There are universities like Harokopio having 500-1000 students and others like Thessaloniki, which is huge. There are universities like the Crete one that are scattered in hundreds of places.

But isn’t this beneficial for the local people?

Мore grillrooms and cafes are opened up, and more rooms for rent.

But students are provided conditions to deal with their studies – they are close to nature, there are not too many side things to deal with, they have new bases...
Have you seen students who do not deal with other things? No, you have not because they can not have a library as the one in the central university, second - these are not students from the same region. If they were from the same region it would be different. A student from Crete to get to Thrace must pay for transport tickets to travel and to see the family, he or she will rent a room and if the family budget is low - it is difficult. Some have free coupons, but there are costs overall. The only thing that will benefit the local community are grillrooms, cafes and rooms for rent, but this is not economy. You take money from one Greek and give it to another Greek. If these students – the spoiled ones – work and pick olives or fruit and earn pocket money, as do the students from Western Europe, they will help the local community. But the students have to be from the same region - Thracian University to bring students from the region, the Macedonian University and the University of Thessaly too.

What are the trends in higher education?

According to the European Commission and as developments in the world show, if you graduate pharmacy it does not mean that you will do that all your life. And you could study something now and do something else tomorrow. The current trend in Europe is that everyone could change the job 4-5 times which means that you could change the type of work. You could be a chemical engineer, working in a factory as director of production but the director of the enterprise leaves and they say they'll make you the boss. So you need managerial knowledge, not technical. We can not have specific professions at the moment.

The logic of the scheme 3+2+3 (three years for a bachelor's degree, two years for a master’s degree and three years for doctorate), adopted in Bologna, is to quickly get basic knowledge in one direction. This means that diplomas can not be specialized, so that universities should offer a degree of more general knowledge. For example, to get a bachelor's degree in economics you should study enough of administration, economy, advertising. And when you graduate you will decide whether you want to become an economist and do the master’s degree. Diplomas in Greece are very specialized, so we need to limit undergraduate degrees and increase specializations – postgraduate studies.


Tags: NewsEducationUniversitiesStudentsExamsLecturesCollegesMarksLecturers
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