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In Greece, Controversial Degree Shake-Up

by Lisa A. Yeager

Greece is merging its technological education institutes (TEIs) into universities in a sweeping reform of its better training machine that might upgrade hundreds of graduates’ tiers. The government has argued that the changes will create “synergies” and permit all institutions to assist in forcing monetary reconstruction. However, critics see it as a poorly organized reform designed to inflate the qualifications and enhance the salaries of many graduates before a well-known election in October. Greece’s a long way-left Syriza government is trailing rivals in the polls.

“It’s a hundred percent political,” said Loukas Vlahos, a physics professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki who has publicly criticized the changes. There’s no question in my mind.” One hundred forty-seven votes passed to one hundred in Greece’s parliament. The U.S.’s new higher education regulation is anticipated to allow existing graduates to upgrade their tiers to complete college qualifications.


This will permit those employed via the authorities, where pay is related to qualifications, to command higher salaries, said Vlahos. “It’s going to devalue the degrees of those who have [undertaken] great efforts to get into prestigious colleges,” he stated. Universities normally require higher exam rankings for entry than this, he explained.

One newspaper estimated there might be 400,000 such upgraded graduates, said Vasso Kindi, an assistant professor of philosophy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. One hazard is that those running for the government will ask for backdated pay improvements to mirror their degree enhancements, she said.

Greece’s training minister, Kostas Gavroglou, insisted that TEI degrees could not be robotically upgraded. Instead, it would depend on the elements and graduates studied, he stated, with the precise criteria labored out over the next six months.

Another challenge of critics is that the mergers have promoted TEI schools to full university professors. This has been carried out “in a single day, sweepingly, without any evaluation of their credentials,” stated Kindi.

She argued that the main aim of the reform was to “gain the help of college students, schools, and their households related to the technological establishments.”

Gavroglou informed Times Higher Education that even though TEI faculty would become university professors, they could be barred from obligations like Ph.D. supervision if their file is no longer deemed good enough by college evaluation committees.

Had the mergers developed out of dialogue among universities and TEIs, they may be “affordable,” Vlahos said. However, they had been pressured by using the authorities. In April, the Senate of Aristotle University warned that the plans lacked feasibility examination and a clear approach.

“We in no way noticed a complete plan,” stated Vlahos. He warned that the reforms would “break” Greece’s technical education structures and pressure them collectively with its studies-oriented universities.

I agreed. “The newly enlarged universities locate themselves with several new departments whose academic packages are not approved and are nearly unknown. They may overlap with existing departments. They may not have any relation to the profile of the college or the college they’re attached to,” she stated.

Gavroglou countered that TEIs’ studies record outperformed universities in some instances. Yet, they nonetheless suffered from a public belief that they were second-magnificence institutions—a situation the mergers might help rectify.

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