Saturday, September 19

In Greece, Controversial Degree Shake-Up

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Greece is to merge its technological education institutes (TEIs) into universities in a sweeping reform of its better training machine that might see the tiers of hundreds of lots of graduates upgraded.

The government has argued that the changes will create “synergies” and permit all institutions to assist force monetary reconstruction.

But critics see it as a poorly organized reform strive designed to inflate the qualifications and enhance the salaries of many graduates beforehand of a well-known election in October. Greece’s a long way-left Syriza government is presently trailing rivals in the polls.

“It’s a hundred percentage 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.”

They are passed by using 147 votes for to one hundred towards in Greece’s parliament, the u. S .’s new higher training regulation is anticipated to open the door for existing graduates of this 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 very 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.

Kostas Gavroglou, Greece’s training minister, insisted that TEI degrees could not be robotically upgraded. Instead, it would depend on elements along with while 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 school to full university professors. This has been carried out “in a single day, sweepingly, without any evaluation of their credentials,” stated Kindi.

The main aim of the reform became to “gain the help of college students, school and their households related to the technological establishments,” she argued.

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 becomes no longer deemed good enough by way of 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 via by using the authorities. In April, the Senate of Aristotle University warned that the plans lacked feasibility examine and a clear approach.

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

Kinda agreed. “The new 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 haven’t any relation to the profile of the college or the college they’re attached to,” she stated.

Gavroglou countered that in some instances TEIs’ studies record outperformed universities, yet they nonetheless suffered from a public belief that they had been 2nd-magnificence institutions — a situation the mergers might help rectify.

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