Major developments in higher education expected in September

According a high ranking officer of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (ADIP), there will be major developments in higher…

According a high ranking officer of the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (ADIP), there will be major developments in higher education in September, in part due to the serious financial problems faced by the universities.

The ADIP officer revealed that the universities will be forced to carry out mergers and shut down departments, as they face crippling financial problems; the Ministry of Education has committed to cutting 1 billion euros from its budget by 2016, with the ADIP officer hinting that the universities will be faced with the bill.

On Friday the Technical University of Central Greece, which is based in Larissa, announced a suspension of payments, as it has not received any funding for the past five months. The Technical University of Athens has seen its annual budget shrink for 30 million euros to 10 million euros over the past five years.

The Vice Rector of the University of Athens in charge of finances Thomas Sfikopoulos revealed that the University of Athens has seen its budget reduced to 14 million euros, about 70% since 2009 when it was 40 million euros. Mr. Sfikopoulos explained that “every university has different problems” and expressed his concern about the institution’s viability.

The ADIP will have a more active role in education in three years, when a new system of accreditation will be introduced and implemented. From then on the ADIP take over the task of accreditation from the Ministry of Education, with university departments being reviewed every eight years. To that end, the ADIP has sent questionnaires to universities regarding their academic goals and financial planning.

As explained in a recent speech regarding the goals of a possible Parliamentary review, the Prime Minister has also committed to introducing private universities in Greece. This could potentially further complicate matters, particularly if structural problems regarding funding have not been overcome and addressed.

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