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Greece:Higher Education

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Overview Greece

Contents

Greece:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Greece:Historical Development

Greece:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Greece:Political and Economic Situation

Greece:Organisation and Governance

Greece:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Greece:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Greece:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Greece:Organisation of Private Education

Greece:National Qualifications Framework

Greece:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Greece:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Greece:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Greece:Funding in Education

Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Greece:Higher Education Funding

Greece:Adult Education and Training Funding

Greece:Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Primary Education

Greece:Organisation of Primary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Greece:Assessment in Primary Education

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Greece:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Higher Education

Greece:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Greece:First Cycle Programmes

Greece:Bachelor

Greece:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

Greece:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Greece:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Greece:Adult Education and Training

Greece:Distribution of Responsibilities

Greece:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Greece:Main Providers

Greece:Main Types of Provision

Greece:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Greece:Teachers and Education Staff

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Management and Other Education Staff

Greece:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Greece:Management Staff for Higher Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Quality Assurance

Greece:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Educational Support and Guidance

Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Greece:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Greece:Mobility and Internationalisation

Greece:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Mobility in Higher Education

Greece:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Greece:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Greece:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:National Reforms in School Education

Greece:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Greece:National Reforms in Higher Education

Greece:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Greece:European Perspective

Greece:Legislation

Greece:Institutions

Greece:Glossary

Higher Education policies

The first Greek University was established in Athens in 1837. Other Universities subsequently established throughout Greece during the 20th century. In recent years, the organisation and operation of Universities has mainly been defined and regulated by article 16 of the Greek Constitution, in force since 1975, with subsequent partial revisions.  According to article 16 of the Greek Constitution, higher education is public and exclusively provided by Higher Education Institutions, which are Legal Entities under Public Law, enjoying full self-administration and academic freedom, while they are subject to state supervision and financed by the government.  State supervision is carried out by the Minister of Education.

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Greece have the following mission:

a) To promote knowledge through research and teaching, to prepare students to use the acquired knowledge at their professional life and to boost arts and culture. 

b) To offer higher education and to contribute to lifelong learning using modern teaching methods (distance learning included) on the basis of high quality scientific and technological research which follows international criteria.

c) To develop students’ critical thinking and skills, to take care of their integration into the labour market and to create the appropriate conditions for the emergence of new researchers.

d) To correspond to the labour market needs and to the country’s development needs as well as to promote the knowledge dissemination, the optimization of research results and of innovation focusing on the scientific ethics, sustainable development and social cohesion.  

e) To promote cooperation with other Greek or foreign institutions and research organisations. To promote student and stuff mobility contributing this way to the construction of the European Higher Education and Research Area. 

f) To create responsible citizens, capable of facing all human activities demands with scientific, professional and cultural sufficiency as well as to respect values such as justice, freedom, democracy and social solidarity.

Higher Education sectors

In Greece, Higher Education is divided into two sectors: the University Sector and the Technological Sector.  Higher Education University Sector, which includes the Universities, the National Technical Universities and the Higher School of Fine Arts, aims at establishing, producing and developing science and technology, achieving our country's future scientists’ high level, comprehensive, theoretical and applied training while promoting and developing scientific research.  Higher Education Technological Sector aims at developing the scientific and technological research and at providing programmes of more applied character.

The mission of University and Technological Sectors Institutions comprises the following: 

a) The University (Panepistimio) gives emphasis to high quality education according to the demands of science, technology and arts taking into account the international scientific practice and the corresponding professional fields.

b) The Technological Educational Institute (TEI) (Technologiko Ekpaideftiko Idryma) and the School of Pedagogical and Technological Education/ASPETE (Technological Sector Institutions) give emphasis to high quality education as well as to the applied character of science, technology and arts. In this framework they promote the development of the appropriate theoretical background together with the development of high standard practice.  

For the accomplishment of their mission, all institutions are organised and operate based on the following principles: 

a) freedom in teaching and research,

b) the research and scientific ethics,

c) the quality of education and of the services provided,

d) the efficiency in managing stuff, resources and infrastructures,

e) the transparency in all of their activities,

f) the impartiality during the actions they take and the decision making.

g) the meritocracy when dealing with the stuff and h) the equal treatment of women and men and the respect of diversity.

Compared to University studies, TEI studies have a more applied character.  Nevertheless, care is taken to ensure that the TEI curricula contain a sufficient number of background theoretical courses, so that graduates are able to adjust easily and efficiently to the ever changing and increasing professional and social life demands. 

The main objectives and priorities of Higher education policies are the continuous qualitative improvement of Higher Education Institutions operation and work, the assurance of the appropriate conditions for achieving their objectives, and the projection of social dimension. Via laws in 2011 (Law 4009/2011) and in 2012 (Law 4076/2012) the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs made institutional, organisational and structural changes in tertiary education.  These changes were necessary due to both the changing international environment and the need to modernise the legal framework governing Higher Education Institutions.  They include differentiations in the institutions’ management and financing, as well as changes in matters concerning the Teaching and Research Staff ranks.  Universities as well as Technological Educational Institutes and ASPETE full financial and administrative independence is promoted in order to be able to freely plan their development based on assessment and strategic planning.  One more objective in higher education is to attract students from foreign countries and repatriate Greek Diaspora scientists.  According to society, economy and HEIs needs, the legal framework on research in Greece was harmonised.  Moreover, Lifelong Learning Schools operate at Higher Education Institutions aiming at providing certifications of non-formal education.  Finally, especially under the circumstances, other major objectives include the development of a unified research space, the support of innovation and the rationalisation of HEIs operation, as in the development and implementation of a digital platform where students can pre-register.  This platform was introduced this year and it aims at being used extensively in the future in order to create a complete electronic student register and therefore simplify procedures.

Structure of the academic year

As regards tertiary education, the academic year begins on 1st September each year and ends on 31st August of the following year. 

The educational work of each academic year comprises two semesters.  Every semester includes at least thirteen weeks of teaching.  The number of weeks dedicated to exams is defined by the internal regulation of every institution.  Extension of a semester is allowed under exceptional circumstances and for the purpose of fulfilling the minimum required number of teaching weeks.  The extension cannot exceed two weeks and is decided by the Rector  after a proposal of the Deanery.

If for any reason the number of the teaching weeks of a course is less than thirteen, then the course is not considered to have been taught and students are not examined in it. 

The first semester normally begins in September’s second fortnight and the second semester normally ends in June’s second fortnight.

Throughout the year, there is a total of four weeks of Christmas and Easter holidays.

Studies leading to a degree in Greek Universities last at least four years for most scientific sectors while they last five years at Polytechnics, other applied sciences (Agronomy, Forestry, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, and Pharmaceutics) and certain Art Departments (music studies and fine arts) and six years for Medical School.

The duration of studies leading to a TEI degree is four years.

Cycles of study

Studies are divided into three cycles, the first, the second and the third one.

The first cycle of studies comprises the attendance of a study programme, includes courses corresponding to a minimum of 180 ECTS credits and leads to the award of a diploma / certificate.

The second cycle of studies comprises the attendance of a postgraduate programme.  This programme includes courses corresponding to a minimum of 60 ECTS credits and leads the award of a Postgraduate Degree (Metaptychiako Diploma Spoudon), in accordance with the provisions of the organizational charter of the institution.

The third cycle of studies comprises the attendance of a doctorate study programme.  It includes courses corresponding to at least 30 ECTS credits, as well as the thesis preparation.  It is concluded within minimum three years duration, leads to the award of a doctoral diploma, according to the provisions of the organizational charter of the institution.