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Greece:Higher Education Funding

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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

Funding

The National Strategy Programme for Higher Education is drawn up every four years by the Minister of Education in conjunction with the Authority for Quality Assurance and Certification in Higher Education- ADIP (Law 4009/2011).  It primarily involves midterm objectives, guidelines, investment plans, programmes or individual actions of national policy for higher education and may be revised on an annual basis.  The National Strategy Programme for Higher Education is implemented through Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).  The latter use various planning agreements in order to incorporate the relevant actions.

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) receive funding from the State.  They follow the general principles laid down in cooperation with the State and they tend to take into consideration the four-year academic-development programmes and the relevant programming agreements.

The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) resources are the following:

  • Grants from the regular budget
  • Income from the institution’s entrepreneurial activity or private assets
  • Income from investment grants
  • Donations, endowments and bequests
  • Other resources

State funding aims at:

  1. improving teaching and research
  2. establishing centers of excellence in teaching and research
  3. encouraging diversification amongst HEIs and
  4. increasing the percentage of students who complete their studies on time

Besides teaching and research, state funding covers administration, infrastructure, lifelong learning departments and services of career guidance and psychological support.

Law 4009/2011 ‘Structure, operation, quality assurance of studies and internationalization of Higher Education Institutions’ sets the basic framework for the procedures and the prerequisites for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) funding .

Every Higher Education Institution (HEI) draws up a four-year academic-development programme that conforms to the limitations of the State Budget and the Public Investments Programme for Higher Education.  This programme is devised within the context of a strategic planning in order for the university to achieve its mission and specific targets.   Its orientation underpinning the planning agreements is determined by the Institution’s Board, in conjunction with the faculties’ Deans and the Senate.  Subsequently, the Rector prepares the drafts of the planning agreements which are approved by the Institution’s Board, in accordance with the Institution’s Organizational Charter.

The four-year academic-development programmes are the core components of the overall higher education development in the country and encompass the following subjects:

  • The determination, prioritization and pursuit of the targets of every academic unit
  • The determination, planning and measures for development and support of the educational and research activities of every HEI
  • The development of infrastructure and equipment
  • The improvement of the services provided
  • The coordination of HEI academic, educational and research activities with the corresponding developments of HEIs abroad, particularly in line with the EU academic field evolution and prospects
  • The number of admitted students in each Department every year.

As far as the financial plan is concerned, the four-year academic-development programme in every HEI specifies the following:

  • operating costs,
  • investments,
  • staff

Each HEI rector submits the proposal for the draft planning agreement to the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (ADIP) by the end of January of the year preceding the year when the planning agreement comes into effect.  A negotiation phase follows between ADIP and the institution.  ADIP recommends the final draft agreement to the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  The agreement is soon after, signed by the Minister and the Rector of the respective institution and is published in the Government Gazette.  It is important to note that during the negotiation phase, the national strategy programme for higher education and the institution’s compliance with the quality assurance and accreditation process are taken into consideration.  The contracting parties may revisit the programming planning agreements and modify them accordingly for reasons of public interest.  The four-year academic-development programme falls within the responsibility of the HEI.  If the HEI fails to present one, state funding to the ΗEI in question is suspended, excluding resources for all staff payroll, coverage of operating costs and student welfare.

Within the context of the four year academic-development programme and the signed programming agreements, the appropriations allotted every year by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs in order to fill staff vacancies are allocated in the Departments; for the University (Panepistimio) this is carried out by a Senate decision and for the Technological Educational Institute (Technologiko Ekpaideftiko Idryma - TEI) by an Assembly decision.

In Greece, there are 36 HEIs in Greece in total.  They are financed by the national budget earmarked for higher education, on the basis of objective criteria and indicators.  The Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs reach a joint decision as regards the funding of universities.  ADIP also offers its recommendation and the joint decision is published in the Government Gazette.  The decision determines the above criteria and indicators, as well as the cost of studies per student, the duration of the study programmes, the number of students enrolled annually in the institution, the scientific field of studies, the institution’s size and geographical spread and the balance of its past fiscal years.  The same decision establishes the special criteria and indicators regarding allocation of credits for staff recruitment in HEIs, such as the ratios of teaching, administrative and other staff to students.

Additional funding is allocated to institutions based on each institution’s quality and attainment indicators.  Quality and attainment indicators are mainly the following:

a) Quality and effectiveness of the educational process, such as

  • Numerical relation between graduates and newly enrolled students and satisfaction rate of students
  • The number of Excellence Centers in education and the learning process
  • The number of graduates registered in Lifelong Learning programmes and the graduates’ vocational development

b) Research Excellence, such as:

  • The number of publications per teaching staff
  • The number of citations per teaching staff
  • The number of simple participations per teaching staff  in international competitive research programmes of the European Union and other international organizations
  • The number of participations per teaching staff as coordinators in competitive research programmes of the European Union and other international organizations
  • The number of members of research personnel receiving funding by the European Research Council
  • The number of Excellence Centers in research and
  • The number of teaching and research staff holding posts in central administration bodies of international academic or research organizations or international scientific companies

c) Internationalization, such as

  • The number of foreign students
  • The number of students attracted to the institution through European educational programmes
  • The number of students studying abroad through European educational programmes
  • The number of cooperation agreements with other higher education institutions in Greece or abroad.

The Minister of Education and Religious Affairs may publish a decision in the Government Gazette, where additional funding to HEIs can be offered.  The decision entails the timetable and the prerequisites for the funding’s allocation, while the above indicators may be categorized and their importance stressed accordingly.

The funding of institutions for the financial year 2016 from the regular budget was  819.842.000,00€.

The following criteria were taken into account for financing each HEI: the number of students (the importance attached to this criterion was 50%), staff number (teaching, research and administrative staff, importance attached was 15%), the cost of studies indicator (importance attached of approximately 25%) and other indicators of lower significance.

Finally, an Internal Audit system is established in each HEI in order to face financial management risks.  A financial audit is performed prior to and after such a systematic examinations is carried out by different bodies.

As far as HEIs funding for conducting research is concerned, the institutions are beneficiaries of the Operational Programmes that are co-financed by the Greek State and EU Structural Funds, according to the related regulations and directives.

Financial Autonomy and Control

Higher Education Institutions are Legal Entities of Public Law, mainly financed by public resources.  Hence, their administrative mechanism is based on the legislation governing the public sector.

According to Law 4009/2011 and Act of 2015 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Greece manage the following resource categories:

  • Grants from the regular budget
  • Income from the institution’s entrepreneurial activity
  • Income from investment grants
  • Donations, endowments and bequests
  • Private assets
  • Other resources

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are autonomous as regards the use of public resources.  Therefore, they can use public resources to rent buildings, purchase or construct building facilities, buy equipment, recruit academic staff, cover operating costs and provide support to students.  The institution is also authorized by itself to allocate its appropriations, depending on the needs for various categories of expenses.  Finally, HEIs do not decide on determining salaries or recruiting administrative staff; these are regulated in a central level. 

Pursuant to Law 4009/2011, a Presidential Decree may be issued by the proposal of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, along with the institution’s Board assent.  This can define the set up of a legal private entity in every HEI, in the form of a public limited company which shall use and manage the institution’s resources in whole or a part thereof.

As far as funding from other sources is concerned (excluding the State Budget as foreseen in the drafting of the four-year academic-development programme), funding sources from the private sector are quite limited in Greece.  Donors, sponsors and private bodies’ associates are encouraged to fund the institutions, motivated by the prospect of tax relief.

According to article 16 of the Constitution, HEIs have administrative autonomy and are responsible for managing their resources.  The Court of Auditors checks precautionary the legitimacy of the HEIs expenses, but never their purpose.  Furthermore, the Special Accounts of Research Items are subject to a review at least every year by chartered accountants. The Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs may request at any time exceptional checks of the Account's financial management.

Fees within Public Higher Education

According to the Greek Constitution, Higher Education is public, offered exclusively by the State and free of charge.  Therefore, admission and enrollment in all HEIs and attendance of the respective studies are offered to all students free of charge.

Nevertheless, tuition fees for postgraduate students may be determined on the basis of a proposal made by a Department's General Assembly of a Special Composition and the Senate decision.   Students of the Hellenic Open University pay post-graduate fees and the students of the International University of Greece contribute financially to the operational costs of Postgraduate Programmes.  The amount of such contributions is fixed by a joint decision of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, based on the Senate's opinion.

Financial Support for Learners’ Families

According to Law 2238/1994, a housing allowance of 1,000€ is given to families of Greek nationals or other EU countries nationals, if students live and study in a city other than their place of permanent residence.  The allowance is granted to undergraduate students of HEIs, the Higher Schools for Tourism Professions, the Merchant Marine Academies and the Schools of University of Cyprus.  The allowance is granted for as many years as the years of study in a School or Department, according to the Internal Regulation of Operation of the HEI.  Students studying for the attainment of a second degree or a postgraduate title are not entitled to an allowance.  Students of a Police or Military School are not entitled to the allowance either.  As regards the academic years 2013 and 2014, the amount of the regular budget for the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs amounted to €42,000,000.00 for this provision.

The allowance is granted to the individual who bears the cost of the student's studies.  By exception, beneficiaries can be students themselves if one or more of the following prerequisites are met: a) they are orphans, b) their parents are foreign residents, c) they are over 25, d) they are liable to submit an income tax return and are not considered protected members and e) they come from EU countries.

In order to be granted an allowance, the annual family income of the previous financial year must not exceed the amount of 30,000 Euros, adding 3,000 Euros for every protected child, when there is more than one.

No tax exemptions or tax reliefs are provided for the families of Higher Education students (Law 4172/2013).

Financial Support for Learners

All Higher Education students are given textbooks and other printed material free of charge.  Expenses for accommodation and meals are covered, when students have a low personal and family income.  In addition, undergraduate students studying in a city other than their permanent place of residence may receive a housing allowance.  According to Law 4009/2011, contributory scholarships are foreseen for undergraduate and post-graduate students.  The only obligation, on behalf of the students, is to offer part time employment (up to 40 hours) monthly to HEIs services.

Moreover, in accordance with Law 4009/2011, students attending the first cycle of studies are entitled to an interest-free educational loan granted by the country’s financial institutions, bearing the Greek State’s guarantee.  For this purpose, the Greek State may conclude planning agreements with the financial institutions.  The precondition for granting a loan to students (being conditional on their academic performance, their social and economic status and their families), the procedure and terms of the loan payout and any other relevant issue are determined by Joint Decision of the Ministers of Finance and Education, Research and Religious Affairs, published in the Government Gazette.  Similarly, under Law 2413/1996, Greek students who are enrolled in postgraduate courses at Departments of Greek Universities for the award of a Master's degree or a doctoral degree can take loans from financial organizations and institutions, guaranteed by the Greek State.

All students, undergraduates and post-graduates, as well as doctoral candidates who are not registered in the National Health System, are entitled to free healthcare until they complete their studies.

Student identities are granted to all students, undergraduates and postgraduates, in order to be entitled, upon identity display, to reduced prices in public means of transport, as well as in museums, theaters, art galleries and other cultural events.

The State Scholarships Foundation grants scholarships to undergraduates who have excelled at Higher Education Institutions and to any student wishing to pursue postgraduate studies in Greece and abroad.  Moreover, it grants scholarships selectively for postdoctoral research.  In addition, a certain number of scholarships, benefits and economic assistance are offered to students and institutions of all educational grades, through foundations and donations by individuals and Private Law Legal Entities.  The most important criteria for the award of such financial aid are the place of origin, economic status and academic performance.

Private Education

It has already been mentioned that, according to the Constitution of Greece, Higher Education is public, offered exclusively by the state and free of charge.

Pursuant to article 1, Law 3696/2008 as modified by Law 4111/2013 which is currently in force, the following apply: “Colleges (Kollegia) are providers of non formal post secondary education and training offering exclusively studies based on validation agreements and franchising with higher education institutions abroad, recognized by the  competent authorities of the country they are domiciled; such studies lead to a first bachelor degree of at least three-year duration of attendance or to a post-graduate title. The degrees, titles, certificate of studies and any kind of certificate awarded by colleges may be recognized as vocationally equivalent to the higher education titles of the Greek formal education system.”