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Greek university students who have drifted out of the system now have a second chance. Due to a new bill on tertiary education that aims to identify inactive students of more than 10 years still registered at Greek universities, thousands of non graduates from all age groups are emerging from the woodwork. Registrar offices have been astonished at the number of students that slipped through the cracks, identifying some people that are still enrolled, even back in the 1950s. From Macedonia University to the Theology School of Thessaloniki to the Medical School, registrar secretaries are sending out hundreds of letters informing inactive students of their status and inviting them to resume their study. This has obviously been tempting for the retired, several of whom have accepted this opportunity. This initiative has also uncovered an impressive number of de-activated adults in the work force who still possess valid student cards.
This interesting bill identifies caveats in the higher education system, particularly of the lackadaisical attitude of students when it comes to completing studies and the gaps in university student tracking systems. Hopefully this will be a step forward for Greek university reform, which has met severe social protest in the last year. It is certainly an innovative approach to lifelong learning, one could say. Greece has recently formed a new government, with Evripidis Styliandis, former deputy minister of foreign affairs and New Democracy representative, to lead Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.