At present, Greek higher education is provided by state institutions free of charge, with policies that ban all private higher education institutions from opening campuses in the country
. But this could shortly change if the EU accepts the recommendations made by the Advocate-General Yves Bot to the European Court of Justice. The ECJ essentially wants to force Greece to recognise degrees issued by local private liberal arts institutions
(KES) that are affiliated with universities and colleges in other European countries. According to Bot, Greece has failed to comply with a 1989 EU directive (89/48/EEC) concerning the recognition of higher-education diplomas of at least three years' duration.
At present, 16 British universities and one from France provide their programmes through KES institutions based on franchising agreements, but the professional diplomas are not recognised. The court is expected to rule on the matter next month. The Hellenic Federation of University Teachers' Association has vehemently opposed
any change to the higher education system suggesting that it would be a major blow to public university education.
Meanwhile, the OECD released an economic survey and policy brief stating that Greece currently has a too centralised and inflexible system.
Poor quality of tertiary education and universities without any autonomy are major weaknesses. Despite OECD warnings, thousands of students and university teachers have taken to the streets in the last six months to protest again the privatisation of higher education (See ACA Newsletter-Education Europe April 2007
OECD economic surveyPolicy briefEurLexEuropean Union Legislation