Sunday, October 17, 2010

The ancient students of Greece…and we are not talking Plato

by Matthew Reisz

Times of Higher Education
16 October 2010

The universities of the world all trace their origins back to Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum.

Yet a system that allows many students to remain at university for more than a decade and still fail to obtain a degree is just one of the most blatant signs that something is radically wrong with Greek higher education today.

That is the claim of Elias Katsikas, associate professor of economics at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, in an article published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education.

Entitled “Elements and symptoms of an ineffective higher education system: evidence from a Greek university”, it draws on data from his own institution to look at the issue of “prolonged student status”, what it is caused by and why it has proved so intractable.

The academic year 2006-07, Professor Katsikas writes, saw two major upheavals in Greece’s higher education sector.

The first related to government plans to change the constitution to permit the creation of private universities, with politicians of both major parties forced to back down after considerable protest. Equally contentious were initiatives “to restrict the maximum time of a student’s stay at a university”.

This was designed to address an academic state of affairs that is highly unusual in the West.


Read the Paper

An ungated related paper by Elias Katsikas and Theologos Dergiades

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