Seeking to modernize the country’s higher education system, broaden its scope, anchor a hitherto elusive meritocracy, and activate a brain, the education ministry is on the way to introducing legislation with radical changes in curriculum, selection of academics and administration.
Kathimerini understands that the bill provides that the departments of applied sciences essentially replace the technical colleges (TEI) which were abolished under the previous SYRIZA government, to cover the needs of technical education. Students will be admitted through national entrance exams while graduates of vocational training institutes (IEKs) will also have the opportunity to attend.
Other innovations provide for changes in the structure of study programs as well as in the method of selecting professors. The main objective of these latest changes is to generate brain gain, attracting young Greek academics from abroad, as well as non-Greeks.
For this reason, the composition of the selection bodies will be broadened, in order to avoid choices that do not meet meritocratic standards. In addition, new forms of employment will be instituted for academics, so that foreign professors can be transferred to Greek universities for a certain period to teach or conduct research.
The new administrative model will be based on the reinstatement of boards made up of non-university members. In 2011, the institution of advice aroused strong reactions. At that time, much of the university community was hostile to the councils, as “foreign bodies”, while the elected rectors also reacted.
For this reason, the Ministry of Education now emphasizes that the responsibilities of the councils will be completely separate from those of the rectors, who are elected by academics from each university. The question is how will the rectors be chosen: by the councils, by the academics or in some other way?