The degrees awarded by private, non-profit universities established in Greece, exclusively as branches of foreign educational institutions, “will offer full academic and professional rights that are equivalent to those of the ‘parent’ institution abroad,” Education, Religions and Sports Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis clarified on Sunday, speaking to SKAI television.
He also noted that, unlike in other cases, Greece’s National Authority for Higher Education, which was a fully independent authority, will have a powerful say regarding the criteria for founding such branches of foreign universities in Greece, ensuring the best possible quality.
Pierrakakis said that the new bill will not change things for the 33 colleges that already offer courses in Greece and that they will be able to also establish private universities in collaboration with recognised higher education institutes abroad, provided they meet the criteria outlined in the bill and are non-profit.
The minister said that state universities remained for the government the “flagship” of the reform effort, stressing the government’s determination to improve these on three levels: internationalisation through collaboration with foreign institutions at a postgraduate and undergraduate level, additional funding of more than one billion euros and flexibility to reduce bureaucracy and allow easier self-administration.
He noted successful examples of such changes in Cyprus and other European countries, while acknowledging the necessity to speed up processes to combat bureaucracy in the founding of such institutions, predicting that the first would open their doors in the 2025/2026 academic year.