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Colleges in for close checks October 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Education.
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Government to legislate on quality inspections by end of academic year > The government is planning to introduce controls over the country’s private colleges as a step toward recognizing their degrees, in line with European Union guidelines.

A new law introducing stricter quality requirements is expected to be voted in by the end of this academic year and will require the private colleges to be certified by the foreign University with which they cooperate.

Currently, private colleges are supervised by the Development Ministry, which essentially monitors only their business operations. There is no government body reviewing qualitative measures, such as the quality of courses. However, this task is expected to be assigned to the Education Ministry.

The need to introduce changes has become more pressing as Greece is being required to recognize the professional qualifications of students graduating from private education institutions. Changes in the legal framework regulating the sector is likely to trigger protests with many students and University lecturers arguing that private colleges harm the right to free education. «The tertiary education map is changing dramatically» said Yiannis Gerothanassis, rector of northern Greece’s Ioannina University.

Despite its relatively small size, Greece is of great interest to the international education community, having one of the highest number of student exports per capita in the world. According to data provided by think tank OECD, 51,000 Greeks students are studying at a University abroad, half of whom are in Britain.

Indicative of the strong interest shown in Greece is news last week that France’s Paris-Sorbonne University wants to work with a Greek partner to provide students here with postgraduate courses as of next year. The head of the Sorbonne, Jean-Robert Pitte, is believed to have met with representatives of 10 private colleges in Greece to discuss the possibility of setting up a franchise offering six postgraduate degrees in marketing, advertising, communication, information technology, journalism and law.

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