Letter to the Editor: On Greek Universities

Athens University's School of Philosophy. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)

To the Editor:

Mass media has already given and continues to give us many examples of stories of successful Greek University graduates, who immigrated, for various reasons, and excelled in their respective fields by applying the basic knowledge they acquired for free studying in Greek Universities.

In other words, the tuition fees to Greek Universities for these Greek graduates were paid by someone else. This someone is the Greek taxpayer and possibly someone who could not afford to pay the rent for his/her own child to attend a University in the big city.

Certainly, according to the Greek Constitution, the education these graduates received in Greece, was a “right” and, thus, they do not owe anything to anyone. However, as educated and civilized persons, they should be a little more sensitive and recognize that they too, have some obligation. Since they do not pay taxes in Greece, they should give something back to the taxpayer. I’m going to say it again, legally speaking they owe nothing to anyone. But morally don’t they owe something to the people who paid for them to acquire the knowledge to conquer their world?

I urge them to give it another thought. For example, they could establish somewhere in the world, or even in Greece, since most graduates remained there, an international financial entity with the ultimate goal to create an Endowment Fund. The proceeds of that Fund could be used either for the collaboration of international scientific centers with Greek Universities, or the assignment of research studies to Greek Universities from companies they lead, or the funding of tuition fees of poor students for post-graduate studies, or, for something that is very crucial and needed for students nowadays, the creation and operation of student housing. With any amount people can afford, be it $100 or $500 or $1000 or more.

I understand that this is a hard initiative to come to fruition because it will require hard work and that people acknowledge that, besides themselves, there are many other people in the world with dreams, desires, and basic needs that need to be fulfilled and met. If they could help meet those needs, I assure them, that it would be a wonderful thing. Helping others allows us to transcend our base nature and freed ourselves from the “animal” inside us, to become “humans” discovering the happiness of giving.

Besides, there are many of them retired and could undertake this effort. And I assure them that this will be the best and most productive way for them to commit the crime of… killing their time.

I hope that I woke up some patriotic sensibilities.

Constantinos Lycoyannis

Elmsford, NY

1 Comment

  1. I have a better idea. Let’s start by having the present and past student / graduates give back to the Greek taxpayer by painting the hideous facade and help repair / tidy up the dilapidated grounds and facilities which they themselves exploit and exploited. Then privatize the university(s) to attract students from all over Europe who will freely choose to PAY for Greece’s fine academic reputation and geographical location.
    Collective charity and more regurgitated socialism will only go so far…see Greece.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *