THESSALONIKI- College students in Greece don’t have to graduate and some have stayed in school, at least on the books, so long they are called “eternal students,” and the problem is so bad that some 40 percent of those at Aristotle and Macedonia universities haven’t reported they’ve either dropped out or haven’t been able to get their degrees over the last eight years.
A report on the local Voria website said, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has 76,628 registered students, of which 43,051, or 56 percent, have been registered for the past seven years without graduating.
The remaining 44 percent are considered eternal students, meaning that they have been enrolled for more than double the standard four-year degree term and have stopped attending classes, without formally declaring that they’re dropping out or expelled.
The Aristotle also has an additional 7,766 postgraduate, 4,364 doctoral and 242 post-doctoral students, the report said although it’s rated the second best college in the country behind the University of Athens but only 349th in the world by US News and World report rankings.
At the University of Macedonia, there are 17,385 students but only 60 percent are still studying and attending classes with no reports where the others went or why they are still listed as enrolled students.
The discovery emerged after the institutions submitted records to the Education Ministry in order to qualify for a portion of some 7 million euros ($7.82 million) being given in emergency funding to the country’s universities.
The ministry is reportedly mulling a strict cap on the number of years students can be registered at a university without completing their degree, it was also said.