Greece’s Easy University Life: Going to Class Not Necessary

December 24, 2021

ATHENS – Greek university students who struggle to get in don’t have to struggle after that because they aren’t required to go to class or graduate and 33 percent of them reported are allowed to stay in despite failing grades.

Greece has the largest number of university students per capita – 7.4 percent – in the European Union, nearly double the bloc’s average of 3.8 percent – but only 44 percent of 30-34 year-olds have degrees, compared to the EU’s 40 percent.

That was found in a reporet from the National Authority for Higher Education which indicated the dismal data for Greek universities that score way down the list of the best in the world and don’t have competition from private universities whose degrees aren’t accepted for public sector work.

Even worse, said Kathimerini in a report on the findings, there is a “qualitative deficit” – meaning that students do the minimal amount of work needed to pass and graduate although there’s still the problem of “Eternal Students,” who can stay on the rolls until pension times and don’t graduate.

“Almost one in three students score very poorly in exams, with a grade of 1, 2 or 3 (out of 10)” Athens University Professor Eugenia Bournova, told the paper, adding that attendance should be mandatory and classes smaller to encourage better results.

The atmosphere of non-learning is prevalent as well as cheating scandals and constant incidents of  violence and sit-ins and university facilities being taken over by students who don’t want any standards.

“Many students study from photocopies made by others who go to the lectures and sell their notes,” Loukas Vlahos, a physics professor at the University of Thessaloniki told the paper.

In 2017, some 106 students at the University of Patras in Greece’s third-largest city were caught in a mass cheating scandal, the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANMA) said at the time.

Most were first-year students and all submitted the same paperwork in four separate coursework exercises, the head of the business management department said, the work making up 30 percent of the final grade.

The students received the least possible penalty despite cheating, essentially avoiding any real sanctions and were allowed to stay in school.

Greek universities are ranked among the lowest in the European Union, plagued by student protests, staffing nepotism and poor infrastructure, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said.


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