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Greek Students Now Must Pass University Entrance Exams

ATHENS – Moving to raise standards at universities that fare poorly in world standings, Greece's governing New Democracy is going to require that students pass entrance exams instead of letting those with poor scores be admitted.

That has been the practice of long-standing with the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA not wanting any standards, one of its education ministers saying excellence in education “was not a virtue,” and that students shouldn't be required to face tough requirements, or any.

In a bid to lift academic levels, the Education Ministry has introduced a new system governing university entrance exams, said Kathimerini, beginning in September, which will bar students who don't do well in entrance exams.

That idea has been fiercely opposed by students although standards have been so low that those with failing grades have been admitted and been allowed to stay students for life without graduating, the government also moving to end that practice of so-called “Eternal Students” for good.

According to this new system, which will come into effect in the new academic year, candidates with low grades will no longer be admitted to university as was the case in previous years.

The new regulations stipulate that the minimum admission threshold will be calculated each year from the average performance of the candidates for each university department, multiplied by a factor decided by each department.

The new system is expected to impact regional universities, which have low admission thresholds, and to create an estimated 7,000 vacancies, resulting in the Synod of University Rectors calling for state support for regional universities where students are a critical revenue factor for businesses.

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