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Higher education in Greece

University reforms in Greece face student protests

Jul 6th 2006
From The Economist print edition

LOOK at the faculty list for any leading university in America or Europe and you will be struck by the number of Greek names. Campuses all over the Western world—especially Britain—are also full of Greek students, many of whom get excellent results under pressure from parents who have stretched their family budgets to give their children the best chance. But despite the importance that Greeks attach to education, Greece has some of the worst universities in Europe.

Marietta Giannakou, the Greek education minister, hopes to start correcting that. She says there are about 5,000 scientists and professors of Hellenic origin who might be lured back to their native land if its university system were more rational and freed from the state's stranglehold. But the minister's efforts at reform have run into a wave of violent protests, both among students and among academics who like the status quo.