Being A Student In Greece: 2016 vs 2017 – What Has Changed?
In recent years, Greece has experienced a somewhat uncertain period with the economic situation and wider discord in society. The Greek Prime Minister has demonstrated his commitment to the development of a public education system accessible by all. In an effort to transform the education system, a series of reforms were proposed in five key areas:
1) Strengthening early education
2) Emphasising the importance of high school
3) Overhauling the system for university admission
4) Making improvements to junior and technical colleges with a focus on deploying more resources
5) Investing in research and enhancing technical knowledge
Changes at all levels of education in Greece ultimately impact on the number of students who will choose to study at a higher level. One of the key changes will be the way in which students gain entry to university. Entry exams will be abolished, and a new bill on Higher Education will be introduced which enables students on a low income to participate in free postgraduate programmes. This not only encourages students to progress, but it also produces better-skilled employees when they enter the workforce.
There will also be more access to vocational qualifications through the merger of the Technological Institutions of Piraeus and Athens. These establishments will offer professional European qualifications for vocational based subjects studied over a two year period.
Accommodation & Transport
There are two main types of accommodation in Greece; university halls of residence and private accommodation through house and flat rentals. Very few universities in Greece offer student accommodation or residential facilities. For those universities that do, numbers are extremely limited. Arranging accommodation can be difficult, but it does offer greater freedom during your studies. For international students, there is also the ability to seek out what is known as a homestay. This is a programme offered to international students organising accommodation with a Greek family.
Greece is a popular tourist destination, and as a result, it has a developed transport system, making travel to and from university very easy. That being said, Greece is currently in the midst of troubled economic times meaning that the quality of life is falling.
Signs of improvement are present in Greece, but with the current state of the economy, it may take a number of years before the country can really start to thrive and offer high-quality education for young people. The education system continues to advance, and more changes are being introduced on a regular basis to enhance educational standards for students accessing higher education.