ATHENS – Rolling back reforms, Education Minister Aristides Baltas said he’s getting rid of university councils including foreign academics and from the Diaspora.
The professors and academics from abroad, including Greek-Americans, had given their services free in an attempt to improve the level of university education with Greek colleges not on the radar scale of top schools in the world, but Baltas said they weren’t needed.
Baltas, who said excellence in education shouldn’t be pursued, plans to end measures that were designed to increase standards in colleges. The councils were designed to make the colleges more independent but Baltas has moved to put them under even tighter government and political control.
That includes allowing “universal students,” to stay in college for life without graduating after a previous government said they had to go.
He also wants to give students and university workers a bigger role in running the schools, including electing the top officials.
The reforms planned by the government also see students and university employees being given spots on the universities’ collective bodies, such as senates.
Baltas said this would “restore democracy and strengthen the involvement of all members of the academic community in the decision-making process.”