Friday, June 14 2024

University reforms going ahead despite reactions


Education Minister Niki Kerameus has reportedly conveyed her intention to proceed with the implementation of proposals for the introduction of a minimum university admission grade, a campus police force, a disciplinary code and a cap on the number of years a student takes to finish a degree.


The minister’s determination was conveyed in the wake of this week’s meeting of rectors, which resulted in a shift in stance compared to their milder positions a month ago.

More specifically, in their announcement on December 22 regarding the problem of violence and lawlessness at universities, the Council of Rectors had recognized “the need for a substantial, realistic and effective initiative for the protection, security and guarding of institutions.”

The rectors noted however that different views were expressed at the meeting regarding the nature and function of this security. With regard to the ministry’s proposal for a minimum admission grade, the council appeared overall positive in its outlook.

However, their stance was clearly different in an announcement made on Wednesday, with the main focus being their objections to the minimum admission grade for entry to university. Rectors, particularly at regional universities, are concerned about the impact of the ceiling on admissions.

According to sources, the number of students admitted to regional universities is expected to decrease between 30% and 60%.

“The measure is unfair and threatens the viability of the regional universities,” the Senate of the University of Western Macedonia stated.

Rectors are also reacting to the cap on the number of years allowed to complete a degree and  consider this provision to be incomplete. They are demanding that certain parameters are taken into consideration related to working and part-time students, as well as other situations. If this is not addressed, they say, then the change will create more problems than it will solve.

Rectors are equally opposed to the disciplinary code envisioned by the ministry as these issues and provisions should be formulated internally by institutions of higher education, they argue.

However, critics note that universities have never imposed punishment on students who cause trouble within their premises.