Special event on higher education

Friday, 27/06/2003

The ALBA special event on higher education, titled 'Can and Should the State Maintain its Monopoly of Higher Education in The Knowledge Economy?', has been successfully concluded on June 23rd at the Hellenic Research Foundation.

The event speakers were:

  • Dr Themistocles Xanthopoulos, Dean, National Technical University of Athens
  • Dr Andreas Kintis, former Dean of the Athens University of Economics & Business
  • Dr Nickolaos Travlos, Dean, The Kitty Kyriacopoulos Chair in Finance, ALBA
  • Dr. Haridimos Tsoukas, The George D. Mavros Research Professor of Organization and Management, ALBA

The panel discussion was coordinated by Mr. Kosntantinos Spyropoulos, Journalist & Managing Director of the Greek Business Channel.

The Dean of ALBA, Professor Travlos, noted that the Greek state insists on its monopoly of higher education, whereas most countries have introduced alternative forms of education. Further, he emphasized that the evolution of communications technology and the use of Internet have made it possible for education to take place beyond national boundaries, and that monopolies create inequalities concerning the access of the less wealthy to higher education. Dean Travlos explained that the payment of tuition fees at the post-graduate programs state public universities is legal only if we assume that law restrictions on free education are not valid in the case of post-graduate education. As a consequence, the offering of post-graduate studies by non-public universities is not forbidden by the law. Last but not least, Dean Travlos suggested the creation of not owned by the state, not-for-profit universities for a number of reasons, including the need for existence of competition for the public universities, opportunities to attract foreign students, the restoration of legitimacy, the encouragement of private initiatives, and the modernization of Greek education according to global trends.

The Dean of Athens University of Economics & Business, Professor Kintis, stated that the creation of competition will further enhance the academic level of studies in Greece, and thus the establishment of one to three universities that are not owned by the state should be examined. These universities should be not-for-profit organizations and funded by private resources, but controlled by established bodies, in order to ensure the quality of studies and meritocracy.

The Dean of the National Technical University of Athens, Professor Xanthopoulos, claimed that the role of the state is not to provide education, but to fund it, given that the University complies with certain conditions and there is some sort of control of the quality of services offered. In this framework, the state could fund such efforts by not-for-profit organizations in the field of education.

Professor Haridimos Tsoukas noted that Greece is the only country in the European Union where the state has the monopoly on higher education and suggested that no one should be excluded from the right to offer education that is not owned by the state and not-for-profit, according with one’s vision.

For more information on this event, you may contact the ALBA Communications & Corporate Relations Department, 210 8964531-8.