Higher education in Greece, also called tertiary, constitutes the last level of the educational system, and is provided by Higher Educational Institutes – comprising all the University departments. Greek Higher Educational Institutions are fully self-administered legal entities of public law. Collective bodies that are established and act in compliance with special legislation administer each institution. Nevertheless, the government is responsible for their funding and the distribution of students to undergraduate programs.
Higher Education University Sector aims at establishing, producing and developing science and technology, achieving our country’s future scientists’ high level, comprehensive, theoretical and applied training while promoting and developing scientific research.
The University (Panepistimio) places emphasis on high quality education according to the demands of science, technology and arts taking into account the international scientific practice and the corresponding professional fields. The Universities award certificates in the following fields:
- Humanities, law and social sciences including theoretical faculties such as literature, law, sociology, art schools etc,
- Science, including faculties of mathematics, physics, chemistry etc,
- Health Science, including medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutics etc,
- Technology, including architecture, polytechnic schools etc,
- Economics and Administration, including economic, financial schools etc,
University graduates have the opportunity to choose between a wide variety of topics, such as:
- Business (Economics, Management)
- Classical history
- Communication (Mass Media)
- Computer Science
- Foreign Languages (Turkish, Modern Asian etc.)
- Greek (Literature, etc)
- Health Sciences (Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy)
- Music and arts
- Political Sciences (Public Administration)
- Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics)
- Social sciences (sociology, psychology, etc)
- Sport Sciences
- Theology and Religion
Currently there are 24 Universities, all of which are accredited by the Greek state. All the Higher Tertiary state-accredited universities in Greece are public.
The duration of the undergraduate degree programs for most disciplines is 4 years, but there are programs in architecture, engineering, dentistry, pharmacology, agronomic, forestry, with a duration of 5 years, and medicine with a duration of 6 years. The School of Fine Arts requires special exams, and 5 years of studies.
Courses in Greek Universities take the form of either lectures or workshops, and most of each course’s duration is one semester. Most university departments in Greece offer one-year or two-year master’s degrees, as well as the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree.
The number of entrants in each Department is based on the principle of “numerous clausus” and is defined every year by the Ministry of Education.
Apart from the higher education institutes, a number of private Colleges, operate in Greece as well. However, the current Constitution of Greece prohibits private institutions for post-secondary education, from operating as independent universities. Colleges overcome this constraint by establishing collaboration with foreign universities to offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs. According to the current legislation, as derived by the incorporation of EC Directive 2005/36, holders of academic degrees by universities in the European Union, including those obtained through studies at a college in Greece, have their professional rights fully recognized.