Higher Education

Information about the higher education system in Greece...

There are two types of public higher education institutions in Greece:

  1. Universities
  2. Technological Education Institutes (TEI)

Universities

Public undergraduate university education in Greece usually takes four years and is provided free-of-charge by the State. As of July 2009, there were 20 State-run universities in the country (in addition to 3 military universities).

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available openings in a public university (which is very common), test results from national level examinations in the second and third grade of lykeio are used to determine who shall be accepted. Applicants to speciality universities (such as sports or military schools) must pass additional tests in order to be considered for enrolment.

Students seeking admission to the distance-learning Hellenic Open University (HOU; also known as the Open University of Greece) are selected via a lottery.

There are also private colleges in Greece, which are almost all branches of foreign universities. Contravening EU legislation, degrees from private universities have historically not been recognised by the Greek government, or have not had equivalent recognition. As of July 2009, the Greek government began issuing operating licences to approved private universities in Greece (which are required to be called "colleges"), and a presidential decree is expected that will accredit these institutions. If this occurs, it will ensure the recognition of academic qualifications of graduates from licenced colleges in Greece.

Technological Education Institutes (TEI)

TEI education is more "practical" and oriented toward production and science than a university education. A TEI program generally takes four years, and offers a degree in dozens of possible fields of specialisation. Students must successfully complete national level examinations in the second and third grade of Lykeio in order to be admitted to a TEI.

Post-graduate studies

Post-graduate studies are available to university and TEI graduates, and are generally completed in order for students to obtain a specialisation in a particular field. Applicants for graduate studies programmes are chosen based on oral and written examination results and, in addition, each candidate must speak a foreign language. Upon completion of studies, a Post-graduate Diploma of Specialisation is awarded.

Doctoral studies

Doctoral studies are reserved for students seeking knowledge in a highly specialised field, especially those wishing to research scientific subjects in order to fortify the Greek knowledge base. A Post-graduate Diploma of Specialisation is required in order to pursue a Doctoral degree.