Greece’s higher education at the crossroads of a transformative journey, speakers say at Study in Greece conference


The importance of internationalisation for the future of Greece’s higher education system was emphasised by speakers during the second half of the Study in Greece conference entitled “Reflecting on the Past – Gazing into the Future of Higher Education”, which was held at the education ministry on Wednesday.

As General Secretary for Higher Education Odysseas Zoras said, kicking off the second half, “Greece stands at the crossroads of a transformative journey,” and the ministry envisions a future in which “the internationalisation of Greek higher education emerges as a crucial catalyst for growth, innovation and global relevance.”

He stressed that the higher education landscape was changing rapidly in a globalised environment, which entailed competition and necessitated flexible collaboration, and that the systemic cooperation of universities “was now deemed essential for growth, social and professional integration and prosperity,” and that “the process of opening up institutions to international students is a concrete and desirable priority.”

He noted that Greece has the potential to position itself as a hub for academic excellence, cultural diversity and innovative research through strategic cooperation with key countries and prestigious universities, which help improve the global rankings and reputation of Greek universities and establish a “feedback loop of excellence” by attracting top talent, both faculty and students.

Zoras noted that the effort has so far focused on establishing more English-language courses and said the ministry wanted to explore the possibilities for joint dual and double programmes fully and sought to “gear academic outcomes toward the productive sector, labour markets and economy.”

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Study in Greece President Prof. Christos Michalakelis then presented figures regarding the impact of actions to increase demand for Greek studies, noting that Greece was regarded as an “Eldorado” market and that this would directly benefit the country’s growth and development. He also spoke of the need to establish a Study in Greece fund to provide scholarships, academic mobility, and other steps to improve Greece’s attractiveness as a study destination.

Other speakers included the president of Greece’s Information and Communications Technology Federation, Giota Paparidou, who hailed what she called a first attempt to announce that Greece’s education system is becoming international, highlighted the need to reskill people to cover needs in the ICT sector and expressed her conviction that Greece has everything that is needed to rise from one of the bottom positions as an academic destination to the top of the list, provided there is the right advertising and promotion.

College Year in Athens executive board chairman Alexis Fylaktopoulos noted the need for a framework to regulate private, non-profit universities while he was followed by a panel of speakers that included George Vasilopoulos, the executive consultant of the Hellenic Union of the Pharmaceutical Industry and Lysandros Tsilidis, the president of FEDHATTA representing Greek tourist and travel agencies.


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