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Greek students take to streets for 7th week against university reform bill

Anadolu Agency EUROPE
Published February 22,2024

For the seventh week in row, Greek students took to the streets across the country on Thursday in protest of an education reform bill that would allow for the opening of private universities.

Thousands of students who had gathered in central Athens were greeted and applauded by beekeepers, who had been holding a separate rally in front of Parliament earlier in the day.

Two major trade unions in the education sector, OLME and IOE, announced that they would be stopping work in support of the students' protests against the bill proposed by the country's conservative government.

Many university faculty members, instructors, and parents joined the students, demanding the bill's withdrawal and the provision of free public education for all.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who announced the higher education reforms last December, said that under the changes, private universities would be able to operate as Greek branches of foreign educational institutions, some of which are already seeking to operate in the country.

Greece has 24 accredited public universities, as well as several private colleges.

The Constitution currently prohibits private institutions from operating as independent universities for post-secondary education.

Colleges generally overcome this constraint via collaboration agreements with foreign universities to offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs.