Greek Parliament passes bill to establish private universities amid opposition

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The Greek parliament has approved a bill paving the way for the establishment of private universities in the country.

The legislation, titled ‘Reinforcing State Universities – Framework for the operation of non-profit branches of foreign universities,’ secured majority support in a late-night session on Friday, largely backed by the ruling New Democracy party.

Despite the government’s assertion of a transformative shift in the educational landscape, the bill faced staunch opposition from all other political parties. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis championed the move as a radical reform, while critics expressed concerns over the potential erosion of state universities.

In a heated three-day debate preceding the vote, opposition voices warned against the perceived threat posed by private institutions to the traditional public university system.

During the decisive vote, a total of 299 members of parliament participated. The bill’s principles were endorsed by 159 MPs, predominantly from the New Democracy party, along with an independent MP, X. Katsivardas. However, 129 lawmakers voted against the bill, with 11 abstaining by declaring themselves ‘present.’

The passage of this legislation marks a significant shift in Greek education policy, stirring both hope and apprehension within the academic community and the broader public.

Source: AMNA.gr.

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