Private, non-state Universities. A panacea for Higher Education?

Issue 4

“Private, non-state Universities. A panacea for Higher Education? ”

George Babiniotis
Page 81-86


he malaise of Greek universities should be traced back to governmental policies and inaction. Over the years the State has failed to provide the necessary funds from the proper function of higher education institutions, thus undermining the amount of research and the quality of teaching in them; as a matter of fact universities have been actually left alone to cope with great public demand for higher education. It has also failed to reform the legal structure of university education which has thus for greatly curtailed university autonomy and hence institutional effectiveness. On the other hand, the State proceeded to the establishment of a great number of new regional Universities and Faculties in response to local demands, without taking into serious consideration the real needs of the Greek society and economy, as well as the capacity of the State budget to finance the expansion.
Given that the State itself is the actual cause of the malaise, the establishment of private universities cannot act as a remedy, let alone as a panacea. Private universities –by the very fact that they would function as universities– will have to function themselves under the same ineffective legal structure, while the imposition of their part of even excessive student fees could not cover the enormous expenses that proper research –the very essence of university studies– demands.Therefore the only remedy is in the hands of the State: “he who injures should cure”.