The new law of the Greek Ministry of Education is laconic: after the end of the study time for each higher education institution, increased by two or three years, the board of directors of the school issues an act of expulsion of the student.
While academic procrastination usually starts in their third year of college, the roughly 60,000 first-year students in the coming new school year should know they won’t be allowed to slack off again. And those who do not intend to study seriously face expulsion.
Today, 4 out of 10 students of Greek universities are “eternal”, that is, they have exceeded the maximum time of study at a university.
According to the legislation, the first exceptions “fall” for 2025. This is the second time, after Law 4009/2011, universities will be asked to exclude students. At first, the institutions did not show readiness, the then leadership of the Ministry of Education showed political tolerance. The current leadership of the Ministry of Education, as the official told the publication “Kathimerini”, is determined.
The phenomenon of “perpetual students” is of particular concern to the National Office of Higher Education (Εθνική Αρχή Ανώτατης Εκπαίδευσης, ΕΘΑΑΕ), which is studying the reasons for students to receive an education that has stretched over many years.
There are five categories of “perpetual” students for academic reasons. However, as ΕΘΑΑΕ President Periklis Mitkas points out, “The last category that should not be underestimated is emigrants. Their number cannot be estimated because the university rarely receives information about student emigration.”
In particular, the law allows students of four-year universities to receive a diploma two years later, that is, in six years.
According to a recent ruling, Grace period for study programs with a typical duration of five or six years (engineering, agriculture, health sciences, fine arts) is three years.
According to the latest data declared by the universities in the integrated national information system (πληροφοριακό εθνικό στημα ποιότητας, οπεσπ) at the beginning of the current 2021-2022 academic year, in 25 Greek universities are studied by 705,959 students, of which 308,029 had the maximum time of study at the university.
Thus, 43.6% of enrolled students are “eternal”, as they are called in Greece. In fact, based on the data, compared to the beginning of 2019-20, the number of students increased by 5%, and the number of “eternal” by 9%.
There are more such overage lazy people in quantitative and percentage terms in such historical universities as EKPA (57% of registered students) and the Athens University of Economics and Business (56.4%).