Election of rectors and deans from the Boards of Directors, establishment of a Student Council by election from a single ballotstrengthening the role of the National Higher Education Authority (ΕΘΑΑΕ), abolition of individual application for recognition of qualifications by ΔΟΑΤΑΠare some of the issues of the new bill for FOREVER presented by Minister of Education Niki Kerameos and will be put to public consultation in the coming days.
The main axes of the bill, according to Ms. Kerameos, are “the upgrade of quality, strengthening of functionality, promotion of connection with society, modernization of DOATAP”.
The Senate of each University will deal only with academic and research issues and not with administrative and financial issues, which are transferred to the Board of Directors, said Ms. Kerameos.
Specifically, the Boards of Directors consist of six internal faculty members of the University and five external members, coming from professors of foreign universities, natural persons and representatives of international organizations or social partners. There is a position of executive director, who is selected by the Board of Directors and can come from inside or outside universities or be a private individual. The rector “may be removed in case of a significant speech and an increased majority” by the Board of Directors.
Changes are also foreseen in the elections of faculty members (Teaching and Research Staff) and a new framework of disciplinary law of faculty members, EEP, EDIP and EIB of universities.
A Student Council is established in each HEI, which consists of all the representatives of the Departments. All “active students of the first, second, and third year of study” have the right to participate in the student elections.
The bill, among other things, provides for the possibility of establishing new curricula, without the permission of the Ministry of Education, as in force until now, except with the certification by ETHAE and the establishment of companies by decision of universities. Also, greater use in distance education in postgraduate programs, extension of students’ internship, “Greek Erasmus”, joint interdisciplinary study programs, dual study programs (award of two degrees). The possibility of establishing a research institute or university museum in another city and a branch abroad for the organization of study programs. A new framework for the utilization of the property of the universities is also foreseen.
Also, the quotas in the determination of the teachers who come from inside or outside the Institution are abolished. It provides the possibility of cooperation with the labor market and the establishment of professional postgraduates, elaboration of industrial doctoral dissertations in collaboration with industry and the establishment of a University Center for Research and Innovation without requiring legislation or a ministerial decision.
The framework for the organization of joint foreign language study programs in collaboration with Universities abroad is simplified. The mandatory criterion of excellence for the exemption fees of vulnerable groups is established, as well as the possibility of granting reciprocal scholarships with the obligation to offer a project to the Postgraduate Program or the University. Start-ups are created for students, doctors, postdoctoral students of the University and the possibility of participation of the Universities in corporate schemes-commercial companies is provided.
In addition, direct assignments for the supply of goods, the provision of services and the execution of projects / studies are facilitated.
Changes are also foreseen in the elections of faculty members (Teaching and Research Staff).
Regarding DOATAP, the “parity” and “parity” procedures are abolished. If the Degree is included in the Degree Type Register, it will be automatically recognized as academically recognized. According to Ms. Kerameos, this will facilitate foreign students who want to continue their studies in Greece and academic access to the labor market.