Contents | Executive Summary | How to obtain this publication | Additional information
The following OECD assessment and recommendations summarise Chapter 5 of the Economic survey of Greece, published on 30 May 2007.
See also the excerpt "The institutional framework for tertiary education falls short of best practice by a wide margin".
What needs to be done in the tertiary education system?
Human capital needs to be raised through improvements to the education system. A particular priority is reform of tertiary education where Greece currently has one of the most centralised and least flexible systems in the OECD. This is reflected in the poor quality of tertiary education outcomes: graduation rates are low, studies take a long time and student drop-out rates are high. The government has recently enacted a reform, which includes a series of important measures which will improve the governance of universities, ensure independent evaluation, limit the duration of academic study and raise the provision of student loans. Regarding the establishment of private universities, the first constitutional hurdle has been passed, based on the government’s majority in parliament, but an enhanced majority is still required after the election. While such changes appear modest in relation to how far Greece lags behind other OECD countries, they have met with great resistance, but are an essential step in the right direction. Such changes could lay the basis for further reforms, such as providing universities with greater autonomy in deciding on staffing and educational outputs and better governance. Private universities should be allowed as they would raise competition in the sector. The funding of universities should be linked to performance evaluations. Consideration should also be given to introducing tuition fees, which are currently only allowed for post-graduate studies, at a moderate level – rates of return to tertiary education are low in international comparison for men, but close to average for women. Tuition fees would raise the responsiveness of universities as well as injecting more resources into tertiary education, with likely gains to the quality of educational outcomes. The introduction of tuition fees should be accompanied by income-contingent loans to ease liquidity constraints faced by students from poorer families.
Graduation rates are low
New tertiary graduates as a share of the population aged 20 29, 2004(1)
1. Tertiary graduates cover all individuals, including those over age 29. OECD is an unweighted average.
Source: Oliveira-Martins, J. et al. (2007), "The Policy Determinants of Investment in Tertiary Education", OECD Economics Department Working Papers, forthcoming.
How to obtain this publication
The Policy Brief (pdf format) can be downloaded. It contains the OECD assessment and recommendations but not all of the charts included on the above pages.
The complete edition of the Economic survey of Greece 2007 is available from:
For further information please contact the Greece Desk at the OECD Economics Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. The OECD Secretariat's report was prepared by Dave Turner, Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou and Pamfili Antipa under the supervision of Peter Hoeller.