Thursday, 2 September 2010

Back door recognition for education?

The ministry of education has submitted a bill to boost workers' marketability, which could especially benefit those with a non-state education.

Graduates of universities in Europe and North America may not compete for public sector jobs, about one quarter of the job market, or enrol at a Greek university for posgraduate study.

This is because Greece is the only European Union member not to recognise degrees issued by non-state universities and universities of other member states, owing to strong support within the ruling socialist party and the left wing parties for a constitutional guarantee of free higher education for all.

An attempt to amend the constitution led to street protests and riots lasting weeks during the summers of 2006 and 2007.

The Life-long Learning bill would create a point system for any type of degree, diploma or other certificate of learning acquired by an individual during the course of their life. The points accrued could be used to apply for public sector jobs.

The government took a further step towards integrating non-state degree holders into the full economy in May, when it issued a presidential decree harmonising EU directives on professional qualifications. The decree states that a worker's profession is recognised by the state regardless of where their degree came from, as long as they are recognised in the relevant professional body.

But there has so far been no movement under the socialist government, elected in October last year, to harmonise EU rules on mutual recognition of university degrees as academic titles.

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