Education in Greece: Wikis


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Education in Greece
Greece education logo.png
Ministry of National Education
and Religious Affairs

Anna Diamantopoulou
National education budget (2001)
Budget: 4,7 billion (public)
2.7% of GDP1
General Details
Primary Languages: Greek
Literacy (2003)
Total: 97.5%
Male: 98.6%
Female: 96.5%
Total: 1,426,175
Primary: 786,025 2
Secondary: 360,248 3
Post Secondary: 276,902 4
1Gianouridis & Bagley, p. 62 2000-2001 schoolyear (Επαιδευτικό Ελληνικό πίνακας 6.2, σ. 24) 32000-2001; loc. cit. 41999-200; ibid., 53

The Greek educational system is mainly divided into three levels, namely primary, secondary and tertiary, with an additional post-secondary level providing vocational training. Primary education is divided into kindergarten lasting one or two years, and primary school spanning six years (ages 6 to 12). Secondary education comprises two stages: Gymnasio (variously translated as Middle or Junior High School), a compulsory three-year school, after which students can attend Lykeio (an academically-oriented High School) or Vocational training. Tertiary education is provided by Universities and Polytechnics (A.E.I.), Technological Educational Institutes (A.T.E.I., 2001 ~ present) and Academies which primarily cater for the military and the clergy. Undergraduate courses typically last 4 years (5 in polytechnics and some technical/art schools, and 6 in medical schools), postgraduate (MSc level) courses last from 1 to 2 years and doctorates (PhD level) from 3 to 6 years.

All schools, regardless of level, are overseen by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The Ministry exercises centralised control over state schools, by prescribing the curriculum, appointing staff and controlling funding. Private schools also fall under the mandate of the Ministry, which exercises supervisory control over them. At a regional level, the supervisory role of the Ministry is exercised through Regional Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education, and Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education operate in every Prefecture. Tertiary institutions are nominally autonomous, but the Ministry is responsible for their funding, and the distribution of students to undergraduate courses. Currently the Greek government only recognises the degree programmes offered by the state-run universities although there are several private universities and colleges offering degree programmes that are validated and overseen by American, British and other European universities. Attempts are under way to persuade the Greek government to recognise these overseas programmes.

All levels of education are catered for by both private and public schools. State-run schools and universities do not charge tuition fees and textbooks are provided free to all students. There are also a number of private tutors schools, colleges and universities operating alongside the state education and providing supplementary tuition. These parallel schools (Greek: φροντιστήριο, frontistirio (single)) provide foreign language tuition, supplementary lessons for weak students as well as exam preparation courses for the competitive Panhellenic national examinations. Most of the students typically attend such classes (and examinations) at the tutors schools in the afternoon and evening in addition to their normal schooling.

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Secondary Education

  • Γυμνάσιο (Gymnasium - Middle / Secondary School) (compulsory education)
    • Πρώτη Γυμνασίου / 1st grade, age 12 to 13
    • Δευτέρα Γυμνασίου / 2nd grade, age 13 to 14
    • Τρίτη Γυμνασίου / 3rd grade, age 14 to 15
  • Γενικό Λύκειο (General Lyceum - High School)
    • Πρώτη Λυκείου / 1st grade, age 15 to 16
    • Δευτέρα Λυκείου / 2nd grade, age 16 to 17
    • Τρίτη Λυκείου / 3rd grade, age 17 to 18

Tertiary Education in Greece

  • Ανώτατα Εκπαιδευτικά Ιδρύματα - Α.E.I. (Higher Educational Institutes)

Higher Educational Institutes are consisted of two parallel sectors: the Universities and the Higher Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I.).

Private Education

  • There are public and private dimotika (primary education), gymnasia (middle school; secondary education), lykeia (high school; secondary education). Some of them are for foreigners, usually children of British or American families. For example see American Community Schools.
  • Public and private IEK.
  • According to the article 16 of the Greek constitution, private tertiary education isn't allowed in Greece. However there are some Laboratories of Free Studies (Ergastiria Eleutheron Spoudon), often franchises of foreign universities, sometimes non-profit organizations, which advertise themselves as private universities. For example see New York College, BCA Business College of Athens, ALBA Graduate Business School, University of Wales, Bangor, Mediterranean College, Deree College, etc.

Vocational Education and Training

  • Επαγγελματικό Λύκειο, ΕΠΑ.Λ. (Epagelmatiko Lykio - Educational Lyceum, EPA.L.)
  • I.E.K. - Ινστιτούτο Επαγγελματικής Κατάρτισης (Institouto Epagelmatikis Katartisis - Vocational Training Institute). O.E.E.K. is the government organization which oversees these institutes.
  • Private EES schools often offer seminars and 1-year vocational programmes, usually for Computing or Business studies. Young Greeks can seek private vocational education using the computer software products Eurofasma and Kefaleo (Capital).

Obsolete Institutions

  • Τεχνικό Επαγγελματικό Εκπαιδευτήριο, ΤΕΕ (Techniko Epagelmatiko Ekpedeftirio - Technical Vocational School, TEE)
  • Τεχνικό Επαγγελματικό Λύκειο, ΤΕΛ (Techniko Epagelmatiko Lykeio - Technical Vocational Lyceum, TEL)
  • Τεχνική Επαγγελματική Σχολή, ΤΕΣ (Techniki Epagelmatiki Scholi - Technical Vocational School, TES)
  • Ενιαίο Πολυκλαδικό Λύκειο, ΕΠΛ (Eniaio Polykladiko Lykeio - Unified Multidisciplinary Lyceum, EPL)

Current issues

The foremost topic of debate in recent years has been anagnorisi (αναγνώριση "recognition"): Private universities are forbidden by the 1975 constitution. Numerous private institutions, often franchises of European and American universities such as the University of Indianapolis and the State University of New York, but also non-profit accredited institutions, are operating legally as EES schools (translatable as "Laboratories of Free Study").

Moreover, with few exceptions, the Greek government refuses to recognize three-year university degrees. Students who completed a Bachelor's degree in a foreign country find it difficult to secure employment in the public sector, unless they next obtain a Master's degree, in which case their academic qualifications are considered equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree conferred by a Greek higher educational institute.


  • Anastasios Giamouridis and Carl Bagley, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, vol. 24, No. 1, "Policy, Politics and Social Inequality in the Educational System", May 2006, pp. 1–21.
  • Education Research Centre - Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, The Greek Education System. Facts and Figures (Supervision: Prof. V. Koulaidis. Compiled by C. Papakyriakopoulos, A. Patouna, A. Katsis & S. Georgiadou), Athens, 2003. (ISBN 960-541-106-7)
    • (Greek) Κέντρο Εκπαιδευτικής Έρευνας, Το Ελληνικό Εκπαιδευτικό Σύστημαˑ Συνοπτική εικόνα σε αριθμούς, Αθήνα, 2003. (ISBN 960-541-108-3) [1] (accessed June 1, 2006)
  • Greek Educational System: The Implementation of the ICT in the Greek Curriculum in Compulsory Education, IACM/FORTH, November 2003 [2]
  • National report of Greece 2009 - Bologna Process:

External links

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