Against “austerity” and “corporatisation” of universities, Greek students protest

The Times Logo (Malta)

Thursday, September 1, 2011
AFP– Greek students protest university reforms

Greek students held sit-ins at several universities yesterday to protest adoption of reforms by Parliament to make the country’s universities more competitive, local media reported.

In a protest that started earlier this week, the occupation affected about 40 institutions by yesterday, on the eve of demonstrations planned for Athens and Salonika, the reports said.

Many of the students were affiliated to radical and communist movements.

Last week, the Greek Parliament backed a bill which aims to improve the operation of universities marred by chronic waste of state funds and nepotism.

It also seeks to end the practice of thousands of Greek families sending their children to study abroad every year instead of opting for domestic institutions which are regularly shut down by student occupations and protests.

The overhaul has been criticised by many academics and leftist political parties who say it puts undue emphasis on business-oriented degrees to the detriment of other academic disciplines less in demand by employers.

An attempt by the government to open university boards to outsiders such as business leaders has also proved controversial.

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