National Higher Education


The status of higher education in Greece has been reformed the last decade mainly by two state laws. According to the Law
2916/2001, higher education in Greece consists of two parallel sectors: the University sector (Universities, Polytechnics, Fine Arts
Schools and the Open University) and the Technological sector (Technological Educational Institutions/T.E.I.s and the School of
Pedagogic and Technological Education). Furthermore, according to the law 3549/2007, certain issues were adjusted, concerning the
governance of higher education along with the general guidelines of expanded participation, increased transparency, accountability
and extended autonomy of all higher education institutions.

(ii) Access

Entry requirement to the various Schools/ Departments of the Universities (Panepistimio) and the Technological Educational Institutions (Technologiko Ekpedeftiko Idryma – TEI) depends on the achievement score attained on the National Exams and on the Certificate obtained by the High School (Lyceum) graduates. More specifically, the general achievement score for a successful entry to higher education institutions takes into account the grade of high school final year and the grades on the six chosen subjects of the national level examinations. Furthermore, admission to higher education institutions depends on the number of available places (numerus clausus) and on the candidates' ranked preferences among the higher education schools/ departments.

(iii) Qualifications

Students who successfully complete their studies at Universities and TEIs are awarded a Ptychio (Degree of first cycle of studies). First
cycle programmes last from four years for most fields to five years for engineering and certain other fields of science and six years for
medicine. The Ptychio provides the opportunity for further study at the post-graduate level that includes the one year second cycle
leading to the second degree, Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis – equivalent to the Master's degree – and the third cycle of studies
leading to the doctorate degree, Didaktoriko Diploma – equivalent to the PhD degree.
Recent legislation (Law 3374/2005) on quality assurance in Higher Education, the Credit Transfer System and the Diploma
Supplement defines the framework and criteria for evaluation of University/TEI departments and for the accreditation of student
degrees. These measures aim at promoting student mobility and contributing to the creation of a European Higher Education Area, as
this is defined by the Bologna Process.
(iv) Ongoing reforms and policy initiatives
Concerning the higher education, indeed wide reforms take place regarding higher education and the Bologna Process. Law
3794/2009 harmonized the operation of the university and technological sectors of higher education and put both Universities and
Technological Education Institutions (TEIs) at the same level of higher education.
As a consequence of the classification of the education institutes, a title (school-leaving, certificate, degree etc.) is compulsory for the
student at each education level in order to continue to the next.
A detailed description of the Greek Education System is offered in:
•  EURYBASE ( and
•  EURYDICE ( database of the European Education Systems.