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Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education  
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition


Types of higher education institutions:

Anotera Ekpedeftika Idrymata (AEI) (University)

Technologika Ekpaideftika Idrymata (TEI) (Technological Educational Institution)

Open University


School leaving and higher education credentials:

Apolytirio Lykeiou



Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis





Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 6

Age of exit: 14

Structure of school system:


Type of school providing this education: Dimotiko

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 6 to: 11

Lower Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Gymnasio

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 12 to: 14

Certificate/diploma awarded: Apolytirio Gymnasiou

Upper Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Lykeio

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 17

Certificate/diploma awarded: Apolytirio Lykeiou

Vocational Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Technika Epangelmatika Ekpedeftiria (TEE)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 17

Certificate/diploma awarded: Level 3 Certificate

School education:

Primary education lasts for six years. Secondary education is provided in both public and private schools and is divided into a compulsory first cycle (Gymnasio), from age 12 to 15, and an optional second cycle (Lykeio) from age 15 to 18. No entrance examinations are required in either case.

Higher education:

Under the terms of the Constitution of 1975, higher education institutions are legal entities of public law. They are self-governing and under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs which supports them financially and is responsible for educational policy concerning them. Technological Educational Institutions (TEI) form part of higher education just like the universities but belong to the non-university sector. Military Academies (Stratiotikes Scholes Axiomatikon) enjoy the same status as universities but they fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence. There are no private universities. The diplomas awarded by certain private post-secondary education institutions are not recognized by the State.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Law 1404/83 Year: 1983

Concerns: Technological Educational Institutions

Decree: Law 1566/85 Year: 1985

Concerns: Secondary and higher education

Decree: Law 2083/92 Year: 1992

Concerns: Institutions of university level, open university

Decree: Law 2525/97 Year: 1997

Decree: Law 2916/01 Year: 2001

Concerns: Higher Education

Decree: Law 3255/04 Year: 2004

Concerns: Joint Master's Degrees

Academic year:

Classes from: Sep to: Jun

Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 15 Sep

Languages of instruction: Greek

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

The Higher Engineering Training College includes specialized departments: Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The Athens Higher School of Religious Studies offers three-year courses. The Higher State Academies for the Merchant Navy offers three-year courses. At the end of the course and after passing examinations, students obtain the Dokimou Axiomatikou diploma. There are also Schools of Fine Arts. Centres for Higher Technical Education (KATE) offer short training courses (six to nine months) in over 20 fields. Specialized training is offered in certain areas. An Act of Parliament has established Institutes of Vocational Training (IEK). They admit school leavers from Gymnasia, Technical-Vocational Schools and Lykeia. Training usually lasts for four semesters. A Certificate of Vocational Training which mentions the duration and specialization of the course is awarded following a final examination.


University level studies:

University level first stage: Ptychio:

Undergraduate degree programmes at universities normally last for four years (eight semesters) and lead to the Ptychio in the relevant field. In Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Engineering and Agricultural Studies, studies last for ten semesters. In Medicine, they last for twelve. The study programme contains compulsory and elective courses. Each semester, students are required to follow a number of compulsory courses consisting of the core programme and a number of elective courses. The total number of courses to be taken is decided by the respective course programme of the department. In some departments, the submission of a dissertation describing the final (graduation) project is required. For example, the 10th semester of all Engineering Departments is devoted to the preparation of a final year project and the submission of a dissertation.Entrance requirements to the Institutions of Technological Education (TEI) are the same as for universities.  Studies in TEI last for seven or eight semesters, including the compulsory professional placement and the completion of a graduation project and lead to a Ptychio. Subjects include general compulsory subjects, mandatory elective subjects and optional subjects.The Ptychio qualifies holders for immediate employment. It also allows them to continue their studies in a related university undergraduate course and, at postgraduate level, in a Greek or - mostly - in a foreign university.

University level second stage: Metaptychiako Díploma Exidíkefsis:

The first level of postgraduate studies, of a duration of a minimum of four semesters, leads to the Metaptychiako Díploma Exidíkefsis (Postgraduate Diploma of Specialization). This study programme may be carried out and completed in a university or research institute outside Greece. The degree, however, is awarded in Greece.

University level third stage: Didaktoriko:

The Doctoral Degree (Didaktoriko) is conferred after the public defence of a thesis. The research must be original and show advances in research and science. A doctoral thesis requires at least three years' study since the student was admitted to doctoral studies. Students can be admitted to a doctoral research programme when they hold a Greek Ptychio or Diploma or an equivalent qualification obtained abroad and recognized by Dikatsa. In certain university departments, students must also hold a Diploma of Postgraduate Specialization. This is the case when the department offers a postgraduate programme that is relevant to the doctoral research.


Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

The training of primary school teachers is provided by the Pedagogical Departments for Primary Education which have been set up at some Universities.

Training of secondary school teachers

Secondary level teacher training takes place at university level. Pedagogical studies may be taken in the third or fourth year but it is not obligatory. Within certain specialized fields, teacher training takes place at university level specialist institutions.Technical secondary teachers are trained in a School for Technical Vocational Education Teachers (SELETE) which includes the Technical Pedagogy School ( PATES).  It offers training courses to graduates of the TEIs and universities. This leads to the qualification of Ptychio(n) Paedagogikon Spoudon. The Higher Engineering College (ASETEM) is another institution that is part of SELETE. It offers four-year courses after the completion of Lykeo which include a period of teaching practice. The final qualification is the Ptychio(n) Ekpedeftikou Technologou Michanikou.

Training of higher education teachers

The prerequisite for teaching in higher education institutions, at all levels, is a Doctorate in the relevant field awarded in Greece or at an institution of higher education abroad. The candidate's request at professorship is examined by a Board consisting of university professors on the basis of his previous experience and the level of the doctoral thesis which he has defended, whether in Greece or abroad.


Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

The Hellenic Open University (EAP) was established by law in 1992 and constitutes an independent and fully self-administered university. It is based in Patras. The mission of EAP is to provide distance undergraduate and postgraduate education and further education. It organizes educational programmes and vocational training or re-training programmes which lead to the award of Certificates and educational programmes which can, under certain circumstances, lead to the award of academic degrees.

Lifelong higher education

Lifelong learning in higher education is addressed to those adults who did not have the opportunity to attend higher education studies in a university or technological education institute. It is also addressed to graduates of higher education who have already been integrated into the labour market but because of the rapid and constant developments in science and technology are obliged to renew, update and modernise their knowledge and skills.

Other forms of non-formal higher education

Alternative Study Programmes at Greek universities and technological education institutes were introduced in 1998. These programmes focus on new fields and on completion of individual courses or a combination of courses to develop skills, taking into consideration the constantly changing needs of the labour market.




Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs

Head: Marietta Yiannakou-Koutsikou, Minister

15 Mitropoleos Street
10185 Athens

Tel: +30(1) 321 1420

Fax: +30(1) 323 9386




Synodos Ellinikon Pritaneon (Greek Rectors' Conference)

Head: Giorgos Venieris, President

30 Panepistimiou Street
106 79 Athens

Tel: +30(10) 368 9719/368 9721

Fax: +30(10) 368 9720





Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Apolytirio Lykeiou

For entry to: Vocational Training Institutes

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Apolytirio Lykeiou

For entry to: Universities and TEIs

Numerus clausus/restrictions: Entrance is restricted and dependent on candidates' grades and preferences.

Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student: Foreign students are defined as those who either do not possess Greek nationality or whose parents, whether Greek public servants on duty abroad or permanent residents in a foreign country, have raised their children abroad.

Admission requirements: Secondary School-leaving Certificate equivalent to the Apolytirio Lykeiou or confirmation of the number of completed years of secondary schooling in Greece or abroad. They must have a recommendation.

Entry regulations: Residence permits are to be obtained from the Foreigners Services Department of the Greek Department..

Health requirements: A medical check-up is required before registration.

Language requirements: Students must hold a certificate which proves their knowledge of the Greek language.

Application procedures:

Apply to national body for entry to: All institutions of higher education.

Application closing dates:

For non-university level (technical/vocational type) studies: 1 Jul

For university level studies: 1 Jul

Recognition of studies & qualifications:

Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):

Institute of Technological Education (ITE-NARIC), Ministry of Education

Administrative officer: Ioannis Kazazis, Member of the Council

56, Syngrou Avenue
GR-11742 Athens

Tel: +30(210) 922 1000

Fax: +30(210) 680 0748


Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University and Profession

Services provided & students dealt with: To determine the equivalence of certificates and degrees conferred abroad with those conferred by Greek Techninological Educational Institutions.


Inter-University Centre for the Recognition of Foreign Academic Titles (DIKATSA)

Head: Georgios Leontaris, President

Administrative officer: Kardamitsi Eudokia, Director

Messogeion Ave 223
11525 Athens

Tel: +30(1) 675 6362

Fax: +30(1) 675 6709




Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University

Services provided & students dealt with: Assessment of foreign degrees with corresponding Greek degrees. Assessment of the level of foreign higher education institutions in comparison to Greek institutions.


Special provisions for recognition:

For access to university level studies: A number of foreign degrees and diplomas are recognized (consult the above bodies or the Unesco Study Abroad volume for details)

For access to advanced studies and research: Foreign students are invited to address themselves to the administrative office of the respective school or institution of higher education.

Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies

Name of agreement: No 21: European Convention on the Equivalence of Periods of University Study

Year of signature: 1960

Name of agreement: No 32: European Convention on the Academic Recognition of University Qualifications

Year of signature: 1959

References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies

Title: Guide to Admission into Tertiary Education for Foreigners and Others Born Abroad

Publisher: Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs



Health/social provisions

Social security for home students: Yes

Social security for foreign students: Yes

Foreign student social security provisions: Medical care is free for one-and-a-half times the number of semesters ascribed to the student's course. It includes medication, lab. tests, house calls, cost of maternity, dentistry and glasses.

Special student travel fares:

By road: Yes

By rail: Yes

By air: No

Available to foreign students: Yes

Student expenses and financial aid

Student costs:

Average living costs: 600 (Euro)

Home students tuition fees: Minimum: 0 (Euro)

Bodies providing information on student financial aid:

National Scholarship Foundation (IKY)

Odos Lysikratous 14
10558 Athens

Tel: +30(1) 325 4385


Deals with: Grants

Publications on student services and financial aid:

Title: "Professional Orientation" (in Greek)

Author: Charles Broussalis

Publisher: Orossimo

Title: Study Abroad 2004-2005, 32nd Edition

Author: UNESCO

Publisher: UNESCO Publishing

Year of publication: 2003



Participation of country in multilateral or bilateral higher education programmes

Name of exchange programme: ARION

Name of exchange programme: ERASMUS

Name of exchange programme: LEONARDO

Name of exchange programme: LINGUA

Name of exchange programme: SOCRATES

Name of exchange programme: TEMPUS



Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: 1-20

Highest on scale: 20

Pass/fail level: 10

Lowest on scale: 1

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: The numeric grading system 10-0 is used in higher education: 8.5-10 excellent; 7-8.4 good; 5-6.9 satisfactory; 4-4.9 poor; 0-3.9 unsatisfactory

Highest on scale: 10

Pass/fail level: 5

Lowest on scale: 0





Data for academic year: 2004-2005

Source: Institute of Technological Education, Athens, 2003, updated from Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs website and documentation, 2005

Copyright Š IAU, World Higher Education Database (WHED)

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