Greece Parliament passes bill allowing foreign private non-profit universities News
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Greece Parliament passes bill allowing foreign private non-profit universities

The Greek Parliament passed Saturday its foreign university bill, allowing foreign private non-profit universities to establish branches in the country for the first time.

The bill, titled Strengthening the Public University – Framework for the Operation of Non-profit Branches of Foreign Universities, allows for the establishment of non-profit foreign universities after evaluation and certification by state bodies. The universities charge students tuition but operate on a non-profit basis. The reform aims to attract foreign students to Greece and meet the domestic demand for university studies.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on X (formerly Twitter) that the positive effects of the legislation are obvious, including the relief of family budgets, the additional significant income from foreign investments, the improvement of studies caused by academic competition and the creation of new jobs.

However, some people raise concerns about the bill. Sokratis Famellos, leader of the opposition SYRIZA party, criticized the reform as conservative in making higher education a commodity for students, as the state universities currently offer undergraduate courses for free. He also claimed the government trampled the dreams of the youth and the constitution to satisfy the interests of a few people.

The education bill sparked student protests in early February. On Friday, as the Greek parliament was expected to pass the bill, protests by university students escalated into clashes with police.