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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in higher education


12.Educational Support and Guidance

12.6Guidance and counselling in higher education

Last update: 15 February 2024

Academic guidance

According to law 4485/2017, the organisational charter of each higher education institution foresees the establishment and operation of student support structures. The aim is to provide:

  • Counselling services for students' smooth transition from secondary to higher education
  • Information on the institution’s operation
  • Support to students with disabilities or students facing difficulties in completing their studies.

In addition to this, the internal regulation of each institution determines, on a rotational basis, the assignment of advisory duties to members of academic staff.  Their task is to provide guidance and advice to students on their progress and successful completion of studies.

Postgraduate studies leading to a master's degree

If the postgraduate programme includes a master’s dissertation, the coordinating committee appoints the supervisor, once the candidate states in a written application:

  • The proposed title of the dissertation
  • A dissertation summary
  • The supervisor.

The coordinating committee also establishes a three-member board.  The latter approves and evaluates the proposed dissertation of the specific M.A. programme.  The supervisor is one of the members of the three-member board.

Postgraduate studies leading to a PhD degree

The assembly of the department appoints:

  1. A three-member advisory committee to support the doctoral dissertation at all stages
  2. A supervisor to supervise the doctoral dissertation, under the provisions of the postgraduate studies regulations of the department.

Undergraduate and postgraduate mobility

In the context of the ERASMUS+ programme, there is collaboration between students and the Department of European and International Relations/Erasmus+ Office. It is based in HEIs and it provides students with all the necessary information concerning  their mobility period.

Mediation between students and teachers or administrative services

Law 4009/2011 establishes an independent office in each institution under the name "Student’s Advocate", in order to:

  • mediate between students and professors or the administrative services of the institution,
  • facilitate the observance of legality in the context of academic freedom,
  • contribute to the handling of maladministration and the preservation of the proper functioning of the institution.

The "Student’s Advocate" can be a professor at the institution and is appointed by the Council of the institution, after the opinion of the students’ welfare council, for a term of one academic year, with the possibility of renewal.

The "Student’s Advocate" investigates cases, ex officio or after a student’s complaint, and mediates in the competent bodies of the institution for their resolution. They can request any information, documents or other evidence from the services of the institution, examine people, perform an autopsy and order an expert opinion. If it is found that in a particular case legal rights are not observed, or that there are cases of maladministration or the proper functioning of the institution is disturbed, a report is drawn-up which notifies the professor to whom it concerns or the competent administrative service as well as the student who submitted the report. The report acts as a mediating force in order to solve the problem in the best way possible.

Psychological counselling

In the framework of student care and student support services, counselling to students is a broadly acclaimed provision, operating in all HEIs.  It is offered in the student counselling centres, which offer free of charge:

  • Counselling and psychological support to undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Support to students with special educational needs.
  • Raise awareness and sensitise the university community in mental health issues.
  • Form a general mental health policy.

Indicative examples of such efforts are:

  1. The Counselling Centre for Students at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  2. The Counselling and Guidance Centre of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  3. The Counselling Centre of the University of Crete.

Career guidance

The regulation of each institution foresees the establishment and operation of a student information service on issues of career guidance.
Members of the academic staff undertake counselling duties, while monitoring graduates’ employability.
The Employment and Career Centres (DASTA) in HEIs include:

  • Career offices
  • Internship offices and
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship units.

Employment and career centres provide counselling support to undergraduate and graduate students and help them in their transition to the labour market.
Further more, by virtue of law 4009/2011, Innovation and Career Offices operate within all HEIs. They provide special services about information and career counselling. They support and assist students in:

  • The diagnosis of their inclinations and skills
  • Matters of career choice and/or further studies
  • Employment search.

Lastly, students carry out their practical training in the public or private sector, when their programme of studies includes this.  The organisational charter of each institution regulates the conditions and terms of practical training.
Special care is also taken to help students with disabilities to perform their practical training on equal terms with any other student.