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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in higher education


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.4National reforms in higher education

Last update: 1 April 2024


Strengthening the public university - framework for the operation of non-profit branches of foreign universities

 The purpose of Law 5094/2024 is to regulate the licensing, establishment and operation in Greece of branches of parent university institutions in the form of Legal Entities of University Education in a manner consistent with the constitutional purpose of higher education. Branches of foreign universities award higher education qualifications, are associated with higher education institutions located and recognised in other Member States of the European Union or in third coun-tries, and are licensed after a specific evaluation procedure by the competent institutions of the country. The operation of branches of foreign universities regulates the cross-border provision of higher education services by setting quality criteria and conditions.

In particular, it contributes to:

1.    The expansion of educational opportunities in Greece in a manner compatible with the social mission of higher education, 
2.    To attract foreign students to Greece, 
3.    To partially meet the ever-increasing domestic demand for university studies, 
4.    Increasing the indicators of economic growth through human capital, new knowledge, ideas and technologies that will remain in Greece, 
5.    To halt the trend of emigration of the country's young people for undergraduate and post-graduate studies in foreign universities and to halt the consequent direct impact on the na-tional economy; and 
6.    The repatriation of Greek academics and scientists to work in a similar university environment in our country.


•    Strengthening of internationalisation actions to provide support for the establishment of For-eign Language Study Programmes at the Universities of Applied Sciences with or without the cooperation of foreign institutions.
•    Increase the number of HEIs participating in European University Alliances and partnerships with American universities in order to establish new joint/dual degrees with foreign universi-ties. 
•    Establishment of support centres for foreigners to support their successful integration into the educational environment of Greek universities.

Industrial Phds

Promotion of industrial doctorates through university partnerships with SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).


Funding allocation in Higher Education Institutions based on quality criteria

No. 38124/Z1/31-3-2023 Decision sets the criteria and indicators of quality and achievements for the distribution of the annual regular funding to Higher Education Institutions. The criteria are both objective and qualitative.

Objective criteria

The objective criteria determine 80% of the distribution of the regular funding.

  • Number of Departments of the institution
  • Total number of enrolled students
  • Duration of undergraduate study programmes in semesters of study
  • Laboratory equipment requirements of the Departments of the institution
  • Geographical dispersion of the institution
  • Permanent teaching, laboratory and administrative staff
  • Temporary support staff - Inflexible costs
  • Allocation of Regular Budget of the previous financial year

For the calculation of the overall allocation index for each institution, each criterion is taken into account with a weighting factor.

Quality criteria

For the method of distribution of 20% of the annual regular funding, certain quality criteria are designated. The set of quality and achievement criteria and indicators fall into five sections as follows:

  1. the continuous improvement of the basic academic activities of the institution,
  2. research activity, excellence in research and performance of the scientific staff,
  3. the connection with society, the labour market and capitalization on knowledge generated,
  4. internationalisation and
  5. the quality of the university environment.

Among the above five sections of criteria, indicators and achievements, section 1 is mandatory for all Institutions, while from the remaining four sections the Institutions must select two sections, in which they are assessed.


New Horizons in Higher Education Institutions: Strengthening the quality, functionality and connection of HEIs with society and other provisions (L.4957/2022)

The purpose of the law is to improve the operation of higher education through an integrated approach that aims to upgrade the quality of the educational, research and scientific work of the institutions, strengthen their human resources, connect them with the development needs of the country and provide additional tools for the implementation of their strategic plans and relevant national strategies.

Some of the important changes introduced by the law are:

  • competitive study options and connection to the labour market,
  • facilitating the creation of start-ups by students and graduates,
  • strengthening meritocracy in the election and advancement of teaching and management staff,
  • Greek "Erasmus" for students,
  • utilisation of new technologies in teaching. 

In particular, the expected benefits and the corresponding institutional changes by category of stakeholders are:

For students: 

More academic options for modern, competitive, interdisciplinary studies:

• Possibility of choosing courses from other Departments

• Double/joint diplomas

• New minor degree programmes

• New applied science and technology programmes

• "Greek Erasmus student mobility programme"

Better and easier daily life at university:

• Psychological and Counseling Support Centers

• Care for students with special needs

• Ensuring objective grading

• Scholarships based on financial, as well as social and academic criteria

An effective representation, based on students’ real needs:

• Establishment of a Student Council

• Nomination of students to the administrative bodies of the university with a single ballot

Better connection with the labour market:

• Upgrade of internships

• Industrial doctorates in the framework of cooperation between universities and industry partners

• Facilitating the establishment of start-ups by students and graduates.

For University workers:

• A more transparent and meritocratic environment with a new framework for the election and advancement of teaching staff

• Greater freedom and flexibility, without overregulation, for an easier and better educational, academic and research daily life

Substantial incentives and facilitations for partnerships in Greece and abroad:

• Double/Joint study programmes with Departments of the same, but also of other universities inside and outside Greece

• Foreign language study programmes

• Summer study programmes for Greek and foreign students

• Branches of universities inside and outside Greece

• Possibility of establishing inter-institutional research institutes with research bodies inside and outside Greece.

For society and citizens:

The results of innovative university research (e.g. new educational method, new treatment, new approach) will be disseminated to society for its own benefit, and not recycled internally within the university:

• Incentives for innovative research

• Encouraging entrepreneurship for the exploitation of research results and the development of innovative products and services

• Citizens will have access to services offered by university laboratories – e.g. psychological counseling services, legal support, diagnostic tests

  • All citizens and workers will have more learning opportunities
  • Greek students, scientists and professionals from abroad are supported to return to Greece, thus dealing with the phenomenon of brain drain.
  • Teaching at the Greek university: E.g. rationalisation of parallel employment in foreign universities.
  • Research at the Greek university: E.g. tenured researchers and establishment of new full-time positions for funded scientists.
  • Working in Greece: Faster and simpler recognition of an academic qualification that allows access to the labour market.


Law 4777/2021 regulates issues of admission to higher education, protection of academic freedom, upgrading of the academic environment and other provisions. The regulations are mainly aimed at ensuring the conditions for successful studies and the timely completion of studies, with students who consciously choose their studies in areas that fall within their inclinations and interests. Equally important is the aim of strengthening the protection and security within the premises of the institutions, an aim pursued for the first time and in a comprehensive way. These regulations are justified on grounds of phenomena such as damage to public property and delinquency that take place within institutions, which directly affect the freedom of teaching, research and learning and negate the real meaning of the protection of ideas. In the long run, the aim is to ensure the role and smooth functioning of the institutions, which will establish a sense of trust in the academic community.