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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Ongoing reforms and policy developments


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

Last update: 14 October 2022

This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2020.

The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.
The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels:

  • Early childhood education and care
  • School education
  • VET and Adult learning
  • Higher education
  • Transversal skills and Employability.

Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.

Overall national education strategy and key objectives

The Greek parliament adopts the laws, while the government sets the rules for pre-school, school, post-secondary and tertiary education.
The overall educational strategy and the key objectives of the educational system are published in laws and regulations.
The Greek educational system is under the central responsibility and supervision of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs implements a series of policies and initiatives aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of education in both content and procedures.

New Educational Policy

According to the new education policy, changes are being implemented in all levels of education, which are carried out through legislation, ministerial decisions and wider actions.

National priorities

School education

School upgrading (law 4692/2020, law 4823/2021):
The above-mentioned laws regulate a wide spectrum of matters. Matters of primary, secondary education and lifelong learning, and higher education are regulated. The goal is school upgrading. The arrangements are organised in 3 principal axes:

  1. reform of school curricula,
  2. targeted interventions to reinforce the educational work provided in school and 
  3. organisational and improvement adjustments in higher education.

Law 4823/2021 emphasises in autonomy in schools. The law strengthens freedom in the organisation of teaching, the role of teachers in educational management positions, as well as transparency and accountability.

New Curricula

The Curricula determine the what, the how and the why of the learning process for each lesson, class, and level. 123 programmes have been redesigned and 43 updated - for primary, and secondary education.

The New Curricula are already being implemented and will be gradually introduced in all schools, accompanied by new textbooks.

21st century Skills Labs

The Skills Labs is an innovative school module, which advances soft and digital skills, as well as fundamental life skills (related to health, safety, and social interactions).

This initiative aspires to bring about a paradigm shift in education: moving away from a knowledge-centric model to a skills-based approach. Rather than receiving and memorizing information conveyed by the teacher, both teachers and students work together to cultivate essential skills and learn how to learn. 

The workshops are combined with Flexible Curricula. Students make better use of knowledge and respond more effectively to modern challenges.
The module is part of the mandatory national curriculum in compulsory education. The programme has received the Global Education Network Europe (GENE) Global Education Award (2020/21).

Higher education

Introduction to Higher Education and protection of academic freedom

The purpose of the L. 4957/2022is 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.

Issues of admission to higher education, protection of academic freedom, upgrading of the academic environment and other provisions are regulated (law 4777/2021). 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 of the premises of the institutions, an aim pursued for the first time and in a comprehensive way.

Law 4692/2020 (School upgrading and other provisions), as regards higher education, targets organisational and improvement adjustments, enhancing internationalisation of universities, and a more transparent procedure for appointment of new rectorate authorities.

Vocational Education

National System of Vocational Education, Training and Lifelong Learning, incorporation into Greek legislation of Directive (EU) 2018/958 of the European Parliament and of the Council as of 28th June 2018 on proportionality test (law 4763/2020).
A holistic reform is being attempted in Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Learning (law 4763/2020), which is organised in 3 principal axes:

  1. Axis 1: The joint strategic planning of Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Learning. With distinct levels of qualifications, to avoid overlapping of structures and services. In this context, a National Vocational Education and Training System is established, which extends over levels 3, 4 and 5 of the National Qualifications Framework, in line with those of the European Qualifications Framework.
  2. Axis 2: A more direct and effective interconnection of Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Learning with the real needs of the labour market, through the effective participation of social partners.
  3. Axis 3: The upgrade of the (initial and continuing) vocational education and training, at the level of
    1. structures, 
    2. procedures,
    3. curricula and
    4. certification.

Overview of the education reform process and drivers

Typically, the reform process is a political initiative launched by elected officials (members of Parliament) or the Ministers or appointed officials for Educationand Religious Affairs.

Input for reforms or initiatives may also originate from different stakeholders, including government, regional and local authorities, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, employers and employee unions, and businesses. Besides, reforms may be shaped by international influences and trends.

The Hellenic Authority for Higher Education proposes the strategy for higher education to the Minister. Similarly, the main advisory body for primary and secondary education is the Institute for Education Policy. The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs decides on the strategic plans for all levels of education, leaving a certain amount of autonomy for specific issues to the decentralized bodies. The implementation of strategy and compliance to directives is assigned to the commanding regional administration, i.e. Regional Education Directorates (two layers of hierarchy). The regional administration bodies supervise the school units in their area of jurisdiction. The overall education strategy is included in the Government Programme

For more details, see above “Overall national education strategy and key objectives”.