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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in higher education


12.Educational Support and Guidance

12.5Support measures for learners in higher education

Last update: 15 February 2024

Definition of the target group(s)

In the field of higher education, law 4485/2017 foresees a series of educational and social support structures, provisions and benefits that target all students.
Whether undergraduates or postgraduates, students can be part-time students.
Special care is taken for individuals belonging to socially vulnerable groups, such as:

  • Students with disability and special educational needs
  • Economically disadvantaged
  • Foreigners
  • Working students.

The institution’s organisational charter and internal operation regulation determine:

  • The specific terms and procedure of granting educational and social benefits to specific groups of students.
  • The operation rules of the related services.

Specific support measures

  • The social policy of higher education institutions  is expressed in various ways:
    The electronic service of integrated textbooks management EUDOXUS offers free academic textbooks to all active students of first cycle programmes.
  • University libraries are bound to long-term lending of printed or digital academic textbooks to cover students’ needs during their studies. 
  • Professors of all ranks upload on the Internet the instruction – notes of the subjects they teach. 
  • Students attending study programmes for a second bachelor’s degree are also entitled to free printed copies of academic textbooks. 
  • Free housing and meals for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students who study in a city other than their permanent place of residence, based on their individual or family status.  There is also provision for student housing allowance. 
  • Students of HEIs and higher ecclesiastical academies who meet the required criteria can also apply for transfer to equivalent faculties/departments near their place of residence.
    The website of the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports gives the option for transfer through a special online platform. The e-applications are for transfers:
  • Based on social and economic criteria
  • of student siblings
  • of Cypriot students.

Finally, there is provision for transfers in exceptionally serious and justified cases, e.g. for students in detention centres.

  • Students receive benefits for their transport during the whole year, as well as for their cultural recreation and entertainment. 
  • Students not covered by any other form of insurance are also entitled to full medical and hospital care in the National Health System. 
  • As foreseen in law 4009/2011, HEI students may receive contributory scholarships by offering part time work of about 40 hours per month in the institution they attend.

    There is a provision for the integration of remedial teaching in addition to the main lectures as well as the granting of 2000 contributory scholarships for:

  1. Conducting clinical and laboratory exercises with physical presence, in accordance with safety measures and rules and 
  2. In-service or distant learning, in addition to the main distant learning provided for undergraduate courses in small groups of students.
  • Special measures are foreseen to facilitate studies for working students, such as statutory granting of leaves during the exam period.  Working students who document their employment of at least 20 hours per week, may enroll as part-time students. 
  • Institutions grant awards and scholarships to students who have excelled.  The students’ personal or family fianancial status is taken into consideration.  The institution’s organisational charter defines the terms and conditions. 
  • The State Scholarships Foundation (IKY) grants scholarships at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral or post-doctoral level:

    Within the framework of the operational programme “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020, IKY announces undergraduate scholarships for all HEI schools/departments of the country.  The aim is to:

  • Enhance and support the timely completion of studies of diligent students with low income
  • The assurance of equal participation in higher education of special needs students and people who belong to socially vulnerable groups:

In addition, there are provisions for:

  • Oral testing of students with dyslexia evidenced prior to their admission to the institution.
  •  helping students with disability to carry out practical training on an equal footing as any other student.

The institution’s organisational charter and internal regulation determines the overall policy as regards:

  • Support to students with disability
  • Tackling particular problems faced by students.

The Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports has drafted the "Strategic Plan for Equal Access to Education for People with Disabilities" which includes projects and actions related to Higher Education Institutions. In the near future, the central axes of the policy for the rights of the disabled are foreseen to be integrated by legislation in the institutional framework for HEIs.

In particular, the "Strategic Plan for Equal Access to Education for People with Disabilities" provides for the field of Higher Education, among others, the following:

  • the gradual improvement of universal access to all Universities (physical accessibility, electronic accessibility, accessibility of educational and supervisory material and teaching methods; making reasonable adjustments, creating accessible websites; creating accessible administrative services for the public service)
  •  institutional guarantee for equal treatment of students, faculty members and staff of all categories with disabilities with the main goal of  smooth academic and professional development
  • the establishment of a "Committee for Access & Support for People with Disabilities" in each HEI. The committee will be supported by a corresponding administrative unit within each HEI (relevant office or department) and will be responsible for proposing an integrated framework of general support for people with disabilities in the relevant Institution
  • the necessary actions for the future integration of students with disabilities into active life and the labor market,
  • the establishment of "Volunteering" in the context of supporting students and staff with disabilities within universities, as well as general awareness-raising
  •  actions of the entire university community.

For foreign students, universities organise courses in modern Greek. For Greek students, there are courses in foreign languages.  These exclude the compulsory foreign language required for being awarded a degree.
Moreover, universities may offer curricula taught in whole or in parts, by exception, in a foreign language. The rector decides upon them, following:

  • A proposal by the deanery of the relevant faculty
  • An approval by the institution’s senate.

Finally, two fixed structures of higher education contributing to equal opportunities to education and social cohesion are:

  1. The International Hellenic University. It is the first public Greek university to offer study programmes in English.
  2. The Hellenic Open University. It facilitates access to tertiary education to a broad range of interested parties. It offers flexible and modern open educational opportunities through cycles of studies.