Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke of universities becoming more independent, criteria for additional allocation of state funding, and research and innovation, during a speech in Parliament’s plenary debating the new higher education draft bill on Tuesday.
In addition, the premier said, the current quality-assessing authority for higher education (ADIP) would be replaced by the National Authority on Higher Education, which will have a broader role and measure a university’s social and productive effectiveness.
The state will maintain the annual funding of public universities, but resource allocation will be based on specific assessments: 80 percent of funding will depend on objective criteria (number of students, cost per student, and institution’s location), while the remaining 20 percent will depend on indicators the institutions themselves select (quality of teaching, originality of research, active extroversion). All factors will therefore serve as incentives for improvements and increased funding.
Research and innovation will be supported by removing the responsibility for bureaucratic processes from professors who lead projects, and provide more transparency in the special accounts that fund research (ELKEs). This will also provide professors and researchers with incentives to improve their work and upgrade their positions, while students will have access to higher-qualified teaching staff.
Under the draft law, universities will be able to plan their own future and manage their statefunding as they wish. “This is what I call self-management of universities,” PM Mitsotakis said, adding that “the reforms we are talking about today will not cost a single euro in public funding – great changes sometimes are a matter of decision, not money.”
Among other issues he mentioned was the introduction of an IT state certificate; reforms in primary and secondary education, and public dialogue on both.
Mitsotakis called on parties to support the bill in order to benefit ]future generations.