Saturday, July 2, 2011

Recognition of Higher Education Degrees in Greece

The minister of education has hinted that 3 year undergraduate programs may be eligible for Higher Education status in Greece, equivalent to the current Greek programs.

Greece currently does not recognize 3 year undergrad programs from European Canadian and American universities as equivalent to the local Greek university curricula.

The reason for this is that Greece, through the ministry of education and the NARIC assessment body (DOATAP or ΔΟΑΤΑΠ) considers as an equivalence parameter the number of years of the program rather than the quality of the program.

For instance a 3 or 4 year undergraduate engineering program from McGill, one of the world's top universities, is not considered equivalent to the 5 year program of the National Polytechnic Institute (Ethiko Metsovio Polytechnio or EMP, ΕΜΠ) since the EMP program is a five year program while the McGill program is a 4 year program.

So according to the DOATAP, the fact that McGill (or MIT) is a world class university that makes the grade in every assessment and accreditation list and consists of rigorous courses taught by world reknown professors (example Dr. Peter Caynes)in a framework consisting of heavy research and academic excellence makes no difference (to DOATAP - ΔΟΑΤΑΠ); the important thing is that McGill's program is 4 years, while the local program is a five year program, and that's what counts (without any mention of the composition, quality or relevance of the program).

In addition, the MInistry of education does not take into account extra years spent in pre university programs (in Canada and the US) such as the 2 years Quebec residents need to spend in college in a pure and applied science program, these years consisting of courses that are more than equivalent to the first two years of EMP (for example the linear algebra curricula in Quebec CEGEPS is equivalent to a freshman course in MIT).

The Minister of Education's goal of reexamining how programs are assessed and accredited in Greece is expected to meet stiff competition both from the academic environment as well as from the local order of engineers; both entities have been severely critisized in the last couple of years as contributing to Greece's inertia.

Of course with Greece's demise and the eventual disintegration of the public sector, the fact whether DOATAP will eventually recognize or not any of these degrees is to say the least....irrelevant.

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