Higher education

Types of higher institutions for Greeks and international students

Higher education

Greek higher education is fully regulated by the state. Public higher education is divided into universities and technological education institutes (TEI). Only public institutions are allowed to provide tertiary education.

University (Panepistimio)

There are 22 universities in Greece and more than 30 TEI spread over a huge geographical area, including many islands. TEI are more practical and specialize in production and science. There is also The Hellenic Open University (EAP) providing distance education (undergraduate, postgraduate and adult education). It also offers university studies to those who cannot attend classes or laboratories for whatever reason.

Classes are taught in Greek and the grades are based on the numeric scale from 1 to 10 (10 is excellent, and a pass/fail lies at 5). Universities award bachelor's degrees for undergraduate degree programs (four to five years), one and two-year master's degrees and doctoral degrees (three to six years). Admission of students into universities depends on their performance in nationwide exams taking place in the third grade of upper secondary school.

Although Greece joined the Bologna Process from the very beginning in 1999 it has yet to formally transition to its standards due to student protests of reforms. As a result, students who earn a bachelor's degree in another country may find that it does not qualify them to attend a graduate degree program in Greece.

Private higher institutions are mainly branches of universities and colleges from the United States and the UK. These offer degrees accepted by the parent country. As with most private schooling, tuition fees are considerably higher than for the public universities in Greece.

Study abroad in Greece

Greece participates in higher education programmes such as Arion, Erasmus, Leonardo, Lingua, Socrates and Tempus. Visit the respective websites to find out more about application procedures if you plan to study in Greece through any of these programmes.

Otherwise, if you want to enrol full time in an institution in Greece, you will generally be requested to submit the following documents:

  • residence permits, which can be obtained from the Greek Foreigners Services Department
  • medical check-up certificate
  • certificate of your knowledge of the Greek language

Tuition fees are not necessary for EU and EEA students at public universities in Greece, while non EU-students have to pay a fee. In general they pay an average of 1.500€. The exact amount depends on the course, so it’s a good idea to ask the institution you are interested in.

Undergraduate studies in Greece require a secondary school leaving certificate from your home country. Besides a knowledge of Greek, you will have to prove you have studied another foreign language such as English, French, Spanish or German. You will have to submit your application through the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs.

Masters and PhD applications need a relevant bachelor’s or equivalent degree from your home country. To apply for PhD studies you are required to be in possession of a relevant diploma or masters degree. If you plan to enrol in a Master’s or Doctoral study, you must send your application directly to the institution. The application form is available to download from the individual schools' website.

In the case that your application requires a recognition of your studies and credentials, contact the Institute of Technological Education (ITE-NARIC), Ministry of Education.

Further reading

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