Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking in Parliament over a new draft law on tertiary education, said "with this bill we are freeing universities and technical institutes from statism; we are delivering them to society as public educational institutions, ones functioning for the public interest and not short-sighted unions."
Papandreou said the sector of higher education constitutes an example of the clientele conceptions that have prevailed in Greek society, resulting in a "Soviet model of central irrational planning ... with student leaders involved in transactions with professors, who aspire to assume administrative positions."
Education Minister on changes in higher education draft bill
Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou on Monday called for consensus regarding whatever changes in a series of articles included in a higher education reform draft bill, which was tabled in Parliament.
Diamantopoulou told Parliament that the plan for changes in higher education includes 80 articles.
"Interventions and changes have been made in everything except election process for rectors and presidents. I do not believe that these two issues can hinder consensus," she said.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) tabled proposals for changes on nine points.
Draft bill on higher education tabled
The issue of university autonomy and the creation of councils of higher education foundations with administrative duties and with the participation of individuals outside academia was discussed during debate on a draft bill for higher education.
The draft bill is backed by the government majority and deputies of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) party.