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Mitsotakis pledges to end public university monopoly

The leader of the Opposition has promised a constitutional change to allow for private universities to operate in Greece

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Photo: NK Archive

15 September 2017

Kiriakos Mitsotakis launched an attack against the state monopoly of tertiary education in Greece, pledging to fight for private universties to operate, if he comes to power. The leader of the Opposition made this pledge at Stanford University, where he was one of the keynote speakers at an event held by the Konstantinos Mitsotakis Foundation and the Stanford University 'Konstantinos Mitsotakis' Chair of Greek Studies. It was the inaugural event of the chair, more than a decade after the Tsakopoulos family of Sacramento donated US $2 million to Stanford to establish the chair (currently held by Professor Josiah Ober) and it was dedicated to the legacy of Ancient Greece in establishing the democracy of the future. In his speech, Mr Mitsotakis spoke of three traits of ancient Greek democracy which are always relevant, such as the participation of citizens to decision-making, but also extrovertion, and adherence to excellence. Expressing his view that society had to reward those who refused to compromised with mediocrity, he made the case for an 'open, free, contemporary education system' and called for the creation of private universities. For such a change to occur, constitutional reform is needed, given that the Greek constitution specifically states that tertiary education is solely delivered by state institutions.

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