‘Eternal student’ numbers double in Greece

Economic crisis drives increase in students lingering in higher education

March 9, 2017
Statue of Socrates, Athens

The number of students enrolled in Greek universities without intending to graduate has doubled over the past decade, according to new data.

Education officials are blaming the rise on the economic crisis that has affected the country during the period.

Previous governments had introduced laws to stem the numbers of learners who are inactive in higher education: these so-called “eternal students” do not sign up for or attend courses but remain on university registration rolls. But these laws were repealed by the current administration in September last year.

The data, from the Greek Ministry of Education, reveal that in 2003 more than 163,000 students remained registered at universities and technical colleges without an inclination to graduate, according to a article in the Greek Reporter. By 2014, this number had doubled to almost 329,000.

The ministry collected the data as part of a study it is using to assess the situation in Greek higher education and to inform a new strategy for the sector.

The study also found that one in 10 graduates of Greek universities leaves the country.


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