Survey exposes absenteeism and lack of interest

March 8, 1996

Only one in three Greek university students attend sclasses regularly, according to a survey carried out by the school of philosophy of the University of Athens.

The survey, based on the answers to a questionnaire from 1,683 final-year students, also found that just over 80 per cent admit to having no interest in what they are studying.

Only 35 per cent of those asked said they attended all classes on a regular basis; 26.6 per cent went to specific classes; 12.3 per cent to a substantial amount of classes: 10 per cent some classes: and 6.6 per cent said they attended either a few classes or none at all.

Students were put off by reasons ranging from the quality, content and organisation of the studies to the lack of cleanliness, heating and ventilation of the classrooms.

A large number of students admitted that there was a serious disparity between their interests and their studies, while 71.4 per cent were dissatisfied with the university's services and equipment as well as the conditions prevailing in the lecture rooms and laboratories; 56.4 per cent were dissatisfied with the organisation and the level of studies; while 8 out of ten students complained they get no training in research.

Students' complaints did not focus only on the antiquated study programme, but also on the poor quality of the professors' and lecturers' lectures in large auditoria: lack of laboratories and badly organised study areas; the widespread use of only one manuscript per subject; and exams based on memory powers rather than active, critical and creative participation.

The survey also revealed that 55.4 per cent were dissatisfied with the quality of the books, 67 per cent had a negative view of the lecturers, while 83 per cent declared that they received little or no help from the university; a further 83 per cent were dissatisfied with the quality of student life and disappointed with the student union movement.

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