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Rising Number of 'Eternal' Greek Students

university studentsThe phenomenon of “eternal students” in Greek universities has become a major issue for the country’s educational system.  Four out of 10 students have not completed their studies, even after 12 years, while university occupations by students  or their personnel, along with double examinations periods are making it even more difficult for them to complete the studies and obtain a degree.  However, Greek legislation allows someone to be considered a university student for years after being admitted, even if he doesn’t attend classes or participate in exams.
Girls appear to be doing better than boys, as they complete their studies in less time.  Meanwhile, the data concerning freshmen is rather shocking, mainly because the pressure of Panhellenic exams (university introduction exams) is keeping them from succeeding during their first year of university.  They seem to be so tired after their university introductory exams that they wish to take “a break” during their first college year.
This data was revealed in a study based on the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) list of enrolled students who have not yet obtained their degree, as recorded by the department for Employment and Career Structure and assistant professor Konstantinos Bethanis.  However, the image presented by AUA is not very different from the situation in other Greek universities which haven’t released any official data.
According to this study, 565 students enrolled at the Agricultural University of Athens in 2000. Twelve years later, only 358 (63.4%) have graduated. Out of these students, 17.2% completed their studies within seven years, the majority (40.4%) between 7-10 years and 5.8% needed more than a decade in order to obtain their degree.

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