Jul 11
Last Updated on 28 July 2011

Higher Education

The higher education can be university or non university education.

Higher education is provided in universities (AEI) and in Institutions of Technological Education (TEI).

Universities consist of faculties. These are divided into departments. The curriculum of each department leads to a standard degree (Ptykchio).

The Institutions of Technological Education (TEI) comprise departments grouped in faculties covering the main areas of study (graphic art and art studies; management and economics, health and caring professions, agricultural technology, applied technology and food technology and nutrition). Their curriculum is more practically oriented.


The academic year for teaching activities runs from the second half of September to the first half of June and is divided into two semesters. In TEI it starts on 1 September and ends on 5 July; it is also divided into two semesters.
University courses last at least 4 years and technical tertiary education lasts at least 3 years.


a) Qualifications:
The Lykeio school-leaving certificate (Apolytirio Lykeiou) is required to enter higher education. EU citizens must have their foreign qualifications recognised as equivalent to the Greek qualification.

There are some special categories of people e.g. children of Greek parents working abroad, people with special problems, athletes who they can enter university through a special procedure of choice.

b) Admission:
Registration takes place at the higher education institutions themselves.
Up to the year 2000, graduates from Lykeio can participate in general examinations for admittance to higher education (AEI - TEI) which is held every year in the second fortnight of June. After that, the selection procedure will change to include three years continuous assessment of students while at the Lykeio (oral and practical tests).

Currently, each candidate is examined in four subjects of her/his choice which s/he has been taught during the last year of Lykeio. These subjects correspond to departments of higher education. Each candidate can retake examinations an unlimited number of times in all four subjects. EU citizens do not have to pass an entrance examination or an interview, although they must go through a fairly complicated application procedure.

c) Numerus clausus:
There are numerus clausus regulations for all institutions and courses. The number of places available each year is determined by the Ministry in consultation with the relevant institutions. EU citizens are not covered by the standard numerus clausus regulations.

d) Languages:
EU citizens do not have to pass a proficiency test. They must merely supply evidence of a sufficient knowledge of Greek by means of a language certificate from Greek language centres.


Higher education is free in Greece, and in TEI-institutions it is free also for EU citizens. At universities, EU citizens either have to pay half of the fees charged to overseas students, or they are exempted if a reciprocity clause exists for Greeks students studying in the country of origin of the EU student.


a) Recognition of entry qualifications:

Greece recognizes the entry qualifications of other European countries according to the terms of the European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas Leading to Admission to Universities, but it has not concluded formal equivalence agreements with other EU Member States. There are two institutions which provide the recognition of qualifications respectively for university (the Inter-University Institute for the Recognition of Foreign Certificates and Degrees - DIKATSA) and technological education institutions (the Institute for Technological Education - ITE).

Dikatsa is a national centre outside the education ministry, that acts both as information point and as decision- taking body on individual cases. The decisions are taken following a consultative process in which the first step is a written request for an application form from Dikatsa.

b) Recognition of final qualifications:

Information on the recognition of Greek higher education qualifications from other EU countries can be obtained from the NARIC centres.

There work load is expected to increase greatly due to increased mobility of students throughout the European Union. It is possible to transfer students from foreign Universities, after examinations only, at Thessaloniki University (Aristoteles). The exams take place once a year (from 15 to 23 December) according to the rules of a General Exams Committee. The applications for the exams usually start from 1st of November and came to an end at 20th of the same month. Also for foreign Universities students, it is necessary to have a certificate of academic recognition from DIKATSA.


Students finish their studies and receive their degree, after successful participation in a final examination, when they have completed the required number of courses and have gathered the required number of credits. Students who fail in a compulsory subject are required to repeat that subject the following semester. Qualifications are issued by the departments; they therefore constitute the degree (Ptykhio) of the department concerned.

Degree holders can then proceed to a doctorate, provided they produce a doctoral thesis in Greek and successfully pass a public viva voce.


Students are supplied with free books and texts by the State; in addition, eligible students are also provided with the cost of meals and part of the cost of transport and accommodation through the state budget.

a) Grants:
Scholarships and loans are offered by the State.

b) Eligibility:
The student's performance and the family income are the criteria for determining a student's eligibility for state support. EU citizens are also entitled to such support under the Community rules explained.