Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced a forthcoming bill regulating the operation of non-state universities in Greece. He made this declaration during his speech in the Hellenic Parliament while discussing the ratification of the State Budget for the fiscal year 2024.

Addressing the Parliament, on Sunday Mitsotakis remarked, “The results of the PISA assessment indeed should concern us. Across the EU, there has been a decrease in performance. These results oblige us to expedite the scheduled reforms in education, with evaluation being a priority. We must unleash the potential of public universities to make them more outward-looking.”
Furthermore, he added, “However, we also need to do something more. We need to finally introduce the operation of non-state universities in Greece,” emphasizing that “The relevant draft legislation will become state law within the first month of 2024. Greece will become a regional hub for development and education.”

The announcement made by Kyriakos Mitsotakis doesn’t come as a surprise. During the reading of the government’s policy statements in Parliament in early July, both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education referred to the matter, emphasizing the necessity of revising Article 16 of the Constitution, putting the discussion on a new basis. They pointed out the activation of intergovernmental agreements—through the provisions of Article 28 of the Constitution—that provide the opportunity, under the responsibility of the National Authority for Higher Education, to recognize foreign universities interested in investing in Greece.

“The change of Article 16 of the Constitution will be pursued,” announced the Minister of Education.
“We believe in lifting the state monopoly on Higher Education Institutions and will seek to change Article 16 of the Constitution,” stated Education Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis.

This move signifies a potential shift in the landscape of higher education in Greece, aiming to open doors for foreign universities and alter the existing framework within the country’s constitutional structure.

In the European landscape of the “27,” two member states lack private universities, while in most community countries, the majority of tertiary education students are covered by public institutions.