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2007 OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2007

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2007

This edition of OECD's periodic survey of Greece examines recent economic performance and key challenges including fiscal consolidation, reform of pensions, easing entry into the labour market, improving tertiary education, and fostering competition in network industries.

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Improving tertiary education

A well-performing higher education system is crucial for human capital formation, innovation and the take-up of new technologies. However, tertiary education outcomes in Greece are poor in international comparison as evidenced by low graduation rates; the high number of students that study abroad, despite the costs borne by students studying in Greece being low; and a poor performance in terms of academic publications. Tertiary education is entirely provided and largely financed publicly, which raises questions about the effectiveness of this public spending. New OECD indicators suggest that the current institutional framework for tertiary education falls short of best practice by a wide margin. In particular, it is one of the most centralised and least flexible systems in the OECD. This chapter highlights the shortcomings of the current set up and assesses the recent reform of the university system. These plans provide a necessary step in the right direction, with a focus on improving governance and setting up a system of evaluation. However, further steps will be required, to remedy all shortcomings, most notably to allow private universities and to link funding to performance. At a later stage deeper reforms to student finances should also be considered.

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