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150 Foreign Applicants a Day for a Greek University

26 July 2010 / 10:07:46  GRReporter
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“We have 150 applications per day from foreigners wishing to study in Greek universities. Most of them are from Albania - about 90%. The other candidates are students from Georgia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and very few from African countries,” said an official of the Ministry of Education. "So far, the candidates in the list, waiting for next Thursday, are 80” adds he and while we were talking, another eight people came to apply and retain their turn to file documents the next week.

This year the deadline for foreigners to submit their documents to study in Greek universities was set between July 20 and 30. There was a crowd of people wishing to apply and chaos in front of the Ministry even in the early morning of the first day. “It would have been better if there was one Ministry official to record the names of the applicants and give them numbers. Now we are all waiting in front until someone takes the initiative to draw up a list of names. Then we have to present it to the Ministry to determine the day and time we will be accepted. So, it that takes us all day hanging here in order to know when to come back and to file the documents,” complained a man accompanying an applicant girl early in the morning.

I met the 18-year old Marios from Albania after having submitted his documents. “I had some friends a few years ago that my father didn’t like. Then he grabbed me and asked me what I want to do - to start work or to prepare to study at university. Then I decided that I want to study. Today I managed to submit my documents. I marked that I am interested in economics,” says Mario, who is already preparing to go to the sea. “It took me a lot of time to collect the documents. There were long queues here in the Ministry since Tuesday, when was the first day of the submission period. Some people even told me that they slept in front of the Ministry to be able to get a small number,” adds Marios.

The list of admitted foreign candidates will come out after August 15. Most applicants have finished Greek schools and a few are those who come from abroad. It happened authorized person to submit the documents of someone from Iran, but rarely, they said from the Ministry.

Before applying, some students take some lessons in Greek at one of two university schools in Athens or Thessaloniki. It is necessary to certify they know the language before they start with their studies, as in all countries. Not only the candidate students but also people who are married to Greeks, or they need to know Greek because of their career, take Greek language courses at the university schools.  

Foreigners, who apply to university, are classified according their school results. The high schools in Greece use the twenty point marking system and “if the applicant has finished with a total score of 12, then he/she can only study at a college, if it is 15 - then they can not study medicine, for example, as it requires high marks in all subjects,” says the source from the Ministry of Education and added that “students are divided into two categories: those who have completed high school in any of the European Union countries irregardless of their nationality and those who have completed high school in a country outside the European Union.”

The difference is that the candidate students who have completed high school in some European countries may choose between two scientific fields or 40 subjects, while foreign students that have completed high school in a third country can only choose one field of study and 20 subjects.

There is also a third category that involves children of Greek descent, which is evident in their name, but a declaration is required to prove it. They apply together with all foreigners but have to pass written tests in September. Usually, these students have finished their schooling out of Greece, so the Ministry official noted that “they are favoured” during the written tests. The universities are granted 4% vacancies for students of Greek descent.

Each university has a specific number for foreigners of any nationality in proportion equal to the presence of these foreigners in Greece. For example, the Bulgarians, who studied at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for the academic year 2002-2003 were 172 people, in 2005-2006 their number decreased to 137 people, and in 2007-2008 there were 165 students, shows the data of the Main Directorate for the Coordination of Academic Units available for


Tags: NewsEducationCandidate studentsUnivesityForeigners
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