Greece is located in Southern-Eastern Europe between Italy and Turkey bordering the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea and
the Mediterranean Sea. Slightly smaller than the State of Alabama, Greece is a peninsular country, possessing an
archipelago of about 2,000
islands but only 168 are inhabited. The capital is Athens and the second biggest city is Thessaloniki. The country
has a population of about 11 million with 4 million living in Athens. The language of instruction is Greek. English
is taught from Grade
3 onwards. English, French and German are taught in secondary education and English is the compulsory foreign
language in all universities and technical programs.
και Θρησκεία oversees the country's
Primary and Secondary Education
Demotiko-Δημοτικό (Primary education) lasts for six years, ages 6-12.
Gymnasio (Secondary education) is provided in both public and private schools and is divided into a
compulsory first cycle, Gymnasio-Γυμνάσιο (Lower
Secondary School), from age 12 to 15, and an optional second cycle,
Lykeio-Λύκειο (Upper Secondary School), from age 15 to 18. When graduates
finish the Gymnasio they are awarded the ApolytirioGymnasiou.
At the end of Gymnasio, students have two options:
- They can continue to the Lykeion (Lyceum), the upper secondary school, and pursue a common curriculum
which aims to broaden their general knowledge. Students at the Lyceum participate in the general Panhellenic
examination which is required
for entry into Greek universities. The graduates are awarded the Apolytirio Lykeiou.
- The other option after Gymnasio is to pursue vocational education in Technika Epagelmatika
Ekpaideutiria (TEE) (Technical Vocational Schools) which in 2006 were renamed Epagelmatika Lykeia
(EPAL) (Vocational Upper Secondary Schools).
If a student follows the second option in vocational school, EPALs provide state diplomas recognized in Greece
and European Union and allow continuation of studies in universities. EPAL consists of two cycles:
- The first cycle is two years and the graduates can:
- Have a degree level II,
- Continue their studies in the second cycle of TEE,
- Be admitted in the second grade of Lyceum
- The second cycle is one year and graduates can:
- Have a degree level III,
- Continue their studies in vocational specialized schools (IEK),
- Participate in Panhellenic exams for entrance to universities
All graduates from Geniko and Epagelmatiko Lykeio (secondary education) may be admitted to Higher
Education Institutes depending on their general, national exam scores, taken at the end of their final year of
Lyceum. Admission in
special universities may also require a special examination (eg drafting for Architecture, foreign language for
Language schools, special exams for Military Academies etc). The graduates of secondary education can take the
national exams every year
until they qualify for a higher education program. There is no age restriction or limitation on how many times
someone can take the national exam.
Higher education in Greece is comprised of 23 university institutions and 12 technological education institutes
(TEIs) as of 2018. All 35 institutions are self-governing and under the supervision of the Ministry of Education,
Research, and Religious Affairs
which supports them financially and is responsible for educational policy concerning them. There are no private
universities in Greece. The language of instruction is Greek. The first public university in Greece which has
English taught programs is
the International Hellenic University which was established in 2005 in Thessaloniki.
Higher Education includes:
- Anotata Ekpaideutika Idrimata-Ανώτατα
Ιδρύματα (AEI) (University sector)= Universities, Technical
(Polytechnic Schools), Fine Arts Schools, Greek Open University (Elliniko Anoichto Panepistimio-EAP)
- Technologica Ekpaideutika Idrimata-Τεχνολογικά
Ιδρύματα (TEI) (Technical
sector)= Technological Education Institutions and the School of Pedagogic and Technological Education (ASPETE)
Colleges in Greece are operated only as private institutions and can award degrees, titles or certificates that can
be recognized as professionally equivalent to higher education degrees awarded in the Greek formal education system.
The Ministry of Education,
Research, and Religious Affairs approves the licenses for the colleges which have been recognized by the foreign
institution and authorities from the country of their origin. In 2016 after the establishment of a council called
SAEP (Council for Recognition
of Professional Qualifications), a new policy was signed granting the colleges the equivalency to Greek universities
only for professional and not academic considerations. Graduates from colleges in Greece can be considered
professionally as equal
to graduates from Greek universities, but the college graduates cannot pursue higher education in Greece based
merely on their college degrees. Only if the college degree is assessed by the official Greek evaluating agency
(Greek NARIC) can be recognized for pursuing higher education at a university.
The academic year runs from the 1st of September to the 31st of August, and the academic year has two semesters.
Xeimerino eksamino-χειμερινό εξάμηνο
(The winter semester) runs
from September to January and the earino eksamino-εαρινό
εξάμηνο (spring semester) runs from February to June, with the remaining time
(June to August) being reserved for makeup exams.
The exact dates for the start and end of semesters are managed by each university which has its own academic
calendar. Each class consists of 13 weeks of teaching in a classroom. School breaks occur for two weeks over
Christmas and two weeks in spring
(during Easter time in Greece).
First Cycle, Academic
Σπουδές (Undergraduate level studies) require four years and lead to
the Ptychio-Πτυχίο in the relevant field. For graduates of Engineering programs
the degree is called Δίπλωμα. Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Engineering
and Agricultural Studies last 10 semesters. Medicine studies last twelve semesters. All programs contain compulsory
and elective courses. The degrees which have 10 semesters or more are recognized as an Integrated Master: Master of
First Cycle, Vocational/Technical
Postsecondary vocational training are offered at Instituto Epagelmatikis Katartisis (IEK) (IEK institutes)
accredited by the Ipourgeio Paideias, Ereunas kai
και Θρησκευμάτων (Ministry of
Education, Research, and Religion). Initial and continuing vocational training. The following students are eligible
to enroll to IEK:
- Graduates of Upper Secondary Schools (“Lykeia” of all types: General, Technical, Vocational,
- Technical Vocational Schools (ΤΕΕ) Study Cycle B, as well as graduates of EPAL and EPAS
(Vocational Upper Secondary School and Vocational Education School pursuant to Law No. 3475/2006).
The first level of Program Metaptychiakon Spoudon-Πρόγραμμα
Σπουδών (postgraduate studies) lasts a minimum
of 2 semesters and leads to the post-graduate Diploma Metaptychiakon
Σπουδών. In some
cases this study program is completed in a university or research institute outside of Greece or in a different
university in Greece. The degree, however, is awarded in university where the program started.
The university third stage, Didaktorikes Metaptychiakes Spoudes (doctoral studies), is completed after the
public defense of a thesis. The research must be original and show advances in concepts. A doctoral thesis requires
at least three years
of study. Students can be admitted to a doctoral research program when they hold a Greek Diploma Metaptyxiako
Spoudon or an equivalent qualification obtained abroad; however, some departments can accept an applicant
for a doctorate program
without the Metaptixiako Diploma Spoudon requirement, accepting only a bachelor’s degree.
Stratiotikes Scholes Axiomatikon- Στρατιωτικές
Σχολές Αξιωματικών (Military
Academies) enjoy the same status
as universities but they fall under the jurisdiction of the Ipourgeio Ethnikis
of National Defense). The main military academies for higher education are: Hellenic Army Academy, Hellenic Air
Force Academy, Hellenic Naval Academy, and Nursing Officers Academy.
Sxoli Aksiomatikon Ellinikis Astinomias- Σχολή
Αστυνομίας (The Police Academy) has the same status as
universities but it falls under the jurisdiction of the Ipourgeio Prostasias
Προστασίας Πολίτη (Ministry of
The training of primary school teachers is provided by the Pedagogical Departments for Primary Education which has
been set up at universities. Secondary level teacher training takes place at the university level. Pedagogical
studies may be taken in the
third or fourth year but are not obligatory. Within certain specialized fields, teacher training takes place at
university level specialist institutions. Nursing programs are offered by university departments and departments of
health and care of
ASPETE (Anotati Sxoli Pedagogikis & Texnologikis Ekpaideusis - Ανώτατη
Εκπαίδευσης) School of Pedagogical and
Technological Education established in 2002 successor of SELETE (Technical & Vocational Teacher Training
Institute), and provides pedagogical and technological education in tertiary level. Grading scheme is the same like
the universities in Greece. Supervised by Ministry of Education, Research, and Religious Affairs. Academic
- 1st cycle undergraduate study programs (10 semesters) equivalent to bachelor’s degrees. Programs are
Electrical, Electronic, Mechanical and Civil Engineering Educators.
- 2nd cycle postgraduate study programs (MA and MS).
- Pedagogical Training is one year duration and leads to "Certificate of Pedagogical and Teaching Competence".
This program is only for students who have already higher education degrees and they want to be teachers. Also,
additional training in other
specializations is provided.