Students Assault Rector and Teachers at University of Patras

The Rector of the University of Patras said that he and other Heads of Departments were assaulted by a group of students during an open meeting to discuss operational and academic issues.

In a press statement the Rector said that there were 150 students present at the meeting who explained their problems and discussed solutions with the Rector and the Presidents of the Departments.

At the end of the meeting a group of 30 people remained in the hall and assaulted the academic staff by “forcibly blocking their exit from the room”.

The statement expresses regret at the event and adds that such acts “do not contribute to constructive dialogue, they disrupt the smooth operation of the University of Patras and ultimately do not solve student problems.”

In September, more than 100 students were caught in a mass cheating scandal at the same university. The group; mostly first-year students, submitted the same paperwork in four separate coursework exercises.

This latest incident of violent behavior in Greek universities comes a few days after the targeting of Professor Angelos Syrigos of Panteion University.

Leftist groups hung posters on the university walls and on other buildings in central Athens, branding Syrigos a “fascist” because last February he tried to stop students from vandalizing university property with fliers and posters.

Syrigos was assaulted by a different group of students; that he later sued.

Yesterday, the President of the Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, expressed his full sympathy to Syrigos, condemning “unambiguously the attacks by fascist elements who target academic freedoms”.