Scholarships by the Greek Ministry of Education utilize funds from the National Strategic Reference Framework. The scholarship funds for 2016-2017 are valued at 2 million euros and will need to be shared out among the top-ranking tertiary students.
Until now, excellence has been valued as the main criteria, however the Greek government has decided to change the assessment process when giving scholarships. Instead of giving the educational grants to the students with the best scores, the government is focusing on students who achieved the highest results but who also fulfill social criteria.
On Thursday, Education Minister Nikos Filis said that it is not enough for someone to receive a degree with distinctions (8.5 upwards) and to be top of their field to receive a grant. Now, excellence will be on a par with social need when receiving money from the State Scholarship Fund. Hence, a person who received a grade of 6.5-8.4 will still be able to receive a scholarship grant provided they fulfill the economic criteria.
Current State Scholarship Fund President of the University of Athens, Professor Kyriakos Athanasiou, said that it has been proposed the social criteria be added to the scholarship funds taking social criteria into account even though the required grade may drop to 6.5. He said that the specific regulation concerns students who had shown excellence when entering higher university institutions, but later did not manage to maintain their grade above 8.5, hence losing their scholarship.
The number of students who receive marks over 8.5 at university has increased by 33 percent compared to a decade earlier.