Opposition Leader Urges Greece to Allow Private Non-Profit Universities

The leader of the main opposition New Democracy (ND) Party called on Tuesday for the Greek parliament to allow private non-profit universities to be established in the country.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it is imperative that the constitutional amendments discussed in parliament reflect “the country’s contemporary needs.”

Private non-profit universities are banned in Article 16 of the Greek constitution. Institutions of higher education have always been state-owned entities in Greece and their faculty members are public servants.

Revising the Constitution’s Article 16 is a central proposal for ND, the party’s president announced in parliament on Tuesday.

“Our central proposal is the revision of Article 16 for universities that has, unfortunately, held our country back for 44 years. The state must guarantee good quality public higher education, providing opportunities for everyone, Mitsotakis declared.

“But it must also allow what exists throughout the [rest of the] world: the operation of private, non-profit institutions,” the New Democracy president said.

“It is time for our children to stop leaving to study abroad. To have more opportunities to study in Greece so their families are not burdened with very heavy costs,” Mitsotakis added. He noted that Greece could potentially become a center for education in the Mediterranean, earning significant revenue from foreign students.

He called on MPs to consent to revising Constitutional article 16 now, or risk missing the opportunity to do so for another decade.