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Greece, Academic Career Structure

Greece 

Higher Education in Greece

The Greek higher education system witnessed significant changes, budget cuts and strikes in the context of the global economic crisis. University budgets have been reduced by up to 70%, faculty pay by 20-30% in real terms, adjunct faculty has been reduced for around 1/3 and the new appointments of the academic staff at Greek universities have been frozen until 2016. These changes were mainly due to the austerity measures focused on reducing the Greek public debt after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 2010. Among other changes, government introduced "Plan Athena"  in 2013, which aims on spatial restructuring of Greek higher education, involving merging or closing of departments and technological educational institutions. New changes in the Greek higher education sector could be expected to take place in the near future, given the victory of the anti-austerity political forces in early 2015. 

Before the crisis, Greek government has already introduced series of reforms aimed on 'modernisation' of the country's higher education system. In 2005, it established Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQAA) as an independent body, overseen by the Ministry of Education, centrally responsible for quality assurance in tertiary education. In the context of crisis, the HQAA has been given new responsabilities, including allocating funding on the basis of 'quality indicators' such as the number of on-time graduates, the amount of research funding, the number of doctorates etc. Another issue that has been disputed already in teh pre-crisis period is the fact that education in Greece has been centralised and controlled by the state. Higher education is provided by state universities and technical institutes since the Greek Constitution (Article 16) explicitly forbids the establishment of private, degree-granting institutions of higher education. Neverthless, some smaller private colleges which act as franchises of foreign universities in Greece do exist. In 2008, new law egalized the operation of private degree-granting colleges in Greece indicating terms and conditions for the legalization of existing private colleges and for the establishment of new private colleges. The law provoked extensive debate among political parties and the academic community, with some advocates of the state system arguing that it created uncertainty about the free and public character of Greek higher education. However, pressures coming from the EU could push Greece to remove the existing barriers to privatization. 

 

Career Curriculum 

1. PhD Candidate
2. Assistant Professor (Epikouros Kathigitis)
3. Associate Professor (Anaplirotis Kathigitis)
4. Full Professor (Kathigitis)

 

Requirements for Positions

Before the crisis, most academics would start their career as temporary lecturers. However, with the dramatic reduction of adjunct positions in the crisis (since most of the temporary position contracts were not renewed), the lecturer position has practically disapeared from the career ladder. As a consequence, most of the academic positions are now permanent so that after a PhD, a position to move on is that of an assistant professor. Post-doc positions, which similar to temporary lectureships should act as a bridge between a PhD and a permanent academic appointment, are almost non-existent in Greek academia. The very few post-docs that do exist are usually parts of the EU funded projects and characterized with low earnings.

The positions of assistant professor, associate professor and full professor require the publication of research monographs and scientific journal articles. Candidate for full professors furthermore need to demonstrate their contribution to the formation and teaching of the subject matter of at least two courses, teaching in postgraduate programmes, international recognition for their contribution to science etc. To what extent these rules are applied often depends on the departments.

As regards the appointment procedure for the assistant professor and associate professor, the department forms an electoral assembly, composed of members of the department who hold a rank equal or superior to that of the vacancy to be filled. A recommendation committee that consists of three members,  who do not have to belong to the department or the university where the selection takes place, is formed to screen the candidates and make recommendations to the electoral assembly, which then decide by majority vote.

The procedure for the promotion to the rank of full professor is closed.

Assistant professors are elected for a three-year term. After this period, they have to apply for tenure. If they do not meet the criteria, their term is automatically ended. If they obtain tenure, they can initiate the procedure for promotion to associate professor, that is ,the publication of an open call for the post of associate professor. If another candidate is selected, their term is automatically ended and they have the right to be transfered to a vacant post in a public research centre, in public education or in the civil service. Yet again, as most members of the selection committee come from the same department as the assistant professor who initiated the procedure, it is difficult for outsiders to be nominated.

Associate professors can initiate the procedure for promotion after 3 years, that is the publication of an open call for the post of full professor. If another candidate is selected, they can start the procedure once more. Again, as most members of the selection committee come from the same department as the lecturer who started the procedure, it is difficult for outsiders to be nominated.

 

Research Career

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Barriers to Career Advancement

The chance of a young PhD holder being immediately elected into the academic ranks is practically non-existent. Moreover, there is a widespread feeling that the academic profession is highly competitive and that there are very few job openings. This feeling has been futher strengethened by the fact that due to the significant budget cuts in the context of crisis, most of the Greek univerisities are not able to hire new staff. There is an estimation that around 700 elected academics are waiting for their appontment, which may take up to five years.

The Greek university sector possesses many characteristics of internal reproduction. Therefore, a young scholar without strong connections to a local academic network will face problems entering the system. The traditional universities tend to be very closed whereas newer, smaller and peripheral universities are usually more open to newcomers.

Although no official numbers exist, the Greek academic world is dominated by men. Especially in the highest academic ranks, women constitute a minority, as the data for 2006 show that 29% of academic staff at Greek univeristies was female. Historically, however, the proportion of women in academic has increased. For more details on women in Greek academia, chech here. 

 

Security in the Position

Assistant professors have job security for three years, while tenure can only be obtained after three years in the position of assistant professor.

 

Contracts and Duties

The terms of employment of academic personnel include teaching, research and administrative tasks. During the first 3 years of employment, academic positions must be full-time.

Full-time employment requires presence on university premises for at least 20 hours/week and participation in the collective bodies of the department. Part-time academics have to be present for at least 10 hours and have no right to be voted in administrative positions.

 

Sabbatical Opportunities

Academics and permanent researchers in public research centres are entitled to a paid sabbatical research leave of 6 months every 3 years, or of 1 year every 6 years in the same institution. If the sabbatical leave is spent abroad, they receive double pay in case the host institution does not remunerate them.

 

In addition, academics can choose a part-time scheme and be granted an unpaid leave of 6 months maximum per year to teach in a higher education institution abroad. The host institution may provide a salary in that case.

 

Gross Salaries

Gross monthly salary levels from 2004.

 

 

 StartAverageMax

PhD Candidate

--

--

--

Assistant Lecturer

992 €/month

--

--

Lecturer

1,025 €/month

--

--

Assistant Professor

1,127 €/month

--

--

Associate Professor

1,332 €/month

--

--

Full Professor

1,537 €/month

--

--

Source: Maria Karamessini (2004), 'Women's Representation and Progression'

Academics receive monthly premiums and allowances on top of their minimum monthly salary:
- Service premium: 4% increase on basic wage every two years up to 60%
- Allowance for preparation of teaching and non-teaching university activity: 176-587 euro depending on grade
- Allowance for library creation and updating as well as conference participation: 88-411 euro depending on scale
- Special allowance: 316-426 euro depending on scale

Previously existing bonuses (such as Christmas and Easter bonus), which were given once a year, have been abolished in the context of crisis.

Part-time academics earn 35% less.

Academics serving at universities located close to the northern and eastern borders of the country receive an extra remuneration, as an incentive to strengthen the structures of the newly founded universities.

Pension is calculated on the basis of the basic salary.

 

Number of Existing Positions

   All Disciplines

PhD Candidate

--

--

--

Postdoc

--

--

--

Assistant Professor

--

--

--

Associate Professor

--

--

--

Full Professors

--

--

--

Source:

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Internal Recruitment

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Accessibility for Non-Nationals

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National Universities

 

International Universities

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Research Institutions

 

Academic Unions

Academics and researchers in Greece are represented by POSDEP (Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations).

  

Useful Websites

 

Info for History 

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Info for Economics

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Info for Law

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Info for Social and Political Science

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Postdoctoral Information

 

 

Websites for Job Postings

Vacancies for the positions of lecturer, assistant professor and associate professor are published in the daily press and the official gazette. No calls for external candidacies are published for the position of full professor.

 

Sources

George Souvlis, PhD researcher, European University Institute

Maria Karamessini (2004), 'Women's Representation and Progression in Science Careers in Greece', KETHI - Research Centre for Gender Equality, Paper for the MOBISC Research Project

Yorgos Stamelo and Yiouli Papadiamantaki, 'The Attractiveness of the Academic Workplace. Country Report Greece', in Enders, J. and E. d. Weert (2004), The International Attractiveness of the Academic Workplace in Europe. Frankfurt/Main, Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW), 183-203

Dimitrios G. Tsaoussis, 'The Academic Profession in Greece', in: Enders, J. (2001)., 'Academic Staff in Europe - Changing Contexts and Conditions', London, Greenwood Press

Working in Greece. A Practical Guide for Foreign Researchers (2005)

 

 

Page last updated on 28 August 2018