By Antonis Anzoletou

The great ideological-political battle that will be fought in the next period concerns the establishment of non-state universities.

Many rallies, innumerable public and parliamentary debates have focused on this specific issue and in particular on the revision of Article 16 of the Constitution.

It is an identity difference between the right and the left that very often comes to the fore, just like the separation of state and church.

Now, of course, the context that enters is different.

The conflict, nevertheless, is expected to be fierce, as for the government it is a “symbol” reform that will mark its second term, while for the majority in the opposition it will be a “red flag”.

Already New Democracy and SYRIZA have clashed on the occasion of article 28 of the Constitution.

It provides for the conclusion of international agreements and essentially paves the way for the establishment of Higher Institutions by foreign universities in the country.

If everything goes according to plan, the proposal in the form of a bill is expected to be given to the Chancellors’ Synod, which will be convened in mid-December in order to have a discussion on its main points.

The upcoming law is expected to include regulations that will concern the strengthening of public HEIs with measures such as reducing bureaucracy, expanding autonomy and supporting their extroversion.

The law, according to information, will refer to non-state universities and not to private ones, as otherwise it would have to be preceded by a Constitutional revision. Certainly the lights will turn on the stance PASOK will take which is expected to set very strict conditions in the event that he ends up saying “yes”.

Nikos Androulakis had previously spoken about the need for them to meet “high academic standards”.

From the KKE they have already clearly formulated their reaction, arguing that the state must absolutely support public education and not “look askance” in other ways.

Stefanos Kasselakis had stated that “I am very afraid of the scenario of having two-speed education in Greece”, expressing his opposition to Maximos’ plan.

Perissos and Koumoundourou are expected to face each other, as the KKE claims that the position of SYRIZA, as it was formulated by Alexis Tsipras in the past, is not clear. It is an issue that concerns almost the whole of society and always causes a lot of noise when it comes to the fore.

Students, parents, pupils, teachers, professors and academics are expected to enter a debate that will also affect the political balance. One side argues that no public university has anything to fear from competition.

After all, the quality of education provided by public schools, whatever it may be, has not been affected by private secondary education institutions.

Mergers, closures of departments are a basis for creating institutions concentrated and flexible in forming partnerships with businesses, argue the opponents of such a development.

It is clear that without the revision of Article 16 of the Constitution, independent domestic initiatives cannot be given the opportunity to establish Private Universities.

The role of the National Higher Education Authority is particularly important, as it will ensure both the quality of the institutions in terms of their necessary infrastructure.

Of course, the public debate will include other very important issues that will have to do with the way students are admitted to them, but also the professional rights of graduates.

The firm decision of the government and him personally to be completed “until the end of the year, the necessary parliamentary procedure for the adoption of the new reality in HEIs, with the collaborations of the public university with state and private universities of other countries“, the Minister of Education, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, recently told SKAI.

He has even pointed out that, “removing the state monopoly on university education by changing Article 16 of the Constitution and replacing it with a new one that takes into account the world order in education remains a key objective».