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Greek universities are making deep cuts in their staff, salaries, student welfare and brand
While universities in Denmark and the rest of Europe have faced problems in recent months, financial woes in the Greek economic crisis have played out like an ancient tragedy.
In one of the worst periods that the modern Greek state has ever encountered, the government is trying to reduce expenses and stabilize the economy under the watchful eye of the International Monetary Fund and the EU.
Greek universities will be directly affected, according to Anna Lazou, a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Athens.
The universities face »wage cuts, staff reductions, cuts in all grants related to cultural issues, student welfare and the international branding of the University«, she says.
Greek universities had problems even before the crisis, explains professor in social anthropology Giorgos Tsimouris, Panteion University in Athens.
»Universities could not meet the high demand for education with too little infrastructure such as classrooms, libraries and administrative staff,« he explains.
According to him, problems will be more visible after the summer holidays, and he warns that universities will be at the centre of protests.
»The new academic year, combined with social discontent as the effects of the economic crisis become clearer, could bring universities to the heart of the reaction against the unpopular economic measures of the IMF« he says.
Students in Greece are aware of the bad things that can happen to them.
»Eventually, since there will be no, or fewer, public funds for research, the controversial issues of self-financing, private sources for funding, and privatization of the universities will be brought up« says Antonios Serepas, MA student at the University of Athens.