Education System in Greece: An Overview

Greece is a beautiful country located in the Southern part of Europe. The country is surrounded by the Aegean Sea and Turkey to the east, to the west by the Ionian Sea, to the north by Bulgaria and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea. The climate of this part of the world can be classified into three types and that includes:

Mediterranean Greek climate has winter which is mild and wet and summers are dry and hot. Alpine climate in Western Greece and lastly in Eastern and Central Macedonia and also some parts of Thrace has temperate climate, winters being very cold and damp and summers are hot and dry.

History of Greek Education

Who doesn’t know Sophists, Plato and Socrates? They have made great influence on Greek education. There were basically two forms of education in ancient Greece, i.e., formal education and informal education. The formal education was the traditional form of education attained through attendance to a public school or by a hired tutor. The informal education was on the other hand provided by an unpaid teacher and was occurred in a completely non-public setting.

Interestingly the formal Greek education was primarily meant for men, and was not offered to women, slaves and laborers. There was this rule that a young girl would only receive an informal education either from her mother and would also be taught how to maintain household activities.

Compulsory Education in Greece

The education system in Greece is divided into three levels, viz. Primary, Secondary and Tertiary level of education. Education in Greece is compulsory for all children coming between the age group of 6-15 years old; it includes:
  • Primary Education also known as Dimotiko and
  • Lower Secondary Education which is also known as Gymnasio.

Education Path in Greece

The Education system in Greece has three levels, viz.
  • Primary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Tertiary Education
Primary Education: The primary education is further categoriszed into Pres-school Education, volunteered by kindergartens and the other is primary eEducation (cCompulsory), offered by the primary schools.

Secondary Education: The Ssecondary level of education is of two different cycles, viz., the Upper Secondary Education and Post-compulsory presented by the Vocational Institutes (Technical) and Unified Lyceums and the other one is Lower Level Secondary (Compulsory Education which is presented at Gymnasiums.

Tertiary Education
Tertiary education can be obtained from:
  • Universities Sector: The university education system includes the universities (AEI),  the Polytechnics, the Higher Fine Arts Institute and the Hellenic Open Universities.
  • Higher Education Institutes and Higher Technological Educational Institutes: These institutes contribute to the countries development in science and applied research.
The UNESCO in the year 1997 made an effort to classify internationally the system of education in Greece based on seven different levels, which were described in the International Standard Classification of Education - 1997. These levels of education are:
  • Postgraduate studies - Isced level 6
  • University education - Isced level 5
  • Post-secondary, non-university education - Isced level 4
  • Higher secondary education - Isced level 3
  • Lower secondary education - Isced level 2
  • Primary education - Isced level 1
  • Pre-school education - Isced level 0

Standardised Tests and Entrance Exams in Greece

The Greek Higher Education is generally taught in Greek and a student is required to hold a certificate proving their knowledge of the Greek language. The student intending to attend a private institution, will have to pursue education in the language imparted by that particular  institute and follow the norms of language requirement accordingly.

In most of the cases, the teaching language in Greece is English and one is required to provide proof of your English language proficiency. Some of the common standardized tests are -
  • Cambridge English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
For exclusive details see Standardized Tests

International Students

The geo-political position of Greece puts this country in the centre of attention amongst students around the globe. The country provides a huge number of options for studying. One can either get enrolled in an English-taught degree programme or if one can speak Greek can enroll himself in a Greek programme. On the other hand, if a student is not interested in a degree programme but want to do their traineeship in Greece, even then there are several options that are worth considering. Cities like Thessaloniki and Athens are home to a majority of higher education institutions of the country.
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