Inequality in Higher Education in Greece: Through an Era of Crisis

Souzanna-Maria Nikolaou, Monika Papa, Gloria- Vasiliki Papa


The present study explores factors and conditions that make the process of learning difficult and at times problematic for students in the University, through a period of crisis. The survey was conducted at the Department of Primary Education of the University of Ioannina.  First-semester students were given a questionnaire, in order to explore their views concerning the factors that inhibit learning in the University. To collect the survey data, an anonymous questionnaire was used that included 44 open and closed-ended questions. There are six sections on the reasons concerning the difficulty of learning: A. Personal Issues B. Multiplicity of Roles C. Issues of Conditions and Learning Environment D. Issues related to the lessons and the classroom. E. Issues relating to teachers F. Quality of teaching and Frequency of attendance. The findings of the survey showed important evidence regarding the conditions that impede students' learning and attendance, highlighting important issues as: learning environment, classrooms, distance from/to the University, and the financial poverty of the students themselves which affects their daily routine. It is primarily noted that at the time of the crisis we are facing the under-funding of HEIs and this has caused problems. Therefore, the underprivileged and full of disadvantages area of the universities implies poor academic preparation, but also an "unfamiliar" and inappropriate environment of the Institution, which is unable to respond effectively to the needs of students, who are already under financial pressure from their families. These conditions may lead to the well-known situation of students who are "lingering" and probably never acquire their degree, as has been proved by other researchers (The Widening Gap in Higher Education, 1996).

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