Greece is located in the south-eastern part of Europe, on the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Albania to the west, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north and Turkey to the east. The capital of the country is Athens. Other major cities are Thessaloniki, Patras, Iraklion and Piraeus. Since 1981, Greece is a member of the European Union (EU) and since 2001 part of the Eurozone.
The Greek higher education system distinguishes Universities and Technological Educational Institutes (TEIs), which focus on a more applied education and research. Currently, there are 24 Universities and 16 TEIs, all of them are accredited and public.. In addition, there are a number of private for-profit colleges that have to cooperate with foreign institutions to award degrees and have to be accredited by the Ministry of Education.
The academic programmes of the public institutions follow the Bologna scheme: For most disciplines, the basic academic studies have a duration of four years and lead to the acquisition of a Bachelor. Some programmes, like agronomics, forestry, engineering, dentistry, pharmacology and arts the duration takes five years, six years for medical studies. Based on the first degree, a Master can be received after a further study period of one or usually two years. Many postgraduate programmes cooperate with foreign universities and joint degrees to improve international higher education. After another three to four years, the doctoral degree can be acquired.
Greece also uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS); one academic year of full-time studies is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits and is divided into two semesters.
For more information about the entire education system in Greece, click here.
With a high coverage of 19 Greek higher education institutions, U-Multirank can provide evidence on the performance of the Greek higher education system. For the five U-Multirank dimensions the graphic depicts the national average and shows how many of the Greek institutions perform above the average (receiving an ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good) score), or below the average (receiving a ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak) score).
Among the five U-Multirank dimensions, the Greek higher education institutions participating in U-Multirank perform strongest in “Research”.
For Greek students, bachelor programmes are free. Students and fellows from abroad do not have to pay tuition fees, if Greeks in their countries also do not have to pay fees, otherwise they are incurred. For these, the average fee is 1,500 EUR per academic year.
Tuition fees are also charged by the institutions for most postgraduate programmes.
Access to higher education in Greece differs by subject and is centrally regulated by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. A general university entrance qualification is a prerequisite for admission to study at Greek higher education institutions. Apart from the university entrance qualification, only the performance in the general entrance exam decides on admission to the study programme. For foreign degree-seeking students, the same regulations apply.
The following specialisations are available in the entrance test: Humanities, Law, Social Sciences; Science and technology; Health and Life Sciences; and Economics and Computer Sciences. For certain courses of study, such as architecture, foreign language philology, sports, and arts the completion of a special subject or other requirements are compulsory. For example, music students must master at least one instrument.
Candidates have to fill out a study application form with their preferred institutions. Depending on the number of applicants and free study places, the study places are allocated by the Ministry of Education.
Greek language skills are also necessary, as teaching at undergraduate level is mainly in Greek. An increasing number of postgraduate programmes are offered in English. The knowledge of one or more foreign languages is an essential prerequisite for participation in postgraduate programmes. A language proof is issued by the Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki, which organize special language examinations for foreign students twice a year (in June and September / October).
To apply at a Greek university, international students have to submit the required and certified documents in a Greek translation. The application can be submitted electronically on the website of the Ministry of Education.
There are a large number of different scholarships by various organisations and foundations around the world to help cover tuition fees or living costs.
Students from European Union Member States or the Schengen States are not required to apply for a visa. Students with stays in Greece for more than three months for study purposes must register at the Immigration Office.
Students from other countries require a visa to enter Greece and the EU. This already requires an official letter of admission from the chosen university or TEI in Greece.
A medical certificate is also required for applying for the visa. There must be adequate medical emergency coverage during your stay in Greece.
Information on the visa requirements can be found here.