By Dr. William Mallinson | 17 December 2010
Will the “Laboratories of Free Studies”, under the non-control of the Ministry of Development continue to undermine Greece’s military and intellectual health à la Kissinger? Will New Democracy, PASOK and the media continue to give in to foreign (and Greek) profiteers?
Colleges have to register as “Laboratories” to grab their consumer students and sell their mediocre “degrees”. They feed their customers with condensed superficial educational fast-food, hire mainly part-time “professors” on short-term contracts, do virtually no research, and sometimes slip in foreign propaganda to lobotomised minds. The pseudo-university in Greece hardly resembles its money-making franchise in Britain or the US. Standards are low, facilities abysmal.
In buying their degree, thousands of male students illegitimately defer military service by obtaining letters from the overseas university, usually verified through a Greek consulate. They get the letter translated by the Foreign Ministry and give it to the Greek Defence Ministry, which seems to believe that they are studying abroad!
Students at New York College in Athens get letters from Empire State College in New York State. New York College also has students at the (English) University of Sunderland in Athens. The Greek consulate in Chicago was verifying letters from the University of Indianapolis, apparently not knowing that the students were “studying” in Athens.
Students at the American College of Greece (Deree), which does not even have a home university (only a legal presence in Denver, Colorado) register at an IEK to defer military service. Is this the purpose of IEK’s? A far better establishment than Deree, the University of La Verne, folded up its business operations in Athens overnight, leaving a trail of furious staff and students (its top people were extreme Christian Evangelists!).
Deree proudly states in its shiny sales brochure that it is a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (and pays for the privilege). The Association’s Standard 10.8 shows that people have the right to see the accounts. Deree has however not even replied to requests. But it does boast about its “substantial assistance” from the US government and “generous funding from state sources”. Which state?
Someone must be held to account for this socio-institutional cancer. How have Greek parents been seduced into sending their children to these travesties of education, instead of a good IEK? And who has been lobbying the European Commission to pressurise the Greek government into recognising mediocrity? The Turkish generals must be laughing all the way to Imia…
Dr. William Mallinson, a former British diplomat, is Head of the International
Relations Department of New York College, teaches at the Ionian University and
is the author of Cyprus, A Modern History, I. B. Tauris, London and New York 2005,
and Papazissis (in Greek) Athens, 2005