Why are we afraid of establishing non-state universities?


Freedom is a cornerstone of liberal democracy. In a free socio-economic environment, the establishment of non-state universities is another important way to promote freedom, innovation, research, and the right to individual choice. By defending freedom in education and promoting the diversity of educational institutions, non-state universities could enhance freedom, innovation, and diversity not only in the field of education but also socially.

The government, this week, is opening for public consultation a new bill, which among other things will make it possible to establish non-state universities. The impending vote on the bill and the official "opening" of the education market have stirred strong reactions from student unions, academic staff, and the opposition. However, this seems paradoxical when one considers that the overwhelming majority of Greek families already pay heavily for private tutoring and other forms of private education.


One of the main advantages of establishing non-state universities is the creation of a diverse and dynamic educational market. In such an environment, students have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of study programs and educational approaches that may better suit their individual needs. This leads to a more personalized education and the development of individual talents and abilities.

Private universities are often more daring in adopting innovative educational methods and technologies. Their ability to operate outside the traditional public system and state bureaucracy allows them to develop and implement more flexible and progressive approaches to education. This may include the integration of new technologies into academic frameworks, the development of interactive learning practices, and the adaptation of study programs to the needs of the job market. For example, many private universities devise innovative educational practices such as customized courses and small group discussions, which encourage collaboration and active student participation, while their modern equipment allows them to be more flexible in using innovative teaching technologies such as specialized software applications, virtual reality, and interactive learning environments.

In addition to promoting innovation in education, universities also contribute to ensuring diversity in the academic environment. By developing different educational approaches and attracting students from international communities, they promote open discussion, exchange of ideas, and the development of critical thinking. Non-state universities often have a strong international presence and attract students and academic staff from various parts of the world. This creates an international learning environment where students come into contact with different cultural and academic approaches. This multicultural atmosphere expands students' horizons and enables them to exchange ideas and experiences with peers from different cultures.

Career Development

The direct connection with the job market is a significant advantage provided by non-state universities. This condition contributes to preparing students for entry into the professional world and their successful careers.

Many non-state universities collaborate closely with businesses and organizations to provide practical training and work experience to their students, allowing them to acquire practical skills and apply their knowledge in real professional environments. Additionally, by operating competitively, they can contribute to the overall improvement of the academic level in our country and even the improvement of public universities.

Overall, the direct connection of non-state universities with the job market offers students a valuable opportunity to become familiar with the professional environment and prepare for a successful career after graduation.

Criticism and Concerns about the Future of Public Education

Criticism of non-state universities often focuses on the assumption that their appearance in the field of education will lead to the downgrading of public universities, which, indeed, have been underfunded in recent years. However, it is not necessary to adopt a liberal perspective to realize that the establishment of non-state universities does not affect the functioning of public ones. The operation of public universities at a high level is crucial for democracy, but the provision of new educational alternatives can create a healthy competitive environment that will contribute to improving the competitiveness of public universities. Therefore, it is important to clarify that the problems faced by public universities are different from those of non-state ones.

An indicative example comes from many European countries where legislation allows the creation of non-state universities, provided they meet specific criteria, without having negative effects on public universities. On the contrary, many of these universities are ranked among the top in the world.

Issue of Freedom

In summary, the establishment of non-state universities constitutes a significant step towards promoting freedom in the economy and society. It is paradoxical in the year 2024 for Greece to be a member state of the European Union and simultaneously refuse to adopt basic principles governing a liberal democracy. In a world eager for knowledge and intellectual development, the creation of non-state universities paves the way for further free research, innovation, and knowledge development beyond traditional frameworks.

At the core of this thinking is the recognition that education should not be limited or controlled by the state. Freedom of spirit and freedom of thought are fundamental principles strengthened through the existence of non-state universities.

Finally, the establishment of non-state universities opens new avenues for students and creates an environment where competitiveness is based on quality and innovation. The availability of more options encourages universities to offer higher quality education and innovate in various fields. The existence of more choices leads to greater quality competitiveness, and there is faith that it will pose new, positive challenges regarding education in Greece.