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Country
module
Greece
Evaluation of foreign degrees and
qualifications in the Netherlands
Information about the structure of the education system of Greece and
the evaluation of degrees obtained in Greece.
International Recognition Department
2014 Nuffic, The Hague
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/deed.nl
Country Module - Greece | Nuffic | 2nd edition January 2011 | version 2, September 2014
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Evaluation chart
In the following chart, the left part lists foreign qualifications. The right part lists the Dutch comparisons,
again with corresponding levels in the Netherlands and European qualifications frameworks.
Degree or qualification
Dutch equivalent and NLQF level
School Leaving Certificate of an
EPAS (level 3)
MBO diploma (qualification level 2 or 3)*
2/3
2/3
School Leaving Certificate of an
EPAL (level 3)
MBO diploma (qualification level 3 or 4)*
3/4
3/4
Apolytirio Genikou Lykeiou with
an average mark lower than 10
at least a HAVO-diploma*
4
4
4+
4
Apolytirio (Genikou) Lykeiou with VWO diploma*
an average mark of 10 or higher
EQF
level
Ptychio TEI
HBO bachelor’s degree
6
6
Ptychio
(without final paper)
(at least) a WO bachelor’s degree
6
6
Ptychio
(with final paper)
(1-year) WO master’s degree*
7
7
Diploma from a university
(with final paper)
WO master’s degree
7
7
Metaptychiako Diploma
Eidikefsis
(at least) a WO master’s degree
7
7
NB
-
The information provided in the table is a general recommendation from which no rights may
be derived.
NLQF = Netherlands Qualifications Framework. EQF = European Qualifications Framework.
Information on the Dutch equivalent qualifications is available in the Netherlands Country
Module. See: www.nuffic.nl/en/library/country-module-netherlands.pdf
The information regarding international study programmes at VMBO and MBO level is issued
by SBB, the foundation for Co-operation on Vocational Education, Training and the Labour
Market.
*This evaluation is currently under revision.
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Introduction
Greece (Grieks: ‘Hellas’) has been a republic since 1974, and became a member of the European
Community (now the EU) in 1981. The education system in Greece is centralized, with all levels falling
under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs
(Ypourgeio Paideias, dia Biou Mathisis kai Thriskeumaton).
There is a limited number of private educational institutions at pre-school, primary and secondary
level, which are required to keep to the national education programmes. Private higher education
institutions are not permitted to award national certificates.
There is a division within higher education between universities and institutions of higher professional
education; in terms of organization, these 2 are at the same level.
The language of education is Modern Greek, yet certain higher education programmes are also
provided in English (this is particularly the case at private institutions). Education is compulsory for 9
years (for children aged 5-15).
The academic year runs from September until the end of August, and is made up of 2 semesters.
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Primary and secondary education
Primary education in Greece takes place at the Dimotiko Scholeio (for children aged 6-12). Upon
completion of these 6 years, pupils are awarded the Apolytirio Dimotikou certificate.
General secondary education
General secondary education is divided into 2 stages. The first stage is the Gymnasio (pupils aged 1215), and comprises the final 3 years of compulsory education. Upon completion, pupils are awarded
the Apolytirio Gymnasiou certificate.
The second stage of secondary education is made up of 2 different types of school: The general
Geniko Lykeio (unitary lykeio) and the vocational Epaggelmatiko Lykeio (Vocational Lykeio – EPAL)
as well as the Epaggelmatiki Scholi (Vocational School - EPAS). Both the EPAL and the EPAS are
institutes for professional technical education.
The Geniko Lykeio (for pupils aged 15-18) was introduced in 1998 to replace the old Eniaio Lykeio.
The first year is an orientation year, in which general knowledge subjects are taught over a total of 32
instructional hours per week. In addition, the pupil is obliged to select 1 elective subject for 2
instructional hours per week. In the second year, subjects are divided into two categories: general
knowledge subjects and direction subjects. The second and third year focus strongly on the general
knowledge subjects (25/17 hours per week, respectively). The direction subjects can either be
compulsory or elective. Compulsory direction subjects are taught for a total of 7 to 8 instructional hours
a week in the second grade and 12 hours in the third grade.
In all 3 grades of the Geniko Lykeio, pupils take oral and written school examinations in order to
progress to the next grade or to graduate. The examinations in the first and second year are based on
questions set by the teachers at school level. The examinations in the third year for certain general
knowledge subjects are also based on questions set by teachers at school level. For the rest of the
general knowledge subjects and for the all the direction subjects, the questions are set by an external
nationwide examination committee. The yearly progress grade in each subject is based on the
average of the oral grades obtained in the 2 semesters and the grade of the final written exams.
At the end of the third year, pupils who wish to continue on to higher education in Greece, sit
nationwide higher education entrance examinations: the Pan-Hellenic exams (Panellinies). The results
of this state examination (in combination with the average marks from the previous years’ oral/written
examinations) determine whether pupils are accepted into higher education in Greece.
Pupils who have completed senior secondary education are awarded the Apolytirio Genikou Lykeiou
certificate. Pupils who wish to continue on to higher education in Greece upon successful completion
of national examinations, are awarded a higher education entrance certificate (Bebaiosi Prosbasis stin
Tritobathmia Ekpaidefsi).
In terms of level, the Apolytirio Genikou Lykeiou with an average final mark of 10 or higher is
comparable to a VWO diploma in the Netherlands. *
In terms of level, the Apolytirio Genikou Lykeiou with an average final mark lower than 10 is
comparable to at least a HAVO diploma in the Netherlands. *
* This evaluation is currently under revision.
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Secondary vocational education
The Epaggelmatiko Lykeio (Vocational Lykeio - EPAL) and the Epaggelmatiki Scholi (Vocational
School - EPAS) offer a curriculum in which general and vocational education are combined.
The Epaggelmatiko Lykeio takes 3 years to complete, while the Epaggelmatiki Scholi takes 2 years. In
the event that the chosen programme includes an apprenticeship or on-the-job period, attendance is
extended up to 1 year. Admission to both EPAL and EPAS is granted on the basis of the Apolytirio
Gymnasiou (lower secondary school leaving certificate).
Enrolment into the first year of the Epaggelmatiki Scholi is based on preference for the courses
provided. The specialisations offered by the EPAS depend on the demand of the pupils, the
socioeconomic conditions and needs of the area. Graduates of the EPAS are granted an ISCED-level
3 Vocational Title. Graduates of an Epaggelmatiki Scholi (EPAS) have the option to:
a) receive a license to practice a trade or profession (upon completion of exams);
b) enrol in the second grade of the EPAL;
c) register at an Institouto Epaggelmatikis Katartisis (Vocational Training Institute- IEK) in a
similar specialisation.
The curriculum of the Epaggelmatiko Lykeio (EPAL) consists of general education subjects and
technical-vocational education subjects, the latter including theoretical, workshop, design and
combined (theory and workshop) subjects, for a total of 35 hours per week. Graduates of the EPAL are
granted a School Leaving Certificate equal to that of the Geniko Lykeio. The final mark on the School
Leaving Certificate is the average mark of the subjects of the last grade. The School Leaving
Certificate also lists the field, specialisation and marks obtained in the subjects of the last grade.
Graduates of the Epaggelmatiko Lykeio (EPAL) have the following options:
a) to seek admission to HEIs (upon completion of national examinations);
b) to receive a license to practice a trade or profession (upon completion of exams);
c) to enrol in an Institouto Epaggelmatikis Katartisis (Vocational Training Institute- IEK)
In terms of level, a School Leaving Certificate of the EPAS is comparable in the Netherlands to an
MBO diploma at qualification level 2 or 3, depending on the specialisation. *
In terms of level, a School Leaving Certificate of the EPAL is comparable in the Netherlands to an
MBO diploma at qualification level 3 or 4, depending on the specialisation. *
*This evaluation is currently being revised.
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Admission to higher education
Students wishing to enter study programmes in Greek higher education require both the Apolytirio
Genikou Lykeiou (secondary school certificate) and a Bebaiosi Prosbasis (certificate of admission).
The number of students that are admitted to a certain programme is determined annually for each
university by the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs. As there are usually more
applicants than places available in certain fields of study, students with the highest average exam
results are selected (calculated using a special formula that also takes the specialisation into
consideration). For many students this means that they cannot take their preferred course, or that they
cannot take it at the institute of their choice.
Admission to higher education institutions (both in university and technological sectors) takes place
through centrally organized, nation-wide exams (Panellinies Exetaseis or Pan-Hellenic exams). The
Ministry of Education bears the responsibility for the central organisation of these exams.
For admission to study fields requiring specialised knowledge or skills, special admission exams are
necessary in one or more designated subjects (such as architecture, photography, music studies,
translation and interpretation, foreign languages and literature) or preparatory tests (health, sports) as
regards military schools and the academy of police officers.
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Higher education
Greece has 2 sectors of higher education, the university sector and the technological sector, which
comprise the following types of institutions:
University sector
- Research Universities
- Technical Universities (Polytechneia)
- School of Fine Arts
- Open University
Technological Sector
- Technological Education Institutions (Technologika Ekpedeftika Idrimata (TEI)
- School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE)
Since 2001, both sectors legally fall under higher education. Although private higher education
institutions do exist (such as international universities), the Greek constitution does not permit these
private institutions to issue nationally recognised degrees. The Greek open university was founded in
1997 and is located in Patras. Greece has 23 universities and 15 TEIs (including the School of
Pedagogical and Technological Education).
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University education
First stage
This type of education includes programmes at both undergraduate and graduate level. The duration
of most Greek university programmes is 4 years. Exceptions are technical and agricultural
specialisations, architecture, dentistry and veterinary science (all 5 years), and medicine (6 years).
Upon completion of a university programme, graduates receive a Ptychio; for technical and agricultural
programmes, a Diploma.
A compulsory final paper is not included in the 4-year programmes, which makes it difficult to equate
them to a WO master’s programme in the Netherlands. Yet a final paper or research project usually is
part of the 5-year technical and agricultural study programmes. In terms of aim, level and content,
these programmes can be compared to the WO master’s programmes in similar specialisations in the
Netherlands.
For administrative reasons, the Ptychio/Diploma is sometimes issued some years later, or not at all.
During the period between completion of the university programme and awarding the degree, a
provisional certificate is issued, called the Apodeiktiko or Pistopoietiko.
In terms of level, a Ptychio without a final paper is comparable to (at least) a WO bachelor’s degree in
the Netherlands.
In terms of level, a Ptychio with a final paper is comparable to a (1-year) WO master’s degree in the
Netherlands.*
In terms of level, a university Diploma with a final paper is comparable to a WO master’s degree in the
Netherlands.
Second stage
Most students continue on with a postgraduate course after completing the first stage. There are more
than 200 programmes that award the Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis (postgraduate diploma or
specialisation). They usually take 2 years to complete, and involve a compulsory final paper. The
entrance requirement is a Ptychio (from a university or a TEI) or a university Diploma. Students are
selected by entrance examination or other selection process.
In terms of level, a Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis is comparable to (at least) a WO master’s degree
in the Netherlands.
A PhD usually takes 3 to 6 years. After defence of the doctoral thesis, the degree of Didaktor is
awarded. In principle the entrance requirement is the Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis, yet in
specialisations for which no such programme exists (and in some technical specialisations) students
can also be admitted to a PhD with a Ptychio or Diploma.
*This evaluation is currently being revised.
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Higher professional education
The education offered at TEIs is divided into 7 sectors: graphic and fine arts, economics and
administration, health care, agriculture, engineering/technology, food technology and music. Each TEI
institution gives courses in at least 2 of these sectors.
The entrance requirement is the Apolytirio Genikou Lykeiou and the Bebaiosi Prosbasis or the School
Leaving Certificate of the Vocational Lykeio (EPAL). EPAL graduates must have been successful in
the relevant admission exams elements which vary in accordance with the particular orientation taken
up in the context of studies at EPAL.
Higher professional education lasts 4 years, 1 semester of which consists of an internship. Graduates
of these programmes are awarded the Ptychio TEI.
In terms of level, a Ptychio TEI is comparable to an HBO bachelor’s degree in the Netherlands.
TEIs do not offer any postgraduate courses. Yet TEI faculties can set up a Metaptychiako Diploma
Eidikefsi programme jointly with a university, after which the degree is awarded by the university.
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Assessment systems
Secondary Education
The Gymnasio and the Lykeio both use an assessment scale of 0-20, with a minimum pass mark of
10.
Numerical grade
18.1 – 20
16.1 – 18
13.1 – 16
9.5 – 13
5.2 – 9.4
0 – 5.1
Meaning
Excellent
Very Good
Good
Average
Inadequate
Poor
Higher education
Universities and TEIs use the following assessment system:
Numerical grade
10 – 8.5
8.4 – 7
6.9 – 5
4.9 – 0
Meaning
Excellent
Good
Satisfactory
Unsatisfactory
The ECTS system has been implemented in higher education and has contributed to inter-institutional
cooperation and student mobility. The majority of the first-cycle programmes in higher education
comprise 8 semesters (4 years – 240 ECTS) and they are fully compatible with the European
Qualifications Framework. The vast majority of postgraduate programmes last 4 semesters (2 years –
120 ECTS) and lead to MA or MSc degrees.
More information on the ECTS system is available in the ECTS User’s Guide issued by the European
Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/education/tools/docs/ects-guide_en.pdf.
See the following link for grade conversion (in Dutch only):
www.nuffic.nl/diplomawaardering/diplomawaardering/cijfersystemen
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Bologna process
Higher education institutions in Greece have not yet collectively started implementation of the
bachelor’s-master's degree structure. Greece essentially already has a two-stage system,
undergraduate and postgraduate since 1982. Many students pursue their initial studies at postgraduate level. Information on the current situation regarding the Bologna process can be found on the
official website of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA): www.ehea.info/countrydetails.aspx?countryId=20
As of 2001, the Greek government has been involved in the establishment of joint degree programmes
(mainly at master’s level) between Greek and other European universities, in particular those in France
and Germany.
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Qualification frameworks
Greece is in the process of establishing a national qualifications framework, the Hellenic Qualifications
Framework (HQF). The referencing of the HQF to the European Qualifications framework (EQF) is
expected to be completed by December 2015.
More information on the development and the proposed levels of the Hellenic Qualifications
Framework can be found on the HQF website: http://en.nqf.gov.gr/
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Quality assurance and accreditation
The Hellenic Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (HQAA), an independent agency for
quality assurance, was established in 2005 with the purpose of evaluating institutions and
programmes. The agency gives advice on how institutions and programmes can improve quality in
specified areas (e.g. internal quality procedures/ processes, teaching staff, links with the labour
market, research and lifelong learning activities). The HQAA is not a member of the European
Association of Quality Assurance Agencies or the European Quality Assurance Register.
The 24 universities and 16 technological educational institutions (TEIs) are self-governed. These
public higher education institutions operate under the supervision of the State and are entitled to
financial assistance from it. They are considered accredited by the Greek state. A list of these
accredited higher education institutions can be found on www.doatap.gr/en/rechei.php.
Greece has no official ranking system.
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International treaties
Greece has not yet signed the Lisbon Convention. However, the European Treaty of 1953 concerning
admission to higher education does apply.
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Addresses
www.doatap.gr
Website of DOATAP (formerly DIKATSA), the Greek ENIC/NARIC for university education.
www.minedu.gov.gr
Website of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs.
www.s-bb.nl
Website of SBB, the foundation for Co-operation on Vocational Education, Training and the Labour
Market.
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Diploma Supplement
The Diploma Supplement is issued automatically for the majority of study programmes, in the
language of instruction and/or in English.
More information on the Diploma Supplement is available on the website of the European
Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/education/tools/docs/ects-guide_en.pdf
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List of Higher Education Institutions
www.hri.org/nodes/gredu.html
Website of the Hellenic Research Network, with an overview of Greek higher education institutions.
www.doatap.gr/en/rechei.php
Website of DOATAP, with an overview of state-accredited higher education institutions.
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Apolytirio Eniaiou Lykeiou
- CLICK ON THE DIPLOMA TO RETURN TO THE EDUCATION SYSTEM -
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Apolytirio Eniaiou Lykeiou - translation
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Ptychio B’Kyklio TEE
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Ptychio B’Kyklio TEE - translation
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Ptychio
- CLICK ON THE DIPLOMA TO RETURN TO THE EDUCATION SYSTEM -
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Ptychio - translation
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Ptychio TEI
- CLICK ON THE DIPLOMA TO RETURN TO THE EDUCATION SYSTEM -
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Ptychio TEI - translation
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Diploma
- CLICK ON THE DIPLOMA TO RETURN TO THE EDUCATION SYSTEM -
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Diploma - translation
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Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis
- CLICK ON THE DIPLOMA TO RETURN TO THE EDUCATION SYSTEM -
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Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis - translation
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Qualification - Greece
Apolytirio Genikou Lykeiou
(average mark of 10 or higher)
___________________________________________________________________
 general secondary education diploma
 grants access in Greece to all higher education programmes, upon completion
of entrance examinations
__________________________________________________________________
This qualification is comparable to a VWO diploma in the Netherlands*.
*This evaluation is currently under revision.
This information is a general recommendation from which no rights may be derived.
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Qualification - Greece
Ptychio (without final paper)
___________________________________________________________________
 first cycle higher education diploma (QF-EHEA)
 grants access in Greece to master’s programmes upon completion of entrance
examinations
 has a nominal duration of 4 years
___________________________________________________________________
This qualification is comparable to (at least) a WO bachelor’s degree in the
Netherlands.
This information is a general recommendation from which no rights may be derived.
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Qualification - Greece
Ptychio (with final paper)
___________________________________________________________________
 first cycle higher education diploma (QF-EHEA)
 grants access in Greece to master’s programmes upon completion of entrance
examinations
 has a nominal duration of 4 to 5 years
___________________________________________________________________
This qualification is comparable to a (1-year) WO master’s degree in the
Netherlands*.
*This evaluation is currently under revision.
This information is a general recommendation from which no rights may be derived.
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Qualification - Greece
Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis – MA/MSc degree
___________________________________________________________________
 second cycle higher education diploma (QF-EHEA)
 grants access to PhD programmes in Greece
 has a nominal duration of 2 years
___________________________________________________________________
This qualification is comparable to (at least) a WO master’s degree in the
Netherlands.
This information is a general recommendation from which no rights may be derived.
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