In Greece, the highest education system includes AEI (Highest University Education), ATEI (Highest Technological Education), EAP (Greek Open University) and Private Colleges.
AEI is the highest and most reliable type of education, as they are Public Universities, which provide free education to their students and cover a wide range of cognitive subjects (theoretical, polytechnic, pedagogical, technological, etc.). For studying to AEI one must have completed secondary education school and passed successfully the exams after the end of the last semester. Studies in AEI depend on the university curriculum and last 4 to 6 years.
ATEI (they were first introduced as TEI and they were separated from AEI) are, since 2001 by law, part of the highest institutions along with AEI within the public free education system. The course length on ATEI lasts 8 to 9 semesters depending on the cognitive section. The basic differentiation from AEI is that I was established in order to cover the inefficiency that Greek schools and universities had in the field of practical technology.
On the other hand, the Open Greek University bases its operation in distance learning, offering a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses for the students. It is a part of the AEI institutions and it is equivalent to the other Public Universities concerning professional rights.
However, students of the Open Greek University have to contribute financially to their studies by paying tuition. The Open Greek University consists of four main schools (Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Technology, Applied Arts), which are divided into modules. The students have to pass a specific number of courses during their studies, depending on the module they have chosen.
Last but not least, the Colleges are a type of private education. Lately, there is much talk about the Private Colleges concerning the area of the Greek higher education. The main differences between the Private Colleges and the Public Universities are the following:
1. The students pay fees for their studies.
2. The studies last fewer years than in Public Universities.
3. The certificates are not all recognized as equal to the certificates of the Public Universities.
4. The knowledge is not acquired in the same way.
Most of the Private Colleges are private centers of education following the model of foreign colleges with which they often cooperate.
As it is mentioned above, one basic difference between the Private Colleges and the AEI – ATEI is the scientific orientation and the way with which the knowledge is acquired.
One of the most important goals of the highest education is to teach students how to search for knowledge beyond the university limits. Most of the Private Colleges are not aligned with that basic principle and the knowledge they offer is exclusively based on the provided books.