A letter to all those who signed the petition

August 29, 2011

Dear colleagues,

We are most grateful for your support to our campaign. The petition ‘Support Greek Academia’ collected more than 970 signatures from academics coming from 43 countries.  The complete list of signatures is uploaded in our blog. Among those who signed the petition are a great number of internationally established scholars, distinguished professors, Rectors, Deans and young academics. In addition, a significant number of researchers, administrative staff, postgraduates, undergraduates and alumni signed the petition. It is obvious that academics throughout the world put personal effort in distributing our campaign and making it known to their colleagues.

The petition campaign had a tremendous effect in the public discussion of the proposed Higher Education bill. It was widely reported and discussed through the mass media and other social networks.  It was brought up and commented upon by MPs during the three-day debate of the bill at the Greek Parliament. The Minister of Education posted a message and a letter to our e-mail address and attempted to publicly discredit the petition. The Minister’s letter and our reply are uploaded to our blog. Given  the success and the huge publicity of the campaign , it is possible that you may be approached  (as it already happened with some of you) to clarify the reasons for signing the petition. The Higher Education bill was passed amidst an avalanche of reactions from the Rectors’ Synod, the academic community and even the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Parliament which stated that some provisions of the bill contradict the Greek constitution.

The ‘Greek paradox’ in this context is that the academic community is asked to operate in an institutional framework it has largely opposed, a framework which received a strong support by the Parliament. We would like, once more, to thank you for your contribution. It proved crucial in our efforts for a democratic, self-administered and unconditional university, open to the society but not subjugated to the regimes of marketability, auditability and quantitative assessment.

The Initiative of Greek Academics

E-mail: europeanuniversitas1@gmail.com, europeanuniversitas@gmail.com


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