Table of Contents    
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 268-269  

Inform, conform, reform and do not deform: A four axons' framework for the Hellenic academic institutions facing the Greek crisis challenge


1 Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
2 Department of Internal Medicine III and Institute of Physiology, University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany
3 College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK,
4 University of Oxford, Oxford, England, UK
5 Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
6 Institute of Neurology, University College London (UCL), London, England, UK
7 Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, England, UK
8 The Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, University of California, San Francisco, USA; College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
9 College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Date of Web Publication20-Feb-2013

Correspondence Address:
Apostolos Zarros
Box 318, 111 West George str, G2 1QX, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-9668.107325

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Botis J, Chatzigeorgiou A, Chatzilymperis G, Kalafatakis K, Katsouni E, Mylonas N, Skandali N, Skandalis A, Vagena E, Zarros A. Inform, conform, reform and do not deform: A four axons' framework for the Hellenic academic institutions facing the Greek crisis challenge. J Nat Sc Biol Med 2013;4:268-9

How to cite this URL:
Botis J, Chatzigeorgiou A, Chatzilymperis G, Kalafatakis K, Katsouni E, Mylonas N, Skandali N, Skandalis A, Vagena E, Zarros A. Inform, conform, reform and do not deform: A four axons' framework for the Hellenic academic institutions facing the Greek crisis challenge. J Nat Sc Biol Med [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Jan 21];4:268-9. Available from: http://www.jnsbm.org/text.asp?2013/4/1/268/107325

Sir,

There have been several recent articles focusing on the Greek crisis and its effects on the Hellenic public health system [1],[2],[3] or on the quality of the healthcare provided. [4],[5],[6],[7] Despite the fact that the consequences of an inadequately funded healthcare system are immediate, of major significance and undoubtedly directly linked to human losses, one should not neglect that there are other equivalently important consequences of the Greek crisis linked to equivalently crucial state-ensured "social goods". Among those social goods lies the one of higher education/training, primarily performed in Greece through government-funded academic institutions and research centers of excellence.

Since the first bailout request of the Hellenic government (2010), the austerity measures taken in order to please its international creditors (being the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund; "Troika") and improve the economy's perspective have resulted in: (a) a recruitment freeze in government research facilities and academic institutions, (b) a cut of the government's contributions to institutional research funding, (c) a research scientists' salary cut of approximately 20% and (d) a significant difficulty of the government to meet its commitments in contributing its expected 15% share to the funding obtained by Hellenic academic institutions from the European Commission's 7 th Framework Programme. [8],[9] On top of these problems, Greece is now facing an unemployment figure of 25.1% (as of July 2012), political instability (Greece has been run by four different governmental schemes within the last 2 years) and several difficulties in the implementation of a new legislation concerning the reform of higher education, the overseeing of academic recruitment and the modernization of university governance. [10]

We, herein, urge for the need of a framework that could provide a platform of action toward the elimination of the adverse effects that the established recession and funding deprivation have caused (and will probably continue to cause) on the functioning of the Hellenic academic institutions. As highlighted on this letter's title, we believe that a four axons' systematic action framework should be set forward by the Hellenic scientific community and the Greek government; this framework should: (a) encourage the extroversion toward the international scientific community (inform; to provide an exhaustive and systematic presentation of the effects that the Greek crisis has upon both teaching and research conducted within the country's academic institutions through every possible means, to seek for international support and collaborations as well as to encourage the suggestion of novel approaches toward the increase of teaching and research quality in parallel to a lowering of their cost), (b) enforce the compliance of the current academic practices with successful international administrative, teaching and research ones (conform; to adopt those international examples of academic excellence that could provide up-to-date academic training and research quality-ensurance and develop an integrated system of Total Quality Management), (c) adopt extensive structural changes and innovative practices (reform; to allow for extensive changes in the institutions' structure, the Introduction of managerial practices in the governance of the Hellenic academic institutions as well as to provide the necessary legislation for the establishment of a more transparent system of institutional management) and (d) maintain the high standard of its excellence centers and prioritize the dedication of the country's academic institutions to provide high-quality academic education (do not deform; to ensure the viability of the country's excellence centers and their nonprofitable nature, reward its personnel's efforts and encourage the prioritization of academic teaching/training - the latter is, anyway, constitutionally established as the main scope of the Hellenic academic institutions).

We believe that the Greek crisis is an unfortunate fact that should be coped as an opportunity for the implementation of the above framework thus allowing the maintenance and improvement of the (already high) international standing [11] and reputation of the Hellenic academic institutions.

 
   References Top

1.Dervenis C, Kastanioti C, Polyzos N. Restructuring the finances of the Greek health care system in the era of economic crisis. World J Surg 2012; Epub ahead of print.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Kentikelenis A, Papanicolas I. Economic crisis, austerity and the Greek public health system. Eur J Public Health 2012;22:4-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.Oikonomou N, Tountas Y. The Greek economic crisis: A primary health-care perspective. Lancet 2011;377:28-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.Karidis NP, Dimitroulis D, Kouraklis G. Global financial crisis and surgical practice: The Greek paradigm. World J Surg 2011;35:2377-81.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.Kastanioti C, Kontodimopoulos N, Stasinopoulos D, Kapetaneas N, Polyzos N. Public procurement of health technologies in Greece in an era of economic crisis. Health Policy 2012; Epub ahead of print.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Kentikelenis A, Karanikolos M, Papanicolas I, Basu S, McKee M, Stuckler D. Health effects of financial crisis: Omens of a Greek tragedy. Lancet 2011;378:1457-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]    
7.Polyzos SA, Kountouras J. Trying to treat diabetes in Greek crisis. Int J Clin Pract 2012;66:515.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]    
8.Malone J. Greek science: Hope in crisis. Lancet 2012;380:326-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]    
9.Abbott A. Greek crisis spurs research reforms. Nature 2011;475:13-4.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]    
10.Abbott A. Greek science on the brink. Nature 2012;481:123-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
[PUBMED]    
11.Falagas ME, Bardakas V, Mavros MN. Biomedical research productivity in Greece: Effect of the financial crisis. Int J Epidemiol 2012;41:1206-7.  Back to cited text no. 11
[PUBMED]    




 

Top
  
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 
  In this article
    References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed1566    
    Printed52    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded247    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal