DIKATSA - Greek Inter-University Centre for the Recognition of Foreign Degrees

spiros · 1 · 21396


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Σημείωση 8/12/2005: Το ΔΙΚΑΤΣΑ έχει αντικατασταθεί από τον Διεπιστημονικό Οργανισμό Αναγνώρισης Τίτλων Ακαδημαΐκων και Πληροφόρησης (ΔΟΑΤΑΠ / DOATAP)

Ως (δυστυχώς όχι μοναδικός) παθών του διαβόητου ΔΙΚΑΤΣΑ παραθέτω το παρακάτω άρθρο (χρήσιμοι σύνδεσμοι στο τέλος).

Η δική μου ιστορία είναι ότι ενώ κρίθηκα αρκετά καλός για να γίνω δεκτός για MSc με υποτροφία καλύπτουσα δίδακτρα και διαβίωση στο UMIST, δεν θεωρήθηκα αρκετά καλός για να πάρω αναγνώριση του πτυχίου μου (BA English Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University) από το ΔΙΚΑΤΣΑ το οποίο  μου ζήτησε να δώσω 13 μαθήματα! Είναι σαν κάποιος Άγγλος να έχει πάει στην Ελλάδα για να σπουδάσει Ελληνική Φιλολογία και γυρνώντας στην Αγγλία να αμφισβητούν το πτυχίο του...

Don't mention the D-word
DIKATSA - Greece's official body in charge of validating foreign degrees - is infamous for its nightmarish bureaucracy


By Kathy Tzilivakis

THE HORROR stories are true. Foreign university graduates in Greece go up against a monster bureaucracy and endless delays to get their academic credentials approved by the Greek state.

The application process at DIKATSA, the Inter-University Centre for the Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, is convoluted and requires a mountain of paperwork.

And while some graduates are successful in having their degrees recognised by the Greek state, many others are not so lucky. Countless discouraged graduates feel any attempt they make to have their degrees recognised by the Greek state will be in vain.

"I went down to the DIKATSA office just to ask about the procedure," says Nassos Karabistolis, who studied engineering in the UK. "It was depressing. They wanted a lot of papers.

I heard it would take about a year, so I decided against it. It's impossible to do it if you are working because they do not pick up the telephone and you have to go down in person."

Stefanos, who is in his second year of study at Hartford University in the UK, says friends teasingly advised him to begin the application process now while he's still in school. "If I start now, maybe I'll get an answer from DIKATSA shortly after graduation."

Dimitris Kampsaris, who studied business management in the UK, on the other hand, says he is not even considering getting his degree validated by DIKATSA. "I do not want to go through some crazy procedure that will take up too much of my time," he says. "That's why I never looked into it."

The courts

Thousands of other graduates, however, do go to DIKATSA. Many are told their degrees and academic credentials are not on a par with those granted by Greek state universities. Some don't take no for an answer. Instead, they take DIKATSA to court.

In March, the Council of State - Greece's highest administrative court - ruled against DIKATSA. The case involved a Greek citizen who graduated from a university in the United States.

In its decision, the Council of State judged that DIKATSA had erroneously decided that a degree in business administration from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, is not equal to one issued by Greek state universities.

DIKATSA's decision was reportedly made on the grounds that Oglethorpe had a very small staff and did not offer postgraduate studies. The Council of State, however, argued that the staff/student ratio is irrelevant.

DIKATSA lost another court case in 2001. This time it was before the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerned a graduate of the University of Bari in Italy who had earned a bachelor's degree in literature (http://www.worldlii.org/eu/cases/ECHR/2001/657.html). DIKATSA had decided the applicant had to take more than a dozen supplementary examinations before his degree could be recognised.

The court ruled in favour of the applicant. DIKATSA was ordered to pay 1.5 million drachmas (about 4,400 euros) in non-pecuniary damage.

The system

Education in Greece is controlled by the state. All universities and higher technical education institutes are public. Acceptance to Greek state universities is tough, and failure drives thousands of Greek high-school graduates to pursue tertiary-level studies abroad.

Compared to other European Union countries, Greece - a country of just 11 million - has one of the highest numbers (per capita) of students enrolled abroad. As many as 60,000 Greeks are currently studying at foreign universities, according to research published by the Centre for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE).

Greeks and foreigners who have completed university studies abroad must have their degrees officially recognised in order to continue education at Greece's universities or to pursue a career in the public sector.

"It's not just a problem for those who want to work in the public sector," says Cosmas Pentangalos, an aeronautical engineer employed at the Athens International Airport. "Those of us who have completed engineering studies abroad are not allowed to register with the technical chamber of Greece. We are being denied equal footing in our professions if our degrees are not recognised by DIKATSA. This is unfair for those of us who hold degrees that are recognised across Europe."

The European Union last year took Greece to court for discriminating against engineers and teachers from other EU countries seeking employment or admission into professional guilds.

According to the European Commission, Greece is not correctly implementing Directive 89/48/EEC, which outlines a procedure of recognition of higher education diplomas earned upon completion of education and training of at least three years' duration.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein has said that if European law on the recognition of professional qualifications is not respected, "qualified persons run the risk of not being able to exercise their right to practise their profession in any of the member states".

The draft law

Greece is currently under mounting pressure from the EU to reform its system of recognising degrees earned from universities in the UK and other European countries.

DIKATSA only recently began to recognise degrees from UK universities and other schools in Europe including the Sorbonne in France. The process of approval of degrees from many of the acceding EU member states is blocked.

New draft legislation, however, is set to drastically overhaul the entire system. It is intended to harmonise national legislation with the rest of the EU.

The bill, which was unveiled by the former Pasok government ahead of the March general election, is now being studied by the new education minister, Marietta Yiannakou. Officials at the education ministry told the Athens News the bill will be slightly amended. They said they were not at liberty to specify.

The purpose of the proposed legislation, however, will not be changed. It is intended to finally streamline the application process at DIKATSA. It also includes provisions aimed at automatically recognising degrees awarded by universities in all the EU member states (only those that have been members for at least five years).

One of the major changes proposed in the bill is to replace DIKATSA by a new organisation - the Inter-University Organisation for Academic Recognition (DIORAA).

The Greek ombudsman has repeatedly called on the government to create a new organisation for the recognition of degrees from foreign higher learning institutions. A special report released by the ombudsman in 2002 noted great delays in dealing with the public's requests, poor coordination and problematic procedures in the recognition of degrees. The report called for a new body, more assessment committees and improved facilities for the public...

Full article from http://www.athensnews.gr/education/1edu4.htm

Useful links

http://www.doatap.gr (The organization which replaced DIKATSA)
http://www.dikatsa.gr (Not valid anymore)
« Last Edit: 10 Mar, 2006, 15:16:56 by spiros »


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