English title: Investigating the ‘efficiency’ of the binary system of higher education in Greece based on graduates’ employment: Evidence from the European Social Survey before and during the economic crisis

Author(s): Eleni Prokou - Catherine Michalopoulou -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2015


This paper argues that since the early 1980s, policies for the introduction of the non-university sector within higher education in Greece have not contributed to the issue of economic “efficiency”, with reference to the satisfaction of the needs of the economy and subsequently to graduates’ entrance into the labour market. Furthermore, despite the "academic drift" of the non-university sector in the early 2000s, unemployment of graduates of the non-university sector was higher than unemployment of university graduates, as the latter were preferred in the labour market. Nevertheless, unemployment of both types of higher education graduates increased up to the late 2000s, an outcome of economic recession in Greece. The paper also argues that the expansion of the higher education system, through the introduction (and upgrading) of the non-university sector, has not managed to substantially alleviate inequalities in educational opportunities. The argument of the paper is based on the European Social Survey data for 2002 and 2010. The analysis shows that in the labour market, there is a discrimination against the degrees of non-university higher education graduates compared to the degrees of their university counterparts. Additionally, between the years 2002 and 2010, there is an increase of unemployment for both university and non-university graduates. In terms of labour force, for the period from 2002 up to 2010, there is a decrease of university graduates and an increase of non-university graduates, the latter facing a higher unemployment rate. In 2002 more university graduates are working as science professionals and technicians than non-university graduates. In 2010, there is a decrease of both university and non-university graduates working as science professionals and technicians, with the non-university graduates working also as clerks and service, shop and market workers. Economic crisis - as this has been reflected by data on unemployment and employment - led the labour market in search for low cost labour. Finally, according to our data analysis, over time, the social background of students proved to be a strong determinant as refers to their studying in either of the two types of higher education. University graduates' parents have a higher educational level and better jobs compared to the non-university sector graduates' parents. Social inequalities in entrance to a differentiated higher education system persist and are associated with inequalities in graduates’ employment prospects.

Conference name: 36th conference of the International Working Party on Labour Market Segmentation (IWPLMS)

Location: Athens, Greece

Start date: Jun 22, 2015

Type: Paper

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