‘Brain drain’ sets in at Greek universities as thousands study abroad

“‘Brain drain’ sets in at Greek universities as thousands study abroad”

by Lisa Brüßler via “DW”

More and more Greeks are moving to Germany to complete their university studies in the hope of improving their chances in the job market. Radical cuts continue to threaten the quality of teaching in Greece.

University of Leipzig

When Alexia Papaioannou decided to begin her studies in Germany, there was an outcry in Greece. “The best of the best emigrate,” said the Greek newspaper “Kathimerini.” From Athens, 18-year-old Alexia achieved the highest score in Greece’s nationwide university entrance exam, has now been studying law in Heidelberg for a year.

Despite the quality of degrees in their homeland, an increasing number of Greek students are moving abroad to study. In Germany alone, between 2012 and 2013, the number of Greek students rose by 13 percent. In 2012, Germany’s Federal Statistical Office totaled almost 6,000 Greek students, of which more than 1,100 had directly begun their studies in Germany.

Too little money for Greek universities

Greek student in Germany Elena Apostolaki

From Corfu to Bonn: Elena Apostolaki now studies in Germany

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Foreign Languages and Translation at the University of Ionischen in Corfu, Elena Apostolaki decided to no longer study in Greece. She successfully applied to study a Master’s degree in North American Studies in English at the University of Bonn.

“For me the ‘brain drain’ is only half of the truth, because many of my friends have stayed in Greece and are struggling,” said Apostolaki.

“My goal is to get a Ph.D. position in Berlin, to work a few years in Germany and then go back again.” But the 27-year-old said she was unsure whether the Greek job market will ease in the coming years. According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate in the crisis-torn country currently stands at 27 percent.

“For the past four to five years, young Greeks have been studying abroad earlier and earlier, in the hope that they’ll find work faster and easier afterwards. My children are also in Germany,” said sociology professor Skevos Papaioannou. . . . .