Hellenic Open University
|Hellenic Open University|
|Ελληνικό Ανοιχτό Πανεπιστήμιο|
|Academic staff||25 permanent, almost 1,250 with annual contracts|
The Hellenic Open University (Greek: Ελληνικό Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο - ΕΑΠ) is a multi-school university run by the Greek State. The institution, which is based in Patras, is unique in the Greek context in that it exclusively provides distance education at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The Hellenic Open University was founded in 1992 in Patras, but remained defunct until 1997 at which time legislation was enacted (Act 2552/97) regarding its operation. The first cohorts of students were admitted in 1999. Further legislation amended the operation of the university by further specifying inter alia its scope, admissions, tuition and academic recruitment procedures (Article 14 of Act 2817/2000, Article 3 of Act 3027/2002 and Article 13 of Act 3260/2004).
HOU is organised in four schools: the School of Humanities, the School of Social sciences, the School of Science and Technology and the School of Applied arts. The School of Applied Arts offers only postgraduate degrees, while the other three schools offer both undergraduate and postgratuate degrees.
The university comprises four schools, namely a School of Humanities, a School of Social Science, a School of Science and Technology and a School of Applied Arts. Degrees include studies in European or Greek Culture, Spanish Language and Culture, Natural Sciences, Computer Science and Business Administration.
Postgraduate degrees of nominal value are also offered in various subjects such as Master in Education, Adult Education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Teaching German as a Foreign Language, Teaching French as a Foreign Language, MSc in Quality Assurance, Environmental Design of Cities and Buildings, Environmental Design of Infrastructure, Tourist Business Administration, Health Care Administration, Health National System Services Administration, Banking, Orthodox Theology, Graphic Arts - Multimedia, Waste Management, Construction Management, Earthquake Engineering and Seismic Resistant Structures, Advanced Studies in Physics, Catalysis and Environmental Protection, MSc in Mathematics, MSc in Information Systems, MSc in Natural Sciences for Educators, Administration of Cultural Units, Master in Business Administration and MSc in Engineering of Pervasive Computing Systems.
In 2008, it was estimated that around 25,000 students were registered in the HOU. Older data suggests that the majority of them are mature students (over 35 years old). Admissions take place randomly through a strict and predefined algorithm evaluated and assured by the district attorney, Nearly one out of ten applicants is granted a place at the university. Attrition levels are high: for instance, out of more than 500 students who registered in the Natural Sciences program in 2000, only 8 had graduated by the end of 2006.
The University offers its courses through 1.358 professors most of which teach relevant courses in Greece's public universities. . In addition to their teaching role, the staff of the university produce research which primarily focuses on issues of distance education, according to the university mandate. In terms of research output, the tenured academics of the university published 188 articles between 2002 and 2006 in peer-reviewed journals, including the ones affiliated to the university. Including self-references, these articles had generated 233 citations as recorded on the ISI Web of Knowledge. Using the ratio of citations per publication as a criterion of research quality, the university ranked at the 15th place out of 64 research institutions in Greece. Formal self-evaluations and external reviews and evaluations, which are mandated by legislation (PL 3374/2005) for all public tertiary institutes, have been taking place in the HOU for the last years
Awards & Reputation
HOU is the sixth largest public university in Greece with 16317 active students and every year accepts thousands of entry applications by Greek and national students which infers Greek's approval of its high level of education.
Furthermore, the reputation of the MBA program offered by the University is continuously increasing, with latest achievement the recognition of E-xcellence Associate in Quality awarded by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and it is now included in the list of the Qualified institutions. In addition to the above the HOU's School of Arts was awarded an Excellence by the National Ministry of Education for its Pervasive Computing Games.
All universities providing distance study, have faced controversy concerning the level and quality of their studies – a stage, incidentally, that the open universities operating in other countries also passed in their first stages. Due to the above, HOU is viewed with skepticism by Greece's academic community, despite its legal recognition, awards, acceptance and reputation. However, such concerns are unwarranted. Not only does research show that DE offers certain students a sound pedagogical alternative, HOU’s tutors and academic community are also members of Greece’s traditional university community. Moreover, the course writers hired by HOU to write its course and learning materials also work as course writers at traditional universities
- Katsikas, Christos (August 28, 2008), "Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο: 72.000 υποψήφιοι για 7.200 θέσεις", Ta Nea (Athens, Greece) .
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