Interview: Studying amid crisis

On Sunday, October 6 2013, the newspaper “To Vima”, in the inlaid magazine “Vimagazino”, published an interview of the ICPS College Managing Director, Mr. Constantinos Pappas, entitled “Studies amid Crisis: Private higher education can boost the economy”.
The interview is as follows:
Mr. Constantinos Pappas, Managing Director of the College for Humanistic Sciences - ICPS, comments on the evolution in the field of higher education and analyzes the alternative choices that ambitious young people have.

Q. Young people who did not succeed in entering the universities or other public educational institutions of their choice have to make important decisions. Do you think that a College is an alternative choice for studies today? 

A. A college is not only an alternative choice, but it is very often the first choice. A tuition cost analysis and students’ living expenses far from their home residence indicates the new reality. If we take into consideration the fact that a student is dissatisfied with the academic programme he/she attends that was not his/her first choice and which does not offer any perspectives in the professional field, the advantages of studying in a College emerge immediately: the students can study while staying in their home residence and have the opportunity to attend an internationally renowned university programme of their choice. This kind of studies is more organised, prompt and efficient due to the fact that the number of students in Colleges is usually smaller than in public institutions of Higher Education, without the unpleasant surprises and the troubles often prevailing in the latter.

Q. Do College graduates have the same recognition rights with the ones graduating from public institutions?
A. After almost 25 years of various domestic interests that were illegally hindering College graduates from entering the labor market, the Greek State has been forced to accept the European Legislation. Graduate and postgraduate degrees from European Universities through partnerships with Colleges now are entitled to “professional equivalence” recognition, which offers graduates an access to public or private sectors, either as employees or self-employed, under exactly the same conditions as the graduates of public institutions. At this point it is important to clarify, that it is the Council for the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (SAEP) that is the pertinent institution for issuing professional equivalence and/or recognition for professional rights, and not DOATAP. The latter is pertinent only for the academic recognition of certificates and not for recognition of the graduates’ professional rights.

Q. Which are the comparative economic advantages that emerge for the State by accepting the role of the Colleges?
A. Economic analyses conducted in 2009-2012 in co-operation with other Colleges clearly show that if we removed any unreasonable obstacles from the College activity and recognition of their graduates, Greek economy would gain more than 1 billion Euros; an amount that is associated both with the limited exchange outflow due to the enrollment in a College rather than in a foreign institution, as well as with direct and indirect taxation. In Greece, we must - at last- decide if we really want progress or if we will adhere to effete political and financial models of the past.

Q.  Which are the alternative suggestions for studies offered by ICPS?
A. The College for Humanistic Sciences - ICPS is present for the last 24 years in the field of psychology and its specialties, as well as in the field of humanistic sciences. ICPS is the only College specifically dedicated to humanistic sciences and is also the only member of the "Network for Corporate Social Responsibility and Awareness of Mental Health". Its exclusive collaboration with Psychology Schools of UCLan University (5th largest University in the United Kingdom) and University of Strathclyde (British University of the year 2012-2013) and the fact that it has, most probably, the widest academic personnel in the field of psychology of private education in Greece, allows the designing and successful delivery of innovative and unique academic and training programmes in its modern and contemporary building facilities. Another even stronger advantage for ICPS students is that they have the chance to display their talents and gain a distinctive position in the job market through a series of scientific researches, seminars, meetings and congresses and as well as via the direct contact with the job market, put into effect by the Career Office of the College.

Q. Which programmes of the College for Humanistic Sciences receive the biggest demand in the current market?
A. In addition to the graduate programme in Psychology, the biggest demand lies in a field that received limited attention in the past and thus, lacks in graduates-professionals. For example, the Master in Psychology of Health receives huge attention; in Greece, we realize day by day that health prevention and support of patients facing terminating illnesses play a significant role in reducing the cost of treatment. Therefore, it is obvious that health psychologists will certainly have the key role in the upcoming years. At the same time, the demand is equally increased for the Master in Child Psychology (which is the only of its kind in Greece) and the Master in Person-Centered Counselling, which has been running for the last 24 years.
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