Three Greek professors have sent a letter to the American magazine Science stressing the need for Greek universities, which have poor world rankings, to enhance their image abroad. They thanked the editors for having reported an article in May which was signed by Nobel laureates in a bid to support Greece.
Nikolaos Stavrakakis, Ioannis Tsaknis and Maria Th. Stoumboudi wrote about Greece’s fiscal woes that “austerity measures imposed as a result of the financial crisis have put viability of Greek research centers and academic institutions into danger and have increased migration rates of young Greek talented researchers as well as older distinguished ones.” Many young Greeks, facing unemployment rates that have hit 54.9 percent, are fleeing their homeland in search of a career and better life elsewhere.
The academics stressed that it is important for Greece’s development to put emphasis on technological innovation and research, and suggested crucial measures that need to be taken, including a new Research and Development strategy to focus on Greece’s current social and financial problems.
They added that Greece should make the most of European financial aid and provide more funding to Greek universities as well as the educational system. They also decried the country’s bureaucracy. Sometimes, it takes several years for a professor to be hired because of bureaucratic procrastination. They concluded that the European Union should encourage innovative projects and facilitate Greek participation in European programs such as NSRF 2007-2013 for development, or the Horizon 2010.