The Development of Tertiary Education in Greece: The Determinant Factors
From the 1950s onwards, there has been a sharp increase in the number of students studying at higher education institutions both at European and global level. By 2000 in the developed countries of the West such as Sweden, Canada and the USA, 85% - 90% of the population aged between 18 and 24 studied in post-secondary educational institution. This development could be attributed on the one hand to the role of the Welfare State and in particular the provision of free education and on the other, to the broader transformation of the global economy and the consequent emergence of demand for employees, white collars workers rather than blue collar ones. Greece has also exhibited a growth in the demand for higher education especially after the 1970s. During that period the expansion in the number of University and Technological Institutions was accompanied by a considerable increased tendency for students to study abroad in Europe and the USA. Indicatively, until recently Greece maintained the largest ratio of students over population studying abroad internationally. The causes are more of social rather than economical origin. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that determine the phenomenon of increased demand for further studies in Greece. Furthermore there is an attempt to evaluate public as well as private expenditure as these emanate from the National Accounts and also household surveys. Moreover there will be an attempt to evaluate if the theory of Human Capital, regarding the return of investment, constitutes a critical factor to the decision for education.The data on which this paper is based originate from public sources (National Statistical Service) and also from empirical surveys conducted by the authors.