Dr. David G. Horner, President of The American College of Greece (ACG), recently spoke to the newspaper Naftemporiki about education within the 21st century economic and employment context.
Within this context, higher education graduates need “both skills and a sound intellectual foundation,” said Dr. Horner, adding that “the educational program at ACG is designed and intended to produce graduates with these capabilities and characteristics.” According to President Horner, in the longer-term these include “the ability to think critically; to express one’s thoughts clearly and persuasively; to work effectively with others; and to be a continuous learner.”
On the mismatch between supply and demand in the employment market, Dr. Horner said, “Globalization and technological innovation are changing employment requirements in unprecedented ways. Educational institutions need to be attuned to rapidly changing market needs and to be both sufficiently agile and sufficiently autonomous to be able to alter curricula and pedagogy to accommodate these needs.” He also spoke about the importance of ‘mutual accountability’ between the students and the educational institutions, stressing that “students need to be free to select academic programs that fit their interests and abilities and where they see a reasonable prospect for employment.”
On the significant institutional changes private education in Greece has undergone in the last couple of years, President Horner mentioned that “there are numerous provisions of current Greek law not required by Article 16 that could be amended” in order to keep moving towards more openness to private higher education, a trend which began in July 2008 with reforms introduced by the Greek government.
Dr. Horner discussed the several advantages that the U.S. educational system offers, as well as ACG’s nonprofit character, and further examined the public and private educational systems in Greece.