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How the Greek financial crash led to young Greeks changing their degree choices

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How the Greek financial crash led to young Greeks changing their degree choices


A PhD candidate in the Department of Economics has been looking into how young Greeks have changed their degree choices due to the crash of the economy.

Rigissa Megalokonomou, whose research interests lie in Empirical Microeconomics and has a particular focus on the areas of Economics of Education and Labour Economics, found that in the face of tighter budget constraints, college students are changing their minds about what to study.

The effects of the Greek financial crisis on education have been real and biting, with public spending on education in Greece reduced by 40% and more than 100 schools closed since 2009 as well as some universities.

Rigissa’s research found that there has been an increase in university majors that are tied to jobs with good employment opportunities, such as healthcare or law, and a rise in the popularity of courses that provide an early source of income such as the military and police academies.

But there has also been a drop in those courses that are academically challenging, such as engineering and computer science.

In her research, Rigissa said:

We found that students switched away from college majors that have poor employment prospects and preferred majors that offered less precarious routes to employment.

Medicine, psychology, military, pharmacy, mathematics, statistics, humanities and law departments were very popular majors during the first years of the crisis between 2009-2011, due to good expected employment prospects.

Knowing the types of majors that students are more likely to choose during recessions can be useful for the politicians who allocate resources to universities.

You can read the full article on The Conversation; “How young Greeks changed their degree choices as the economy crashed”.