Punishment for cheating at Greek uni too harsh?

106 management students at the University of Patras have been caught cheating when they all handed in papers with the exact same content. As punishment they will not be allowed to sit this semester's exams. This prompts Greek media to reflect on the shortcomings of the Greek education system.

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Kathimerini (GR) /

System encourages cheating

Kathimerini believes the punishment is too harsh because the cheating is a result of the Greek educational system:

“The students had sat the university entrance exams and got into university by regurgitating the content of their lessons and fulfilling the requirements for higher education that consist in working hard and having enough money (for extra coaching and the accommodation costs at the uni). ... The question, however, is why plagiarism should be considered a reprehensible and punishable act when the rote learning system is deemed desirable and has indeed become the bedrock of the Greek educational system.”

Naftemporiki (GR) /

Young people aren't prepared for university

Mathematician Stratos Stratigakis also makes the case for milder punishment, pointing out in Naftemporiki that many students are out of their depth at university:

“In 2004 106,925 students having completed the required number of semesters still hadn't obtained their degrees. By 2015 that number had risen to 213,098. ... That means that their number doubled within 11 years. The economic crisis can't explain this trend entirely because by 2011, when the crisis had barely started, the number had already risen to 178,826. ... I believe these young people are having a hard time completing their studies because they can't cope with the strict requirements. When the entrance exam system was changed in 2000, the required reading for the test was drastically reduced. As a result the students lack the knowledge they need for their studies.”