I’m writing this review of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and University of Macedonia (UOM) when the media does not mention anymore the trouble of the Greek economy. When reading the students’ reviews on EDUopinions the impact the economic crisis has on higher education becomes apparent. Both universities are located in Thessaloniki, Greece. The AUTH is a public university founded 1925 and is one of the biggest university in Greece. It is a multi-thematic university at which you can earn a degree in various disciplines. UOM, on the other hand, is a bit younger (1948) and began with only providing degrees in business administration disciplines, such as accounting and informatics sciences, and economic and political studies. However, it’s history signals that it is actively innovating itself, as it established a department of education and social policy.
Economic crisis and university life
The impact the economic crisis had on universities becomes especially clear when reading reviews about AUTH. One student puts it in excellent words, talking about mixed feelings when thinking about AUTH. It’s a good place to study, but the facilities are lacking.
A similar story seems to be apparent at University of Macedonia (UOM), but to a lesser degree as it does not come up that much in reviews. One reviewer concludes that the quality of facilities and support offered to students is due to financial and administrative problems.
Excellent teaching staff
This opinion about excellent staff, but poor facilities is a common thread among reviews about Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH). But that should not deter you from considering AUTH to become your university. One student mentions that it is a beautiful university. While you might think that this will only please your eyes, consider the emotional impact your surrounding has on your mood. In addition to being a beautiful university, its staff is also dedicated and provide challenging, albeit maybe a bit too theoretical workshops and courses.
It has to be said that not all reviewers share the opinion of great staff at AUTH. It seems to be that the economic crisis did not only have a negative impact on the maintenance of facilities, but also on the academic staff. For example, this student notes that professors are quite old, and because they have achieved tenure, do not see any need in conducting new research. This can result in courses discussing outdated material and using old technology.
The thing with teaching staff is that in every institute, starting from Kindergarten to university, you’ll find great ones and not-so-good ones. It is hard to judge the quality of education of a whole university on reviewers opinions about a couple of teachers. Nevertheless, knowing something is better than knowing nothing about the quality of staff. Students on EDUopinions talk about UOM having a reputation of being a good place for economics and business studies. One reviewer at EDUopinions talks about how most staff at UOM is eager to involve students. In her opinion, it is a good place for those who want to gain knowledge in economics and business.
It has to be said that most reviewers of AUTH on EDUopinions do not remark on an outdated and silver-haired teaching staff, but rather praise the quality of teaching. This is in contrast to the quality of facilities which comes up quite often in reviews. One reviewer talks about the wonderful and insightful interaction she has with professors once she was in her senior years.
The fact that you can get wonderful interaction with professors is echoed by other reviewers on EDUOpinios. However, students also mention that on an organizational level aspects can be improved at AUTH.
This is in contrast to UOM who, according to a reviewer on EDUopinions, seems to be well organized. But the student also puts this in perspective, mentioning that the organization is good for greek standards.
Which one to select?
Of course, many factors will influence your selection of the university. However, when reading the reviews on EDUopinions it becomes clear that AUTH allows you to study many different subjects, while UOM is an excellent choice if you want to graduate in an economic or business field. In both cases, facilities seem to be currently a bit run down. However, scarcity is often the necessary seed for innovation to occur. So who knows how these two universities will transform in the next years.
Will you be part of this transformation?
Let us know how it is now to study at these universities.