Hellenic Open University

The Hellenic Open University (HOU; Greek: Ελληνικό Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο) was founded in 1992 in Patras and is the only distance learning university in Greece. Modelled on the British Open University, the Hellenic Open University was established to fill a gap for open and distance education in the higher education system of the Hellenic Republic in response to the growing demand for continuing education and lifelong learning.[1]

Hellenic Open University
Ελληνικό Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο
MottoAccess to Knowledge for Everyone!
Higher education
PresidentOdysseas - Ioannis Zoras
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Campus11.750,88 m²
ColorsPink and blue
NicknameEAP / ΕΑΠ

It is the first and only higher education institution in Greece that provides open and distance education at undergraduate and postgraduate as well as PhD level. Placing great emphasis on research, HOU promotes research programmes aiming towards the development of methodologies and corresponding high technologies for open and distance learning.


The Hellenic Open University was founded in 1992 in Patras, but remained defunct until 1997 at which time legislation was enacted (Act 2552/97) regarding its operation. The first cohorts of students were admitted in 1999. Further legislation amended the operation of the university by further specifying inter alia its scope, admissions, tuition and academic recruitment procedures (Article 14 of Act 2817/2000, Article 3 of Act 3027/2002 and Article 13 of Act 3260/2004).[2]

Academic profileEdit


Hellenic Open University campus

HOU is organised in four schools:

The School of Applied Arts offers only postgraduate degrees, while the other three schools offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

According to Law 2552/1997, HOU consists of the Educational Material and Methodology Laboratory (EEYEM)[7] established and operating as an independent unit of the HOU.

Undergraduate programsEdit

The university comprises four schools, namely a School of Humanities, a School of Social Science, a School of Science and Technology and a School of Applied Arts. Degrees include studies in European Civilization, studies in Greek Civilization, Spanish Language and Civilization, Natural Sciences, Computer Science and Business Administration.[8]

Postgraduate programsEdit

Postgraduate degrees are also offered in various subjects such as Master in Education, Adult education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Teaching German as a Foreign Language, Teaching French as a Foreign Language, MSc in Quality Assurance, Public History, Language Education for Refugees and Migrants, Environmental Design of Cities and Buildings, Environmental Design of Infrastructure, Tourist Business Administration, Health Care Administration, Health National System Services Administration, Banking, Orthodox Theology, Graphic Arts - Multimedia, Waste Management, Construction Management, earthquake engineering and Seismic Resistant Structures, Advanced Studies in Physics, Catalysis and Environmental Protection, MSc in Mathematics, MSc in Information Systems, MSc in Natural Sciences for Educators, Administration of Cultural Units, Master in Business Administration and MSc in Engineering of Pervasive Computing Systems.[9][10]

The university offers joint postgraduate degrees in co-operation with the University of Nicosia, the Open University of Cyprus, and the Wrocław University of Economics.


Research is conducted in all four schools of the Hellenic Open University by faculty members and is supported by postdoctoral researchers and doctoral students.[11]

  • School of Humanities: National Conference on Open and Distance Education.[12]
  • School of Social Sciences.[13]
  • School of Science and Technology: Research is conducted in various fields of Science and Engineering (Physics Laboratory, Biology Laboratory, Chemistry Laboratory, Digital Systems and Media Computing Laboratory, Software Quality Research Laboratory, Converged Networks and Services Research Group (CONES), HELYCON Distributed Cosmic Rays Telescope).[14]
  • School of Applied Arts.

The HOU has built a network of co-operation with other academic and research institutes: Open University of Cyprus, Harokopio University, Panteion University, University of Western Macedonia, University of Thessaly, European University Cyprus, University of Nicosia, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the National Hellenic Research Foundation.


In 2017, it was estimated that around 47,000 students were registered in the HOU.[15][16]

Older data suggests that the majority of them are mature students, over 35 years old. Admissions take place randomly through a strict and predefined algorithm evaluated and assured by the district attorney and nearly one out of ten applicants is granted a place at the university.[17]

Attrition levels are high: for instance, out of more than 500 students who registered in the Natural Sciences program in 2000, only 8 had graduated by the end of 2006.[18] The high attrition rate has been attributed to a combination of the demands posed by the students' non-academic commitments and inappropriate teaching provision,[19] such as, possibly, the inability to create uniformly successful electronic fora for student collaboration.[20] A university culture that is reluctant to use ICT,[21] and embraces distance-learning (rather than e-learning) as a preferred teaching methodology[22] is also cited as an example of practices that depress learning outcomes.

Teaching staffEdit

The University offers its courses through 1.358 professors most of which teach relevant courses in Greece's public universities. .[23] In addition to their teaching role, the staff of the university produce research which primarily focuses on issues of distance education, according to the university mandate. In terms of research output, the tenured academics of the university published 188 articles between 2002 and 2006 in peer-reviewed journals, including the ones affiliated to the university. Including self-references, these articles had generated 233 citations as recorded on the ISI Web of Knowledge.

Academic evaluationEdit

In 2016 the external evaluation committee gave the Hellenic Open University a Positive evaluation.[24]

An external evaluation of all academic departments in Greek universities was conducted by the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQA).[25]

Formal self-evaluations and external reviews, which are mandated by legislation for all public tertiary institutes, have been taking place in the HOU.[31][32]

Awards and reputationEdit

All universities providing distance study, have faced controversy concerning the level and quality of their studies – a stage, incidentally, that the open universities operating in other countries also passed in their first stages.[33] Due to the above, HOU is viewed with skepticism by Greece's academic community,[34] despite its legal recognition, awards, acceptance and reputation. However, such concerns are unwarranted. Not only does research show that DE offers certain students a sound pedagogical alternative,[35] HOU's tutors and academic community are also members of Greece's traditional university community. Moreover, the course writers hired by HOU to write its course and learning materials also work as course writers at traditional universities.[34]

The MBA program offered by the institution was awarded an E-xcellence Associate in Quality by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and it is now included in the list of the Qualified institutions. In addition to the above the HOU's School of Arts was awarded an Excellence by the National Ministry of Education[36] for its Pervasive Computing Games.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Why the HOU was founded". www.eap.gr.
  2. ^ "Brief History - Hellenic Open University". www.eap.gr.
  3. ^ "School of Humanities, HOU". www.eap.gr.
  4. ^ "School of Social Sciences, HOU". www.eap.gr.
  5. ^ "School of Science and Technology, HOU". www.eap.gr.
  6. ^ "School of Applied arts, HOU". www.eap.gr.
  7. ^ "Educational Material and Methodology Laboratory". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  8. ^ "General Information about Studies at HOU". www.eap.gr.
  9. ^ "Course Catalogue List". www.eap.gr.
  10. ^ "HOU Course Catalogue 2017-2018" (PDF). www.eap.gr.
  11. ^ "Research Projects at HOU" (in Greek). www.eap.gr.
  12. ^ "Research - School of Humanities" (in Greek). www.eap.gr.
  13. ^ "Research - School of Social Sciences" (in Greek). www.eap.gr.
  14. ^ "Research - School of Science and Technology" (in Greek). www.eap.gr.
  15. ^ "Hellenic Open University in numbers". www.kathimerini.gr (in Greek).
  16. ^ "Hellenic Open University tuition fees (2016)". www.kathimerini.gr (in Greek).
  17. ^ "HOU Admissions, 2012". Hellenic Open University. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  18. ^ Vergitis, Dimitris; Panagiotakopoulos, Chris (2002), "Student Dropout at the Hellenic Open University:", The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 3 (2), ISSN 1492-3831, retrieved 2008-06-22
  19. ^ Pierrakeas, C.; Xenos, M.; Panagiotakopoulos, C.; Vergidis, D. (2004), "A Comparative Study of Dropout Rates and Causes for Two Different Distance Education Courses", The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 5 (2), ISSN 1492-3831, retrieved 2009-01-04
  20. ^ Panagiotakopoulos, Chris; Lionarakis, Antonis; Xenos, Michalis (2003), "Open and Distance Learning: Tools of Information and Communication Technologies for Effective Learning" (PDF), Proceedings of the sixth Hellenic European Research on Computer Mathematics and its Applications Conference, HERCMA2003, Athens, Greece, 2003., retrieved 2009-01-04
  21. ^ Koustarakis, G.; Panagiotakopoulos, C.; Vergidis, D. (2008), "A Contribution to the Hellenic Open University: Evaluation of the pedagogical practices and the use of ICT on distance education", The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9 (2), ISSN 1492-3831, retrieved 2010-08-30
  22. ^ Valasidou, A.; Makrdiou-Bousiou, D. (2006), "Satisfying distance education students of the Hellenic Open University", e - mentor (2), retrieved 2010-08-30
  23. ^ "HOU Statistics, 2013". Hellenic Open University. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Hellenic Open University - External Evaluation Report" (PDF). www.adip.gr. 2016."HOU is a unique institution of HEI in Greece, offering distance learning degrees. The EEC has reached the conclusion that HOU meets our expectations in pursuing its academic and social mission. There is much that has been accomplished thus far and is now at a turning point that provides opportunities for strategic initiatives that will further raise its profile in Greece and abroad. HOU should consider raising the standard of its educational material and making it available in the open market."
  25. ^ "Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency". Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  26. ^ HQAA Final Report - School of Humanities, Hellenic Open University, 2014
  27. ^ HQAA Final Report - School of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, 2013
  28. ^ HQAA Final Report - School of Science and Technology, Hellenic Open University, 2013
  29. ^ HQAA Final Report - School of Applied Arts, Hellenic Open University, 2014
  30. ^ HQAA Final Report - Master in Business Administration, Hellenic Open University, 2014
  31. ^ "HQA Annual Reports 2010-2016" (in Greek). www.adip.gr.
  32. ^ Hellenic Quality Assurance Authority 2012 Report p. 24
  33. ^ Keegan, Desmond (1996). Foundations of Distance Education.
  34. ^ a b Koustarakis, G; Panagiotakopoulos, C.; Vergidis, D. "A Contribution to the Hellenic Open University: Evaluation of the pedagogical practices and the use of ICT on distance education". The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 9 (2).
  35. ^ Shachar, Mickey; Yoram Neumann (2003). "Differences Between Traditional and Distance Education Academic Performances: A meta-analytic approach". The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 4.
  36. ^ "Fun in Numbers (FinN)". Hellenic Ministry of Education. Retrieved 18 June 2013.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 38°12′23″N 21°45′54″E / 38.20639°N 21.76500°E / 38.20639; 21.76500