Higher Education Aviation Programs in Greece: A Missed Opportunity or a Challenge to Meet?
Keywords:Aviation, Aviation education, Aviation training, Air transport, Higher education, Universities.
AbstractThe air transport industry in Greece has been experiencing a significant growth. However, higher education has missed so far this export opportunity. Public universities and technological educational institutes have very limited undergraduate offerings in the fields of aeronautical engineering and aircraft maintenance technology, respectively. These programs are offered only in the local language, practically restricting them to the indigenous market. Postgraduate offerings are currently inexistent. This study proposes a generic model for undergraduate and postgraduate aviation programs. This model, aligning with the world’s best practice in aviation education, would have to be adjusted to meet the Greek aviation industry. A preliminary investigation to identify the characteristics of the model was conducted in the Greek aviation industry, through a survey supported with in-depth interviews. The research findings suggest that it is necessary to invest in the strengths of the Greek aviation industry (aviation services and aircraft maintenance) and the strategic advantages of the country (climate favorable for flight training and touristic attractiveness). The need for a postgraduate aviation program is highlighted, in contrast to the introduction of an undergraduate program, which came up as less desirable. Moreover, the need for export-driven target-oriented synergies between industry and academia has been a key observation.
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