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).
HOU is organised in four schools:School of Humanities
School of Social Sciences
School of Science and Engineering
School of Applied arts
The School of Applied Arts offers only postgraduate degrees, while the other three schools offer both undergraduate and postgratuate degrees.
According to Law 2552/1997, HOU consists of the Educational Material and Methodology Laboratory (EEYEM) established and operating as an independent unit of the HOU. The EEYEM supports the University in the implementation of educational, methodological and technological innovations in distance education and the development of teaching materials. The organization and operation of EEYEM is determined by the Internal Regulation adopted at the 167th / 04.21.2008 Meeting of the Executive Committee of HOU
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 or Greek Culture, Spanish Language and Culture, Natural Sciences, Computer Science and Business Administration.
Postgraduate degrees of nominal value 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, 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. 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.
Research in School of HumanitiesSOH Official Index
National Conference on Open and Distance Education
Research in School of Social SciencesSSC Official Index
Research in School of Science and Engineering is conducted in various fields of Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Environment.DSMC Lab, Digital Systems and Media Computing Laboratory
SQRG Lab, Software Quality Research Group
CONES Converged Networks and Services Research Group
HELYCON Distributed Cosmic Rays Telescope
Research in School of Applied artsSAA Official Index
Harocopio University, since 6 February 2014
Open University of Cyprus since 1 March 2013
Panteio University, since 23 April 2016
University of Western Macedonia since 9 March 2016
University of Thessaly since 9 March 2016
European University Cyprus since 1 August 2013
University of Nicosia, 1 June 2013
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 20 December 2011
National Hellenic Research Foundation, since 23 April 2016
In 2008, it was estimated that around 25,000 students were registered in the HOU. 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, Nearly one out of ten applicants is granted a place at the university. 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. The high attrition rate has been attributed to a combination of the demands posed by the students' non-academic commitments and inappropriate teaching provision, such as, possibly, the inability to create uniformly successful electronic fora for student collaboration. A university culture that is reluctant to use ICT, and embraces distance-learning (rather than e-learning) as a preferred teaching methodology is also cited as an example of practices that depress learning outcomes.
The University offers its courses through 1.358 professors most of which teach relevant courses in Greece's public universities. . 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. Using the ratio of citations per publication as a criterion of research quality, the university ranked at the 15th place out of 64 research institutions in Greece. Formal self-evaluations and external reviews and evaluations, which are mandated by legislation (PL 3374/2005) for all public tertiary institutes, have been taking place in the HOU for the last years
An external evaluation of all academic departments in Greek universities will be conducted by the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQAA) in the following years.School of Humanities (February 2014)
School of Social Sciences (December 2013)
School of Science and Engineering (October 2013)
School of Applied arts (February 2014)
MBA, Master in Business Administration (September 2013)
HOU is the sixth largest public university in Greece with 16317 active students and every year accepts thousands of entry applications by Greek and national students which infers Greek's approval of its high level of education.
Furthermore, the reputation of the MBA program offered by the University is continuously increasing, with latest achievement the recognition of E-xcellence Associate in Quality awarded 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 for its Pervasive Computing Games.
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. Due to the above, HOU is viewed with skepticism by Greece's academic community, 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, 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