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Columbia University Announces Global Center in Athens

Greek PM Mitsotakis at pharos summit 2022
Columbia University is launching its 10th Global Center in Athens. Credit: Press Office of the PM of the Hellenic Republic

The President of Columbia University in New York, Lee Bollinger, announced the foundation of an International Education Center in Athens on Sunday, November 6. The news came as part of a delegation of 30 leading US Universities currently visiting Greece.

The Global Center will be open to students in 2023 when the project is completed. Its purpose will be to enhance teaching skills and scientific research developing in Greece parallel with the work already taking place in Hellenic universities.

The Ministry of Education stated that the action was “the culmination of an intensive effort that began at the end of 2019 and is being announced today (i.e. yesterday), the first day of the mission of 30 American universities to our country.”

The U.S. Ambassador to Greece, George Tsunis,  tweeted  “Columbia is launching its tenth Global Center in Athens! Thrilled to center education at the core of our bilateral relations and increase opportunities for American and Greek future generations.”

Greek PM at The Pharos Summit 2022

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke at the opening event of the Pharos Summit 2022 at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre with the cooperation of Greek and US universities.

All Greek universities were represented as well as 30 major ones from America. Mitsotakis emphasized that many of these collaborations had already been agreed on. More partnerships are to take place in the future, he further stated, expressing his certainty that “there is real potential for the enhancement of academic ties between the two countries”.

The Prime Minister added, “Greece is not only a place to come and study archaeology, the classics and history; it is also a workshop of constant change. It is a country that has a very crucial geopolitical position, a country where, apart from classical studies, you can carry out research on migration, security and climate change.”

The Columbia University Campus. Credit: Scarlett Sappho / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ongoing collaborations with U.S. universities in Greece

The oldest collaboration was between the universities of Cincinnati and Aristotle, and dates back to the 1960s. Thanks to this partnership, dozens of American students have participated in archaeological excavations in Greece, while their Greek colleagues have undertaken classic studies in the US.

Recently, students from the University of Cincinnati also attended the English-language philosophy course at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Moreover, a new collaboration with the biology department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is also in the works, according to AMNA.

Michigan State University runs a joint PhD program with Athens Polytechnic. The latter is among the three Greek universities which have signed memoranda of collaboration with the University of Kentucky, the others being Aristotle University and the University of Western Macedonia.

John Hopkins University has research collaborations in place with several Greek universities as well, such as the University of Crete, the Ionian University, and the University of Patras.

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