The Greek University of Patras announced recently that is opening a branch in Alexandria, Egypt in a first-of-its-kind move by a Greek higher education institution.
On Friday at the offices of the Greek community of Alexandria, the rector of the University of Patras, Christos Bouras, and the president of the Greek community of Alexandria, Andreas Vafiadis, will co-sign a memorandum for the establishment of the branch.
The University of Patras became the first Greek university with a branch abroad.
“For the first time in the history of the Greek community of Alexandria, a university-level project is about to take place. The Greek Quarter of Alexandria will acquire special glamour and prestige,” the President of the Greek Community of Alexandria, Andreas Vafiadis, told state-run ERT.
Branch of the Greek university in Alexandria will have two departments
The University of Patras branch will operate two departments, one Greek-speaking and one English-speaking in the subjects of Greek culture, Greek language and Greek philosophy.
Each program will be able to accept approximately 100 students. There will be tuition fees, which however have not yet been determined.
Teachers in the branch will be professors of the University of Patras and external collaborators for one semester. It is estimated that the branch will be operational by 2025.
The rector of the University of Patras said that the decision to establish a branch in Alexandria was not just an important step in the growth of the institution.
“We wish to strengthen the Greek presence in Egypt and Africa, as well as the effort of the Greek government and the Patriarchate of Alexandria for a strong Greek presence in the region,” Bouras told Kathimerini.
Story of Greeks in Alexandria
The story of Hellenism in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, goes back more than two millennia and is marked by Alexander the Great’s placement of the first stone as part of the city’s first street in 331 BC.
Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (the Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and its Necropolis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages.
Alexandria was at one time the second-most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome.
In modern times, Greeks began to settle in Alexandria again in the 18th and 19th centuries. A new wave of immigration flooded Alexandria shortly after the Greek revolution of 1821, marking the beginning of the so-called European era of the city.
Today the Greek community of Alexandria has approximately 1,000 members. In its heyday, before the 1960s, it had 200,000-250,000 members. There are about 3,500 Greeks living in all of Egypt, namely in Cairo and Alexandria.