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Greece Climbs in Rankings as a Top Destination for American Students

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Athens University will team up with Yale University to offer joint degrees. Credit: Greek Reporter

A growing number of American students are choosing Greece as a destination for study, according to the Open Doors 2023 survey findings, published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Greece moved up in the global rankings and is now the 8th top study abroad destination for U.S. students, with 4,484 U.S. students studying in Greece for the 2021/22 academic year. Greece ranked 9th in 2022 and 17th in 2018, showing Greece’s trajectory to become a top destination for U.S. students.

At the same time, a growing number of Greek students chose the United States for their studies, with a total of 2,539 Greek students studying in U.S. academic institutions during the 2022/23 academic year, marking an increase of 5.5 percent compared to the prior academic year.

Almost half of the Greek students in the United States (1,141) attended graduate programs, 790 students attended undergraduate programs, and the rest attended other, non-degree programs. The previous year, 2,407 Greek students studied in the United States.

“Positive implications” for students in America and Greece

“I was so pleased to see this year’s data and to see that our outstanding collaboration with the Greek government and its universities is yielding such impressive results,” noted U.S. Ambassador to Greece George J. Tsunis.

“These are real, tangible results that have positive implications for our young people, for our economies, and for our bilateral relationship. We have reached new heights, and I know that together we can reach even higher,” the American diplomat added.

Greece attempts to attract American and other students

Study in Greece is a success story for us, we firmly believe in what we can achieve and what we have already achieved,” Education Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis said on Wednesday.

Addressing a conference on the work of the Study in Greece agency, which aims to internationalize Greece’s university studies, he noted that prior to its introduction a “helicopter view of Greece’s academic life” showed that the country “had the hardware but not the software” to internationalize its academic studies.

While possessing good quality people with an international multiplier, he said, the institutional paradigm that would fully open up the Greek university to the world was missing.

Commenting that other countries in Europe have achieved this “and achieved it immensely,” he said that Greece had needed a full spectrum of reforms and a very cohesive strategy consisting of all the relevant tools to achieve it, in order to do the same.

The country had now started achieving it, Pierrakakis added, and this was why co-study in Greece was such a success while highlighting the contribution of the various partners engaged in this effort who had started a collaboration with Greek universities on joint study programs.

“This is only the beginning”, he said, adding that the institutional framework for the internationalization of Greek universities was already in place, along with instruments to facilitate this opening up.

Pierrakakis announced plans for additional institutional reforms in the coming months with the aim of deepening this policy and establishing more joint degrees, more research programs and ending the state monopoly with regard to Greek state universities, to create “a freer and better academic landscape, which will give us the potential to reach what we can achieve.”

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