ATHENS, November 15, 2023 – At 11:00 am, Wednesday, Study in Greece, the national body for internationalizing higher education, marked a significant milestone with the successful culmination of the “Study in Greece: 3 Years of Internationalization – Reflecting on the Past; Gazing into the Future of Higher Education” event. This event not only showcased the strides made in the internationalization of Greek Higher Education but also provided a platform to unveil Study in Greece’s visions and unwavering commitment to its future appeal. The collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, and Sports and Study in Greece brought forth this insightful and impactful event.
The event comprised two sessions: “Reflecting on the Past” and “Gazing into the Future of Higher Education”. Minister of Education, Religious Affairs, and Sports, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, delivered the opening remarks during the first session. “Study in Greece is a success story for us; we firmly believe in what we can achieve and what we have already achieved,” Pierrakakis stated. He acknowledged the pivotal role played by his predecessor, Niki Kerameus, in initiating this effort. Minister Pierrakakis emphasized the need for comprehensive reforms and a cohesive strategy to internationalize Greek higher education fully.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elena Rapti, highlighted the wide-ranging benefits of internationalizing higher education, extending beyond education itself. She emphasized the interconnectedness of education, tourism, and culture in Greece, stating that these sectors contribute significantly to the overall development and promotion of the country. Ms. Rapti underscored the direct impact of internationalization on tourism, expressing the commitment of the tourism ministry to support it.
Niki Dandolou, the Special Secretary of EU/ESF Programme Management at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, expressed satisfaction with the Study in Greece Project’s progress and emphasized the crucial role played by Study in Greece in fostering global collaboration among academic institutions, enhancing Greek universities’ global presence. Stressing alignment with the government’s education and reform focus, she stated, “We expect the new program of Human Resources and Social Cohesion to continue supporting and upgrading the Study in Greece Project, benefiting not only the academic community but also various sectors of Greece for economic contribution and growth for our country.”
The President of Study in Greece, Christos Michalakelis, who is also a professor at Harokopio University, delivered two impassioned speeches during each session. In his first address, he underscored SiG’s growth and development, highlighting achievements through various crucial efforts. These efforts included providing services to foster academic collaborations between Greek universities and institutions from other countries, establishing domestic and international partnerships, participating in important education fairs globally, organizing gatherings and seminars, and developing multiple digital platforms to make Greece an appealing study-abroad destination.
In the second speech, Prof. Michalakelis reaffirmed SiG’s commitment to promoting Greek higher education and facilitating academic collaboration. He shared the future visions and plans of Study in Greece, including enhancing Greece’s prominence on the global academic map, monitoring and adapting to global trends, adopting best practices from other countries to boost internationalization, collaborating with national agencies from other countries, forging strategic partnerships, and providing a range of academic and non-academic support services.
Other speakers included Panagiota Dionysopoulou, the General Director of the Tourism Policy Tourism Ministry, the Rector of the Athens University of Economics and Business and the President of the Rectors Assembly, Prof. Dimitris Bourantonis.
Following the address by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports Mr. Ulysses Zoras, keynote speakers in the second session representing various industries and sectors, reiterated the importance of internationalizing Greek higher education for the economic and financial well-being of Greece. Among them were Ms. Yota Paparidou, President of the Board, SEPE – The Federation of Hellenic ICT Enterprises; Mr. Alexis Phylactopoulos, Executive Chairman of the Board of College Year in Athens; Mr. George Vasilopoulos (Ph.D.), Executive Consultant of the Hellenic Union, Pharmaceutical Industry; and Mr. Lyssandros Tsilides, President of FedHATTA.
Overall, this event represents a noteworthy achievement of Study in Greece in the journey towards a globally recognized and thriving Greek higher education landscape and Study in Greece’s key position and ongoing commitment to elevating Greek higher education on the global stage.
The event was moderated by the journalist and filmmaker Mr. Nikos Megrelis.