In the framework of the celebration of the Chinese New Year (Tuesday, February 1, 2022), the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Greece Mr. XIAO Junzheng met on Saturday, January 29, 2022 visited the Library of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Athens and met with Chinese students.
The Ambassador was accompanied by members of the Chinese Embassy, including the Educational Attaché of the Embassy, Mr. TIAN Lei. He was welcomed by Emeritus Professor Eleni Karamalegou, Director of the English-taught Undergraduate program “BA Program in Archeology, History, and Literature of Ancient Greece” and President of the Modern Greek Language School. The Ambassador and his entourage were guided by the supervisor of the Library, Associate Professor Evdokia Balasi.
The event brought life to the snowy University Campus and took place in a very pleasant atmosphere. The Ambassador offered students a bag of gifts from their homeland, including souvenirs from the Winter Olympics. In his speech he referred to his admiration for Greek culture, the importance he attaches to the studies of Chinese students at the Greek University, admired the intellectual wealth of the Library, and especially thanked Professor Eleni Karamalegou for the creation of the curriculum of the School of Philosophy for students of Chinese Universities as well as for her support to Chinese students.
Ms. Karamalegou highlighted the close relations between Greece and China in the fields of education and culture and the impressive performance of Chinese students in various educational programs.
The international “BA Program in Archeology, History, and Literature of Ancient Greece”, has two years of successful operation and has students from more than ten countries, including eighteen students from China. Three of them have been involved in the Program for one year, as part of a bilateral partnership with the Chinese Southwest University.
Recently, the presence of Chinese students at the School of Philosophy is particularly noticeable. In addition to students enrolled in the English-taught undergraduate program as mentioned above, several Chinese students study in international postgraduate programs or are PhD candidates. Furthermore, bilateral agreements have been concluded with almost all Chinese Universities that have departments of Greek studies.
In addition, Chinese universities are very interested in organizing summer schools dedicated to Greek culture. Indicatively we mention the successful program organized for the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCASS). After the end of the pandemic this field is expected to develop rapidly.
It is worth mentioning that there are currently more than 50 female students from the School of Philosophy participating in the above mentioned programs. According to the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, the presence of Chinese students in Greek universities is particularly important as it contributes to the promotion of people-to-people exchanges between Greece and China.
The event was covered by the Chinese national television network CCTV as well as by Chinese spokesmen.