At the end of April 2023, Ionian University will open the first office of a Greek higher education institution in the US, bringing a series of new proposals for cooperation with American universities.
The inauguration of the office will coincide with this year’s celebration of the Greek Revolution of 1821, which is celebrated in the USA at the end of March or early April. In fact, the rector of the Ionian University, Andreas Floros, said: “It is a matter of a few days to give us the date of the parade in America to see how it will be combined with our event, so that we can take advantage of the presence in the city of the representatives of the Greek community”.
The Greek branch of the Ionian University will be based in Northern Manhattan, at the historic Greek Orthodox Church of St. Spyridon in Washington Heights, New York, which has been a reference point for Greeks in Manhattan since the 1930s. The prospect of joint Ionian University degrees with US universities is not yet easy to proceed, as there is the problem of tuition fees. However, funds from foundations or other bodies are still being sought.
Thus, the new year begins with the Ionian University on a dynamic trajectory of academic development. This move is the culmination of the extroversion that the university has shown in the last two years, in the area of cultivating international research partnerships with universities in the United States of America, such as those of Johns Hopkins and George Mason, but also recently with the Texas/Health Science Center – a collaboration that followed the face-to-face discussions that took place in the context of the recent visit of US universities to Greece.
This is the first Greek university institution to open its “wings” across borders in this way, Mr Floros stresses. “In the last three years we have had a very systematic cooperation, in a research structure, between the Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Human Electrophysiology and Johns Hopkins University, one of the established and good practices of cooperation between Greek and American universities, as it was said in the context of the “Pharos Summit 2022″. So we found there that our physical presence in America would facilitate some issues related to collaborations we already have with American universities on research. For example, in the context of biomarker research on neurodegenerative diseases, Johns Hopkins University has a huge database of human samples that are defined at the experiment level. Our presence there will facilitate our research team in terms of data extraction, management and transfer,” says Mr. Floros.
In addition, the creation of this office also creates a fertile ground for new collaborations. Just a few days after the announcement, there were discussions about the possibility of collaborations with three more universities. “Talking to colleagues who have an active interest in working with us confirmed that the presence of an institution in the US will definitely be of great importance at a political level in order to take a positive decision to cooperate with American institutions,” explains Mr. Floros, adding that the University of Alabama has asked for a delegation to visit Ionian University in June. The Rector also had discussions with the University of Kentucky regarding the “Digital Speech and Debate Initiative”.