When local goes global: the University of Athens educates the world

Progress has two sides, like a coin: the passive one, which refers to those who enjoy the benefits of progress, and the active one, which includes all the agents who contribute to it.

Universities cover both sides, since they use modern technology not only to teach their students within their premises, but also to do research, as well as to reach more students outside their buildings, almost everywhere in the world. The latter is of equal importance to research, since education is the core of progress.

The E-Learning Programme of the Center of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) is the case of the organization, which has expanded its activities abroad. Most of us know the E-Learning Programme as the provider of quality online programmes in Greek (more than 400 programmes and more than 100,000 graduates). The past few years, however, drawing on the expertise of senior academics and experts, it has introduced 45 English-taught online courses (9 more are being developed) in a variety of fields, combining innovative teaching techniques and interaction with either full personal academic tutorship or community academic support, through a friendly online educational platform. Furthermore, successful completion leads to a Certificate of Continuing Education. Credit points for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) are also awarded.

The courses cover a wide range of academic areas, such as arts & culture, business & economics, coaching, environment & architecture, Greek language, health, intangible cultural heritage, law, nanomedicine & nanotechnology, translation. Each course is certified by NKUA and has been developed in collaboration with researchers and academics, as well as faculty from different schools and departments.The courses offer thorough knowledge for each subject but also emphasize on how the past influences modern lifestyle in often unprecedented ways.

The top five courses that learners prefer are “Modern Greek for non Greek Speakers”, “Oral Greek”, “Olive Oil”, “Greek Philosophy” and “Sports Law and International Sports Law”. Other popular courses are “Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine”, “Microbiome in Human Health and Diseases” and “Writing in Greek”.

The response to the courses, from various countries, is noteworthy. There are learners not only from Greece but also from the United States, G. Britain, France, Australia, India, Germany, Canada, Italy, and many more. In a globalized educational environment, where there are many high ranking competitors, the online English-taught courses (https://elearninguoa.org) of the E-Learning Programme of the Center of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning of the NKUA are steadily gaining ground, thus proving that Greece’s biggest and oldest university can play a substantial role worldwide.

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