On Monday February 20, an innovative event for the internationalization of Greek Higher Education took place in Harokopio University – Athens. Fruit of cooperation between Study in Greece and the British Council, the Workshop on planning, designing and implementing Joint, Dual and Double Degrees was held within the framework of the UK-Greece Strategic Partnership in Education, a major program designed to promote partnerships and explore collaboration opportunities between British and Greek Higher Education institutions.
The workshop was attended by representatives of Greek universities specialized in internationalization. The event’s opening ceremony included welcome addresses and talks by the Rector of Harokopio University, Prof. Maria Nikolaidi, who highlighted the importance of such initiatives for the extroversion of Greek Higher Education, emphasizing her institution’s willingness to invest in the UK-Greece Strategic Partnership through the design and implementation of common educational and research programs with British universities. The Secretary General for Higher Education at the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Prof. Odysseas Zoras expressed the Ministry’s support and willingness to encourage and boost academic collaboration between UK and Greece. The British Ambassador to Greece Matthew Lodge underlined the contribution of academic partnerships to the strengthening of people to people ties and bilateral relationships between the two countries, and Ms. Anastasia Andritsou, Director of British Council Greece mentioned that British Council prioritizes this strategic partnership aimed at creating a fertile ground for new academic synergies in a wide range of programs and disciplines. The President of Study in Greece, Prof. Christos Michalakelis presented the organization’s various actions and projects, pointing out that the fostering of new partnerships and collaborations with UK institutions lies at the core of SiG’s vision.
The workshop was delivered by two exceptional experts who live and work in the UK: Vangelis Tsiligiris, Associate Professor at Nottingham Business School and Ofelia Palermo, Principal Lecturer in Management and Assistant Head of International, Nottingham Business School. The 1st part introduced the audience to the concept of internationalization of Higher Education and outlined the key activities under both internationalization at home and internationalization abroad. The 2nd session provided practical advice on each of the stages required to create and implement an international Joint, Dual and Double degree. Participants engaged in activities that allowed them to develop a clear understanding of the opportunities and risks of JDD degrees. The tangible outcome of the session activities was the co-creation of a “how to” draft guide on international JDD degrees for Greek HEIs. The afternoon session was in the form of a workshop involving groups of 5-6 participants working on activities and feeding back to the group. The dynamics that developed among the participants while the day unfolded made the event very vibrant.
Focusing on key challenges, solutions, and process for developing successful JDDs in the Greek context, the event was a fascinating experience and eye opener for academics and academic managers in Greek higher education institutions involved in internationalization.