National Technical University of Athens (Greece) Meeting of representatives of American universities with the NTUA delegation, 7 Nov. 2022

The meetings of the representatives of the 30 US universities with Greek universities began on Monday 7 Nov. 2022 at 12.30, as part of the Pharos Summit 2022, organized by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the Institute of International Education.


The first meeting was with the National Technical University of Athens. The NTUA Rectorate, Deans of Schools and professors met with the representatives of 16 US universities. Among them Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Univ. Southern California, Kentucky. The Rector Andreas Boudouvis presented NTUA’s activities related to academic collaborations with the USA and the prospects for expanding and strengthening them and pointed out the main challenges.


On behalf of the American delegation, Professor Dena Haritos Tsamitis from Carnegie Mellon University referred to the objectives of the visit of the American Universities delegation, and the representatives of all universities participating in the meeting briefly presented their policies and proposals for possible bilateral cooperation. The two-hour meeting concluded with a short discussion on specific practical issues of bilateral cooperation.


Earlier, at the Pharos Summit 2022 morning main event at the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, NTUA’s collaboration with Columbia University for a double degree was presented. The presentation was made by Professor Alexander Cooley from the Columbia side and by the Dean of the School of Civil Engineering Professor Nikos Lagaros from the NTUA.


In his introductory speech, Rector A. Boudouvis mentioned, among other things, the following:


“An opportunity emerges for creating a framework of the systematic interaction of Greek Universities with universities in the US. Especially those of us who are graduates of US universities, we are strong advocates and front-liners in building and strengthening ties between the two sides, since we know, first-hand, the values, standards, power, influence, and leadership of the world-class US universities that can be beneficial for our academic system, which – I should mention – aligns with the European one. The students are those to benefit the most from the bilateral cooperation. I was saying on the signing of the NTUA-Columbia Univ. dual degree agreement:  this agreement highlights the international reputation of our university and strengthens the status of the degrees of our students. In addition, this collaboration offers our best students the opportunity to get acquainted with study conditions and academic environment characterized by multiple cultures, extroversion, diversity, multidimensional campus life, creativity, leadership in education and research, working by joining forces through teamwork but, at the same time, with a lot of space for individual achievements and seeking opportunities in multiple directions…


…A main thrust in these interaction endeavors is the Greek academic diaspora in the United States; Ι am sure that they will be of great help in what we are launching and many of them are in the delegation visiting Greece this time. On the other hand, please keep in mind that one of the most serious problems that Greece is facing is the brain drain of the young scientists during the last 15 years; in the 60’s-early 90’s it was not that intense, and the preferred destination was the US; this is not the case anymore. The wave of departure has been big, and Europe is by far a most attractive destination. It is my firm belief that building a solid cooperation framework with American Universities, esp. in research, will help in keeping young scientists here while offering them the possibility to interact without irreversibly leaving the country.  We have seen that happening in other countries with a significant diaspora in the States.”


From the talks of the representatives of the American universities and the discussion that followed, the following areas of cooperation emerged, some of which are in progress:

  • Workshops, summer schools • Short term student mobility – internships/diploma thesis • Mixed senior student groups in joint projects under co-supervision • Competitions/hackathons • Academic staff mobility – involvement in hybrid lecturing esp. in graduate courses • Graduate thesis co-supervision •Dual /joint doctoral degrees • Research collaboration; funding through Greece/Europe USA schemes – National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health could be involved.