Inaugural speech of the Rector

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), which recently celebrated 180 years since its foundation, is the oldest University in Greece and the first Higher Education Institution in the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean area.

In respect to its historical background and with the significant efforts of its human resources, our University has attained recognition as a center of educational and scientific excellence and as a source of intellectual wealth for our country.

NKUA has eight (8) Schools offering a range of study areas defined by great variety and scope. Currently, students can choose among 33 bachelor’s and 183 master’s programs and also pursue doctoral studies.

39,789 undergraduates, 14,158 postgraduate students (at master level) and 8,753 Ph.D candidates, as well as 5,727 registered international students are pursuing their studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, supported by 1,643 professors, 402 other teaching and technical staff, as well as by 1.057 (administrative) staff members. Education and research facilities are located in an area of 700.000 sq.m. We aim at our graduates’ personal and professional success; we endeavor to make them not only highly employable, but also able to gain influence and respect in their interactions with academics, researchers and the community in general.

Nowadays one of our most important tasks is to train specialists to work in organizations and institutions operating in economy, business, healthcare, the social sphere, etc. That's why the curriculum of our Departments is constantly updated and significant educational and applied research activity takes place at the 76 University Clinics and the 210 laboratories distributed in almost all Departments of the University of Athens. Since NKUA is a research university all faculty and researchers are engaged in pushing the boundaries of knowledge in their wide-ranging fields of endeavor. We encourage our students to participate and excel in Olympiads and international competitions in scientific fields of their interest. They are also invited to actively participate — in and beyond classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and museums.

The internationalization of the University of Athens is a priority for Rectoral Authorities and members of our Academic community. Decades of cooperation with partner institutions from most European countries as well as the participation of the NKUA in international organizations, associations and university networks, have led to a consistent development of our University's international profile and its fundamental role in student and staff mobility. We strongly believe that cooperation between Higher Education Institutes is essential also for the strengthening of relations of the respective countries. The mobility activities foreseen by the ERASMUS+ program for the academic year 2017-18 are based on 655 Erasmus Agreements between the NKUA and 336 universities of 31 European countries. Last but not least, NKUA is currently involved in 60 scientific cooperation agreements with Universities worldwide (EU countries, US, Canada, China, Russian Federation, Japan, Australia, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Iran , Taiwan etc.), as well as Research Centers such as CERN (Switzerland), INRIA (France) and A * STAR (Singapore).

We believe that universities are about knowledge, innovation, as well as the pursuit of excellence. We are committed to work towards the advancement of critical human capacities, contribute to sustainable development and social cohesion and promote our country's cultural heritage, with respect to the principles of democracy, ethics and cultural diversity.

The active participation of each one of you in the academic life of our University is welcome, vital for the success, our aspirations and endeavors, and therefore, invaluable.

The Rector