Kathimerini he International Hellenic University (IHU) is ready to greet its first foreign students and teachers in February 2008, and to assume what its founders hope will be a prominent place on the global map of tertiary education. The newly established university will run courses in English for foreign students. The teachers will be leading academics and its degrees will be equal to those granted by world-renowned universities. The postgraduate programs are the first stage, and will operate on a pilot basis for a transitional period until the university acquires further infrastructure and staff. This Friday IHU’s Open Day in Thessaloniki (open days have already been held in Athens, Istanbul and Sofia), to present the first postgraduate program, the Executive MBA in economics and business administration. Next September, the IHU will also offer postgraduate courses in science and technology and in the humanities. The university’s website states that it is focused on «attracting leading academics and outstanding students from Southeast Europe and across the world.» «It has been called an entrepreneurs’ university, but it is strictly a public university, whose operation is stipulated by Law 3391 of 2005 to offer specializations in economics and business education,» Christoforos Koutitas, a professor of civil engineering and vice- president of the nine-member management committee, told Kathimerini. Initially the university will be housed in the Panhellenic Confederation of Unions of Agricultural Cooperatives (PASEGES) building in Thermi, which is undergoing extensive renovation. The next step is for the IHU to acquire its own modern premises, which will be built on a 68-hectare site in Michaniona, Thessaloniki. Funding will come from regular European Union funding for education, and the administrative staff will be secondary school teachers seconded for the purpose. «The IHU will give its full support to high-quality research and teaching and so, among other measures, we have planned the appointment of young academics who have already published in prestigious international academic journals. It would be good if they were from Macedonia. At the same time, it will strengthen its position by collaborating on research with visiting professors of international standing,» Costas Grammenos, chairman of the governing board, told Kathimerini. The courses are open to students from European and another countries, but this may create legal problems. Should an appeal be made to the European Court, claiming discrimination against Greek citizens, the management committee would pass an amendment allowing a percentage of Greek students to enter through Greek national university exams, on certain conditions, such as a proven competence in English. The governing board An experienced academic who has worked at universities abroad is at the helm of the IHU. Costas Grammenos, a pro-vice chancellor of City University, London, and head of its groundbreaking Cass Business School, is chairman of the governing board, and Christoforos Koutitas, professor of civil engineering at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, is deputy chairman. The other members are: Nikolaos Bakatselos, deputy managing director, Pyramis Metalourgia SA; Stella Drougou, professor of archaeology, Aristotle University; Athanassios Kaissis, professor of law, Aristotle University; Mario Levis, professor of finance, Cass Business School; Stelios Mallikourtis, retired ambassador; Ioannis Stasinopoulos, executive of the Viohalco Group, and Ioannis Vlachavas, professor of computer science, Aristotle University.