SOCIETY

Greece and Canada work together in education

As Greek universities struggle under austerity measures that have seen their funding cut drastically over the last few years and the loss of more than 1,500 administrative staff as part of the government’s mobility scheme, the Canadian Embassy in Athens presents a university partnership between institutions in Canada, Greece and Cyprus aimed at boosting ties in the tertiary education sector that will be showcased at a forum in Athens on Monday, September 16.

The partnership promotes faculty exchange/enrichment programs, lectures, semesters abroad, Canadian and Hellenic studies, and collaboration in research and development. It comes at a time when Greek universities are trying to forge international ties in order to enrich their own institutionsas well as their students’ experience.

Meanwhile, in a sign of strengthening ties between Greece and Canada and in celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in 2012 established a scholarship program for Greek students to study at leading Canadian universities. To date, scholarships have been established at McGill University, the University of Ottawa and York University.

The first Canada-Greece/Cyprus University Partnership Forum on September 16 will see the participation of the following eight Canadian universities: McGill, York, McMaster, Ottawa, Simon Fraser, Montreal, New Brunswick and the University of Waterloo-based Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics founded by Greek-Canadian Mike Lazaridis, also co-founder of Blackberry. There will also be broad representation from Greek and Cypriot universities.

Despite the challenges that Greek universities face, six of the country’s institutions were recently rated among the world’s best 800 tertiary institutions in the annual QS World University Rankings. These were Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Crete University, Athens University, the National Technical University of Athens, Patra University and the Athens University of Economics and Business.

The forum’s program will also include two Canadian university round tables, the first with potential non-university partners in Greece and the second with local guidance counselors/consultants. The event will conclude with an open house for Canadian university graduates.

Details regarding participation and registration for the open house can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CanadainGreece or by sending an e-mail to [email protected] Canadian university alumni in Greece can join the Canadian University Graduates in Greece group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cuggforum/.