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Event in D.C. brings together Greek-American, Greek academics

Δημοσίευση 25 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 09:17 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Event in D.C. brings together Greek-American, Greek academics
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The Greek embassy here this month hosted an inaugural event bringing together several rectors of major universities in Greece and Greek-Americans who hold similar positions at US universities -- such as chancellors, deans and provosts -- for a conference sponsored by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.

The Greek embassy here this month hosted an inaugural event bringing together several rectors of major universities in Greece and Greek-Americans who hold similar positions at US universities -- such as chancellors, deans and provosts -- for a conference sponsored by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.

The event was organised by the embassy of Greece and hosted at Georgetown University.

Distinguished Greek-American academicians and university administrators hailed from some of America's finest higher education institutions, including USC-Davis, the University of South Carolina, Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, George Washington, Maryland, Temple, Fairfield and Chapman, and the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Conference participants expressed an interest and desire for a tangible and appropriate continuation of future cooperation between US and Greek universities, initially through small and realistic steps. Emerging as the most realistic potential areas of collaboration, in the initial phase, are student exchanges (with an emphasis on graduate studies and research), faculty exchanges during sabbaticals, the development of summer programmes in Greek universities for US students, joint study programmes and the inclusion of Greek institutions of higher learning in the international and global programme ambitions of US universities.

The most tangible result of the conference was the decision by Greek-American academics to establish a non-profit organization, whose mission, among others, is to provide a structure for the enhancement of cooperation between the two sides; create a website in order to maintain and further develop networking, where interested parties can exchange ideas and views, as well as inform each other on programs and events of mutual interest; establish a fund in the United States and to conduct fund-raising for the financing of joint projects, which would otherwise not materialise.

"This initiative ... aims at a more comprehensive, systematic and coordinated effort, with long-term prospects, that will benefit both sides," said Greek ambassador to the United States, Vassilis Kaskarelis, adding:

"On the one hand, Greek universities have much to gain in sectors such as know-how, the search for alternative methods and approaches during periods of crisis, research projects and student exchanges. On the other hand, the potential of Greece’s academic and scientific community can provide valuable human capital. Furthermore, in this era of globalisation, Greece's gateway geographic location can provide American educational and research institutions an alternative base to expand their activities to the Middle East and the western Balkans."