Harvard Ponders Greek Refugee Crisis Course with UAthens


Education Minister Niki Kerameus. File photo by Eurokinissi/Michalis Karagiannis.

ATHENS - Greece’s five-year-long refugee and migrant crisis has gotten the attention of Harvard University which reportedly is mulling whether to create a course of studies and reached out to the University of Athens for cooperation.

That comes as the New Democracy government has been reaching out to foreign students to attend Greek universities and study courses in English although the administration hasn’t acted to overturn Article 16 of the Constitution which bars private universities.

The Education and Foreign ministries co-hosted a seminar about the idea, drawing a large audience from foreign embassies and top Greek academics, Kathimerini said, showing the level of interest at a political and intellectual level.

Education Minister Niki Kerameus told the paper she learned of Harvard’s interest in organizing a study program about the refugee crisis in cooperation with a Greek university during her recent visit to the US with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a graduate of Harvard Law.

She said the University of Athens has shown interest and the school’s rector,  Thanos Dimopoulos told the paper it has experience in organizing English-language programs on similar topics. 

The UAthens Media Studies and Communications Faculty and its Sociology of the Aegean Department already offer postgraduate courses in media and refugee and migration flows that would seem to be a natural fit for what Harvard is considering.

A delegation of representatives from 12 American universities is expected to visit Greece at the end of March to explore the prospect for cooperation with Greek educational institutions at other level too.