First IAPP Greece Visit Strengthens U.S.-Greek Higher Education Collaboration

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of State, the Government of the Hellenic Republic, along with the Institute of International Education (IIE) announced the Pharos Summit 2022: Greek – U.S. Collaboration in Higher Education, as part of the International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) Greece. With 54 U.S. and Greek higher education institutions participating, IAPP Greece engages cohorts of U.S. and Greek higher education institutions to develop partnerships and foster collaboration.

High level representatives and leadership from the U.S. Department of State, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, and IIE will accompany the Greek and U.S. higher education institutions on the tour. The trip, from November 6-12, will include site visits in Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, among others, and a high-level forum with rectors from more than 20 Greek universities.

(Read also: Mitsotakis: Our Aim Is for the Greek Universities to Become More Open)

(Read also: New York’s Columbia University to Establish International Education Center in Athens)

IAPP Greece is designed to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the opportunities for their own institution’s partnership-building capabilities and academic collaboration with institutions in Greece. The first-ever in-person visitation to Greece, as part of IAPP Greece, brings the program’s purpose to the forefront during a time when international academic partnerships are more critical than ever.

“U.S. and Greek higher education leaders share a mutual passion for and commitment to partnerships. By bringing together these institutions, with the support of organizations such as IIE and both the U.S. and Greek governments, we are able to create impactful connections between students and faculty alike, fully realizing the potential and power of international education,” said IIE CEO, Allan E. Goodman. “If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that collaboration and education will not only continue, but it can thrive and overcome any challenges that may lie ahead.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaking at the Pharos Summit on November 7. (Photo: Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs)

Higher education institutions around the world face some of the most challenging yet promising times in recent history. International academic partnerships facilitate important student and faculty exchange, joint research, innovative curricula, and other collaborative activities needed to offer a world-class global higher education today.

“Everyone at the U.S. Embassy in Athens is excited to be making history as we welcome the largest American university delegation that IIE has ever sent to a single country. This history-making delegation and the Pharos Summit underscore Greece’s importance as a destination for international education, as well as Greece’s position as a partner of choice for the United States. They’re consequential to strengthening our people to people ties.  For many years now, education has been a bright spot and a top priority of the U.S.-Greece relationship. I’m personally committed to strengthening this partnership, working closely with our outstanding partners in the Greek Ministry of Education and leading American educational institutions,” said the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, George J. Tsunis. “Student mobility between our two countries is very strong, and we are proud that the United States remains a top destination for Greek students. The birthplace of democracy, Greece’s world-renowned history and culture also make it a prime destination for American students. I am confident that the deepening institutional partnerships between American and Greek universities will help advance joint-degree programs, research, more American students studying in Greece, more English language programs in Greek universities that will attract international students, more exchanges and collaborations between academics and university administrators, and more Greek students coming to the United States.”

The International Academic Partnership Program between the U.S. and Greece has: Launched 18 new or expanded partnerships between U.S. and Greek higher education institutions. U.S. universities include Columbia, George Mason, Tufts, Rutgers and more; driven participation from 54 higher education institutions from the U.S. and Greece in this year’s program; and created new partnerships including an intercultural tourism and event management program between George Mason University and Ionian University.

“The timing of this partnership is most favorable and propitious, coming at an all-time high in the relations between our two countries where strong political will on both the US and Greek side to foster stronger, deeper collaborations among our universities. The Greek government has set the internationalization of Greek higher education at the top of its reform agenda. The bold legislative initiatives we have undertaken, to facilitate the creation of foreign language programs and international partnerships, coupled with extensive funding for the internationalization of Greek HEIs, render this an ideal time to broach partnerships with Greek universities. And over the past three years, I must add that we have seen an excited embrace of this new direction from the universities of Greece. More importantly, both the Greek and U.S. universities are eager to pursue and enhance these partnerships – an eagerness which was clearly demonstrated by the enthusiastic participation of both Greek and US higher education institutions in this program. As such, at this very moment all of the critical factors are aligned: eagerness on the part of the universities of both countries, and substantive and visible support on behalf of both the Greek and U.S. governments. I would like to warmly thank all of those whose tireless efforts allowed us to realize this visit, but also to keep this program going so dynamically, even during the challenging times of the pandemic: our Universities on both the Greek and U.S. end, Dr. Alan Goodman personally and his team at IIE, our colleagues in the U.S. government, Ambassador Tsunis and our colleagues at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, among others,” said Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Niki Kerameus.

This program supports the already deep U.S. and Greek relationship and is designed to promote international collaboration between U.S. and Greek institutions across both countries’ higher education communities.

For more information about IAPP Greece, visit: https://www.iie.org/Programs/International-Academic-Partnership-Program/IAPP-Greece.



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