National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

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National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Εθνικόν και Καποδιστριακόν Πανεπιστήμιον Αθηνών
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens logo.png
Established May 3, 1837[1]
Type Public
Rector Theodoros Fortsakis[2][3]
Academic staff 1.974
Admin. staff 1.316
Students 65.682
Undergraduates >50,000
Location Athens, Greece
Campus Urban, Suburban
Newspaper "To Kapodistriako"[4]
Affiliations C.U.M., UNIMED, UNICA, EUA, ΕΑΙΕ, Atomium Culture
Website www.uoa.gr
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens logo with text.png

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greek: Εθνικόν και Καποδιστριακόν Πανεπιστήμιον Αθηνών), usually referred to simply as the University of Athens, has been in continuous operation since its establishment in 1837. It is the oldest higher education institution in the modern Greek state.

History[edit]

The University of Athens was founded on May 3, 1837, and was housed in the residence of architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert, on the north slope of the Acropolis. It was the first university in Southeast Europe and the second academic institution after the Ionian Academy.

The University's first name was Othonian University (Οθώνειον Πανεπιστήμιον) after King Otto of Greece (in Greek, Othon) and consisted of four faculties; Theology, Law, Medicine and Arts (which included applied sciences and mathematics). It had 33 professors, 52 students and 75 non-matriculated "auditors".

The 19th century University of Athens historic building designed by Christian Hansen, as seen in 2014. It was once the only University building but now serves as a ceremony hall and rectory.

The Kleanthis residence was too small to serve the needs of the Othonian University, so a building was especially designed by Danish architect Christian Hansen, who followed a neoclassical approach "combining the monument's magnificence with a human scale simplicity"[5] and gave the building an H-shape. The University building construction started in 1839 in a location to the north of the Acropolis. Its front wing, also known as the "Propylaea", was completed in 1842-1843. The rest of the wings' construction, that was supervised at first by Greek architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou and later by his colleague Anastasios Theofilas, was completed in 1864. The building is nowadays part of what is called the "Athenian Neoclassical Trilogy", along with the buildings of the Athens Academy and the National Library of Greece that were built afterwards to the left and the right of the University.[5]

The Othonian University was renamed to National University (Εθνικόν Πανεπιστήμιον) in 1862, following events that forced King Otto to leave the country. It was later renamed to "National and Kapodistrian University of Athens" to honour Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the independent modern Greek state.

A major change in the structure of the University came about in 1904, when the faculty of Arts was divided into two separate faculties: that of Arts (Σχολή Τεχνών) and that of Sciences (Σχολή Επιστημών), the latter consisting of the departments of Physics and Mathematics and the School of Pharmacy. In 1919, a department of chemistry was added, and in 1922 the School of Pharmacy was renamed a Department. A further change came about when the School of Dentistry was added to the faculty of medicine.

From 1911 until 1932 the university was separated into the Kapodistrian University (the humanities departments; named after Ioannis Kapodistrias) and the National University (the science departments). In 1932, the two separate legal entities were merged into the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Between 1895 and 1911, an average of one thousand new students matriculated each year, a number which increased to two thousand at the end of World War I. This resulted in the decision to introduce entrance examinations for all the faculties, beginning for the academic year 1927–28. Since 1954 the number of students admitted each year has been fixed by the Ministry of Education and Religion, by proposal of the faculties.

During the 1960s construction work began on the University Campus in the suburb of Ilissia. The Ilissia campus now houses the Schools of Philosophy, Theology and Sciences.[1]

In 2013, the University Senate made the decision to suspend all operations in the wake of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (Greece) cutting 1,655 administrative jobs from universities around the country. In a statement, the University Senate said that "any educational, research and administrative operation of the University of Athens is objectively impossible."[6]

Faculties and departments[edit]

The University of Athens is divided into schools, faculties and departments as follows. The naming is nοt consistent in English for historical reasons, but in Greek the largest divisions are generally named "σχολές" (schools) and are divided in "τμήματα" (faculties), furthermore subdivided in "τομείς" (departments).[7]

The Faculty of Law. The building was initially built about 1930. A second branch was added in the 1960s. Extensive renovation started in 2002 and was completed by 2006.[8]

Campuses[edit]

Ano Ilisia University campus
The Physics department building at the Ano Ilisia campus

The main campus is at Ano Ilisia (Zografou). There the faculties of Science, Theology and Philosophy are situated. The faculty of Life Sciences is located at Goudi and the faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science is located at Dafni. The faculties of Media, Education, Economics, Law and Public Administration are housed in various buildings near the centre of Athens, along with various administration facilities. University administration was housed initially in a historical neoclassical building near the center of Athens on Panepistimiou Street, but was relocated at the main university campus later.

Campus Location Schools Independent Faculties
Ano Ilisia School of Science
School of Theology
School of Philosophy
Faculty of the Philosophy and History of Science
Goudi School of Health Sciences
Centre of Athens School of Law, Economics
and Political Sciences
Faculty of Communication and Mass Media Studies
Faculty of Primary Education
Faculty of Early Childhood Education
Faculty of Slavic Studies
Faculty of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies
Dafni Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science

Research[edit]

Research in the University of Athens includes almost all research interests. Such research in the university is associated with that conducted by the hospitals and research institutes of the metropolitan area, including the National Research Center for Physical Sciences Demokritos, the National Research Foundation (EIE), the National Observatory of Athens, the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Center, the Athens High Performance Computing Laboratory, the National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR) and the Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA). Research conducted in the institutes of the metropolitan area of Athens accounted for more than 50% of the ISI-indexed scientific publications coming from Greece in 2004. The Department of Informatics and Telecommunications has been ranked continuously among the 100 most important research institutes in the field of Computer Science, according to Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).[9]

Notable alumni[edit]

The University Club building, founded in 1927. The building houses the Health Services Office, the Meals Department, the University Club reading rooms, and the Students' Cultural Society (POFPA).[10][11]

Politicians

Scientists

Poets/writers

Philosophers/philologists

Other

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]