University of the Aegean

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University of the Aegean
Πανεπιστήμιο Αιγαίου
Aegean University logo.gif
Seal of the University of the Aegean
(The Ancient Sphinx)
Type Public
Established 1984 (as University of the Aegean)
Students 11,959 (2010)
Undergraduates 9,688
Postgraduates 1,615
656
Location Mytilene (Main campus), Greece
Campus Mytilene, Chios, Karlovasi, Rhodes, Ermoupoli, Myrina
Colors         
Affiliations European University Association (EUA)
Website www.aegean.gr
University of the Agean logo.gif

The University of the Aegean (Greek: Πανεπιστήμιο Αιγαίου) is a state, multi-campus university located in Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, Syros and Lemnos, Greece. The university was officially founded in 1984, although its historical roots date back to the early 1920s, to the Ionian University of Smyrna (Ex Oriente Lux, Light from the East) which while established never operated.[1][2]

The University of the Aegean is a medium-sized university, one of the 24 state supervised and funded universities in Greece. It is an institution mandated to provide innovative and socially committed studies. The only higher education institution in the Greek state region of Northern Aegean Sea, it was founded on March 20, 1984, by the Presidential Act 83/1984 and its administrative headquarters are located in the town of Mytilene, on the island of Lesvos. As of 2014, there is a student population of approximately 10,000 active students enrolled at the university, 8,200 in undergraduate programmes and 2,000 in postgraduate programmes with a faculty of over 380.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Furthermore, in 2011, the Teaching and Research Staff numbered 292 people (55 professors, 70 associate professors, 128 assistant professors, and 39 lecturers), the Scientific Teaching Staff numbered 99 and the Special Laboratory Teaching Staff 23 people. This is further supported by the 30 members of the Special Technical Laboratory Staff for teaching services and the 304 members of administrative staff.[9][10]

The first Department to operate, in the academic year 1984-85, was the department of Business Administration, in the island of Chios. In the following year, the Department of Primary School Education, in Rhodes, and the Postgraduate Course on Environmental Studies began operating. At the end of the first five years of operation, the University comprises 7 departments and 1 postgraduate course,[11] "however, in 1997 a remarkable development was initiated by exploiting available [european] funding opportunities".[12][13]

The university today comprises 5 schools and 16 departments offering undergraduate and post-graduate degrees programmes. The newest academic unit was created on the island of Lemnos in 2009. This growth was based on the administration's belief that its sustainability could only be based on its potential to grow into a substantially large institute, initially in department numbers supporting its educational side and secondly in postgraduate courses in support of its research nature.

The University of the Aegean, as all Universities in Greece, is a public university. As such, its educational activities and a small part of its research activities rely upon government funding. These activities are also supported by funds generated by the Research Unit, as well as by the University of the Aegean Property Management Corp. Research in the University is funded through participation in competitive national, European and international research and development programs.

Since 2014 the University is facing severe economic hardship due to austerity policies resulting in minimal state funding.[14][15]

History[edit]

Constantin Carathéodory (left) with Hungarian mathematician Lipót Fejér (1880–1959) (standing to the right)

The large majority of the university's campuses is situated in the historical birthplaces of ancient and contemporary Greek philosophers and mathematicians such as Pythagoras and Theophrastus.

The foundations of the University of the Aegean date back to October 1918 when Greece had expanded its geographic borders to the wider Smyrna area after the World War I. At the time, Athens was the only major educational centre in the wider area and had limited capacity to sufficiently satisfy the growing educational need of the eastern part of the Aegean Sea and the Balkans. Professor Constantin Carathéodory who was a Professor at the University of Berlin at the time proposed the establishment of a new University [16] - the difficulties regarding the establishment of a Greek university in Constantinople led him to consider three other cities: Thessaloniki, Chios and Smyrna.[17] Despite the political turbulence of the era over the city of Smyrna, the famous mathematician constructed a "plan for the creation of a new University in Greece", named “Ionian University” on 20 October 1919.[18] The city of Smyrna was the ancient center of the Ionian civilization along with the islands of Samos and Chios and had the distinct cultural heritage from great Greek philosophers and mathematicians such as Herodotus and Pythagoras, who was born in Samos.

Consequently, the Greek Government decided to materialize Carathéodory's vision and establish the Ionian University, based in Smyrna (today's city of İzmir, Turkey) on 1 December 1920. Constantin Carathéodory was the first dean of the university. His intellectual brilliance as well as his ability to unite many of the great academics of that time, resulted in the creation of a University which was comparable with some of Europe's oldest Universities. However, the Ionian University stopped its operations due to the Great Fire of Smyrna in 1922. The new Greek University in the broader area of the Southeast Mediterranean region, as originally envisioned by Carathéodory, finally materialised with the establishment of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1925.[19]

Emblem[edit]

The emblem of the University of the Aegean is Sphinx

Academic profile[edit]

As described in its mandate, the University of the Aegean is a university which embodies a unique structure which combines campuses across six islands of the Aegean Sea. Its focus spans across a number of diverse disciplines - Environmental Studies, Mathematics, Sociology, Shipping and Educational Design.

Faculties and departments[edit]

The University of the Aegean consists of five schools and seventeen departments that, together with the technical and administration offices, form the five University Units based on six islands of the Aegean Sea - Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes, Samos, Rhodes, Syros and Lemnos . Students study the core subject of the Department in which they get admitted at, after the successful completion of the Panhellenic Examinations (Apolytirion). Bachelor of Science (Ptychion) courses range from 4 to 5 years and Master of Science courses range from 1 to 2 years.

Restructuring of schools[edit]

The Ministry of Education ("ATHENA" Reform Plan, 2013) restructured the university's schools and as of academic year 2013-2014 all departments are organised in the five existing schools – Humanities, Sciences, Business Studies, Social Studies and Environmental Studies.

Departments
School of Social Studies

(based in Mytilene, LESVOS)

School of the Environmental Studies

(based in Mytilene, LESVOS)

(dept. of Food and Nutrition based in Myrina, LEMNOS)

School of Business Studies

(based in Chios, CHIOS)

School of Sciences

(based in Karlovassi, SAMOS)

(dept. of Product and Systems Design based in Ermoupolis, SYROS)

School of Humanities

(based in Rhodes, RHODES)

"ATHENA" Reform Plan for Higher Education[edit]

A university report presented by the Chancellor in the Greek parliament in late 2011 describes the current challenges faced by the institution due to economic hardship and the dispersion of its academic units in islands, which increases operational costs and adds considerable stress in the educational process.[20]

The Ministry of Education is aiming to reform Higher Education programmes by 2014,[21][22] a process which will result to a long term restructuring of the university's departments in the next decade.[23][24] The university's Senate issued a formal response to the Ministry of Education's proposed plan in 2013.[25][26][27]

Academic evaluation[edit]

HQAA evaluation[edit]

An external evaluation of all academic departments in Greek universities will be conducted by the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQAA) in the following years.[28] The internal evaluation process of every department is organised by the Internal Quality Assurance Unit (in greek: ΜοΔιΠ) of the university.[29]

  • Department of Sociology (2012) [30]
  • Department of Social Anthropology and History (2013) [31]
  • Department of Cultural Technology and Communication (2013) [32]
  • Department of Environmental Studies (2012) [33]
  • Department of Geography (2014) [34]
  • Department of Marine Sciences (2013) [35]
  • Department of Food and Nutrition Sciences (2013) [36]
  • Department of Business Administration (2013) [37]
  • Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport (2014) [38]
  • Department of Financial and Management Engineering (2014) [39]
  • Department of Primary Education (2013) [40]
  • Department of Pre-school Education and Educational Design (2013) [41]
  • Department of Mediterranean Studies (2014) [42]
  • Department of Product and Systems Design (2012) [43]
  • Department of Mathematics (2013) [44]
  • Department of Information and Communication Systems (2013) [45]

Reputation[edit]

Since the founding of the university the main subjects of education and research were Environmental Studies, Business Administration, Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics and it is considered one of the pioneers in Greece for offering "non-traditional, multidisciplinary" courses.

The university forms part of the 30 higher education institutions in Greece. In 2007, a research survey ranked the university as 9th -and 5th amongst the largest institutions- in research citations per (permanent) academic capita in Greece, for the period of 2002-2007.[46] It was also ranked 7th overall in Greece (and 1106th in the world) by CSIC, a public research body in Spain.[47] The University’s curricula have been developed to meet the requirements of the global academia, modern business and EU’s educational standards. Students are awarded degrees which fully comply with the ECTS standard, which enables them to undertake international study programmes. The school is linked with a number of world’s leading partner institutions and it has well-developed teacher and student mobility programs. During the evaluation of the university by the European University Association in 2005, it was acknowledged that at the time the university had an "impressive" research output.[48]

The evaluation also highlights the university's serious shortcomings "while it is undoubtedly the case that all universities are handicapped by the effects of this State interference, the impact at the University of the Aegean is particularly great because of its multi-island structure. It was also apparent that there are insufficient permanent staff overall, and indeed that many of the permanent academic staff are not in a position where they are able to concentrate full-time on their work within the university. The average amount of academic staff travel raises some serious concerns. Indeed all the academic staff are obliged to make difficult choices in their professional and personal lives which entail either accepting a lower standard of living in order to remain on the islands, or juggling life between a city and islands.".[49]

Despite the "impressive output" the lack of strategic design and effective prioritisation in research activities was evident at the time, the notable remark being that "research seems to be driven by the interests of individual academics, and more by accident than institutional design will it address priority issues for the institution or region".[50]

Research Rankings Summary
Institution Position
European Research Ranking [51] 21st (2014) in Greece

Expansion plans[edit]

The University is currently expanding its operations across its island network with the addition of the University of the Aegean, Medical School which has already been proposed to the Greek Senate.[52] The Department of Food & Nutrition Science started its operation in 2009, admitting its first students in October 2009.[53]

During the fall semester of 2012 a number of administrative employees were laid off as a result of downsizing policy in the public sector.[54][55] The main administrative body issued an official statement of protest.[56]

Research[edit]

Permanent Chairs and general research staff amount to approximately 400, supported by a further 100 scientific teaching staff and 53 teaching assistants. There is also a further 304 members of administrative and student affairs staff. [57] [58]

The University of the Aegean has organised and implemented 90 research laboratories with activities into the following research areas:

  • Sustainable Development and Environment
  • Transport and Shipping
  • Social Studies
  • Business and Finance
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Culture, Design and Education

Every year the university organises Summer Schools and offers e-Learning courses.[59] [60] In 2009 the School of Humanities was presented with an award of "Excellence" in the use of new technologies by the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (UNIQUE).

The University of the Aegean Summer Schools[edit]

Since 2012, the university organises international Summer Schools in seven islands in the Aegean Archipelago within the fields of Sciences, Humanities, Environmental Sciences and Business, with interdisciplinary partnerships between schools.[61]

Academic affiliations[edit]

The university has established academic relationships with research institutions and other universities. The university also participates in the Erasmus+ EU programme for education, training, youth and sport.[62]

  • The Natural History Museum of the Lesbos Petrified Forest.[63]
  • The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR).[64]
  • Alexandros Delmouzos and Constantin Carathéodory research workshops on Education and Educational planning.
  • The Aegean Institute of the Law of the Sea and Maritime Law.
  • The Research and Training Institute of the East Aegean (INEAG).

Notable personalities[edit]

Library[edit]

The University of Aegean library was founded in 1984 and it has ever since experienced modernization and ample development of its IT infrastructure, partly financed by EU programmes. Today it covers all aspects of automation, including OPAC, SDI, acquisitions, bar-code-based lending, etc., and uses the integrated library automation system Equilibrium-Libreto.

The library comprises more than 100,000 book titles, and more than 1,000 printed academic journal titles covering areas of Economics, International and European Economic Studies, Business Administration, Management Science and Marketing, Informatics, Statistics, Accounting and Finance, and Management and Technology.

The library also offers the majority of Official Academic Journals in full text, bibliographical databases of the Official Publications of the EU, statistical data on the imports and exports of the member-states of the EU.

The library offers daily business magazines and journals in the areas of economics and business. The library subscribes over 1,000 electronic journals through all the major electronic search engines (EBSCO, Elsevier's Sciencedirect, Springer's Link, JSTOR, MCB, WilsonWeb, Blackwell publishing, Oxford University Press, Wiley InterScience, Cambridge Journals Online).

Electronic access to the subscribed journals can be performed from any computer connected to the University intranet or irrespective of location, through dial-up, which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. What is more, the library offers access to local data as well as the OECD database including data, analyses and forecasts.

Student communities[edit]

There are several academic, cultural and athletic groups active in all islands/university units.

  • IEEE Student Branch University of Aegean - the university's student branch of IEEE Greece (Region 8), established in 2000, based in Samos island.[66][67]
  • AIESEC Aegean - the university branch of AIESEC Greece, based in Chios island.[68]
  • MyAegean - a non-for-profit student portal for the university community, expanded to include also people from outside of the institution, originated in 2002, based in Syros island.[69]
  • Xoros - a non-commercial campus radio, established in 1996, based in Samos island.[70][71]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Constantin Carathéodory: A Biography, newspaper article, 2000 "(...) με την πολιτική και οικονομική στήριξη του Ελευθερίου Βενιζέλου και τη συνδρομή του υπάτου αρμοστή Α. Στεργιάδη, σε ελάχιστο χρονικό διάστημα θα παραδώσει ένα άρτια οργανωμένο και εξοπλισμένο, άριστα στελεχωμένο εκπαιδευτικό ίδρυμα, με έμβλημά του το «Φως εξ Ανατολών», το οποίο, φυσικά, δεν θα λειτουργήσει ποτέ." (greek)
  2. ^ "University of the Aegean, History". www3.aegean.gr. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  3. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), Report on Higher Education - Students, Institutes and Faculty Staff (2013/2014), press release, November 2015 (greek)
  4. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), Report on Higher Education - Students, Institutes and Faculty Staff (2012/2013), press release, October 2014 (greek)
  5. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), Report on Higher Education - Students, Institutes and Faculty Staff (2009/2010), press release, November 2011 (greek)
  6. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), Report on Higher Education - Students, Institutes and Faculty Staff (2007/2008), press release, September 2009 (greek)
  7. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), Report on Higher Education - Students, Institutes and Faculty Staff (2005/2006), press release, September 2007 (greek)
  8. ^ Ministry of Education and Research (Minedu), Statistic reports on Education - Higher Education (2010/2011) (greek)
  9. ^ University of the Aegean: special report - Committee of Cultural & Educational Affairs (Greek Parliament, December 2011) p. 7 and 52
  10. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), Report on Higher Education (Students, Institutes and Faculty Staff 2010/2011), press release, January 2013 (greek)
  11. ^ University of the Aegean Official Website, circa 1998 (archived)
  12. ^ EUA Evaluation Report, 2005
  13. ^ Prime Minister's full speech on development plans, Lesvos 1999 (archived) (greek)
  14. ^ Budget reductions 2008-2014, General Accounting Office (Ministry of Finance)
  15. ^ University of the Aegean annual state budget, 2015 (greek)
  16. ^ Constantin Carathéodory: A Biography, newspaper article, 2000 "(...) Είχε γνωρίσει τον Ελευθέριο Βενιζέλο από το 1895, στην Κρήτη, και από το 1913 είχε προτείνει τη δημιουργία δεύτερου ελληνικού πανεπιστημίου στη Θεσσαλονίκη. Ο πόλεμος που ξεσπάει μεταθέτει τις αποφάσεις. Στην Ελλάδα θα επανέλθει το 1930-32, όταν θα αποδεχθεί τη θέση του κυβερνητικού επιτρόπου και θα οργανώσει τα πανεπιστήμια Αθήνας και Θεσσαλονίκης με τον νόμο 5343/32, ο οποίος ίσχυε μέχρι προσφάτως. Από τη θέση αυτή θα τον απολύσει η κυβέρνηση Παπαναστασίου που διαδέχεται τον Βενιζέλο το 1932 και εκεί θα σταματήσει η ενεργός ανάμειξή του στα κοινά της Ελλάδας." (greek)
  17. ^ "The importance of the foundation of the University of Smyrni(Essay)". Department of Primary Education, University of Patras. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. 
  18. ^ cassiodor: Mathematiker Constantin Carathéodory, s-w-Foto um 1930
  19. ^ "Brief History". Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  20. ^ University of the Aegean: special report - Committee of Cultural & Educational Affairs (Greek Parliament, December 2011)
  21. ^ "ATHENA" Reform Plan for Higher Education - Ministry of Education portal, February 2013(greek)
  22. ^ "ATHENA" Reform Plan for Higher Education - Ministry of Education press conference, 31.01.2013, pdf file (greek)
  23. ^ "ATHENA" Reform Plan for Higher Education - University of the Aegean Council's open letter to the academic community, December 2012 (greek)
  24. ^ "ATHENA" Reform Plan for Higher Education - University of the Aegean Council's official statement, December 24, 2012 (greek)
  25. ^ "ATHENA" Reform Plan for Higher Education - University of the Aegean Senate's official decision, February 22, 2013 (greek)
  26. ^ University of the Aegean Senate's official statement, February 22, 2013 (pdf file, greek)
  27. ^ University of the Aegean Senate - Decision Appendices, February 22, 2013, (pdf file, greek)
  28. ^ Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency
  29. ^ Internal Quality Assurance Unit, University of the Aegean, Internal Evaluations of Departments 2009-2010
  30. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean, 2012
  31. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Social Anthropology and History, University of the Aegean, 2013
  32. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean, 2013
  33. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Environmental Studies, University of the Aegean, 2012
  34. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Geography, University of the Aegean, 2014
  35. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean, 2013
  36. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Food and Nutrition Sciences, University of the Aegean, 2013
  37. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Business Administration, University of the Aegean, 2013
  38. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport, University of the Aegean, 2014
  39. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Finance and Management, University of the Aegean, 2014
  40. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Primary Education, University of the Aegean, 2013
  41. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Pre-school Education and Educational Design, University of the Aegean, 2013
  42. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Mediterranean Studies, University of the Aegean, 2014
  43. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Product and Systems Design, University of the Aegean, 2012
  44. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Mathematics, University of the Aegean, 2013
  45. ^ HQAA Final Report - Department of Information and Communication Systems, University of the Aegean, 2013
  46. ^ Universities Ranking, Themis Lazaridis
  47. ^ University Ranking in Greece
  48. ^ evaluation report p. 17
  49. ^ EUA Evaluation Report, 2005, p.7-10 of 25
  50. ^ EUA Evaluation Report, 2005, p.17 of 25
  51. ^ EuropeanResearchRanking.org institution statistics 2007-2014
  52. ^ Medical School of the University of the Aegean
  53. ^ Department of Food & Nutrition Science history
  54. ^ Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance - Διαθεσιμότητα νέα πράξη νομοθετικού περιεχομένου (December 2012)
  55. ^ Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance - Εφαρμογή Καταγραφής Κινητικότητας Δημοσίων Υπαλλήλων (December 2012)
  56. ^ University of the Aegean forum - unanimous vote of university Senate (December 2012)
  57. ^ Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), Report on Higher Education - Students, Institutes and Faculty Staff (2013/2014), press release, November 2015 (greek)
  58. ^ University of the Aegean: special report - Committee of Cultural & Educational Affairs (Greek Parliament, December 2011) p. 7 and 52 (greek)
  59. ^ University of the Aegean – Summer Schools' List
  60. ^ University of the Aegean – e-Learning courses (greek)
  61. ^ University of the Aegean – Summer Schools' List
  62. ^ University of the Aegean - International Office of Academic Programmes
  63. ^ Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest
  64. ^ Hellenic Centre for Marine Research
  65. ^ University of Oxford, St Peter's College
  66. ^ IEEE Student Branch, ICSD department welcome page (greek)
  67. ^ IEEE Student Branch University of Aegean (facebook page)
  68. ^ AIESEC Aegean - School of Business, University of the Aegean
  69. ^ MyAegean webportal
  70. ^ Xoros Radio Station - School of Sciences, University of the Aegean, est. 1996
  71. ^ Xoros Radio Station (facebook page) - School of Sciences, University of the Aegean

External links[edit]

(Socrates Programme, Quality Culture Project – Round III "TEACHING AND LEARNING: IMPLEMENTING LEARNING OUTCOMES")

Coordinates: 39°06′N 26°33′E / 39.1°N 26.55°E / 39.1; 26.55