With Greek universities locked in interminable gridlock over reforms, and some United Kingdom colleges set to triple tuition, the Athens-based New York College seems set to pick up even more students keen to take advantage of its relatively low costs, seasoned faculty, and a chance to go to school in one of Europe’s most exciting and ancient cities, where the very idea of education was founded.
“The innovations we have made through the years is paying off … we have the quality,” the school’s General Manager and Associate Dean in the Department of Business, Dr. Dimitrios Andreou, a scholar with Doctorate and Master’s Degrees in Information Systems from Drexel University in Pennsylvania, and an MBA from San Jose State University in California, as well as a degree in physics from the University of Athens, explained in an interview with GreekReporter.com.
He said the school, which has its flagship campus in the heart of downtown Athens and has campuses in Thessaloniki, with the University of New York in Prague, Tirana, Belgrade, and Georgia, has worked to position itself as one of the country’s premier universities by offering Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D degrees in a variety of disciplines in collaboration with distinguished colleges in the U.S. and Europe, with many programs taught by the teaching staff. There are practical benefits, besides the value of the quality education students receive at the college. A survey found that graduates of the Prague school earn the highest average gross monthly wage.
New York College has at its heart a core of Greek students, but also draws from throughout Europe and Africa, and is attracting more students from the United States, especially a fertile audience of young Greek Americans with a predilection to come to Greece and get a quality education at a far lower cost than most private colleges in America, with the advantage of being in the homeland of their families. One of the great advantages, Andreou said, is the collaboration with noted schools elsewhere, particularly in the U.S., partnering with schools such as LaSalle in Philadelphia, Nova Southeastern University, National American University, and European colleges including Unviersite de Toulouse and Ecole Superieure de Gestion Paris Graduate School of Management, University of Greenwich and University of Bolton, both in the U.K., and Institute Universitaire Kurt Bosch in Switzerland.
With such a diversified grouping, the college, which is affiliated with the State University of New York Empire State College, is able to offer a wide range of degrees, including in Business Administration, Finance, Marketing, Management, International Business, Communications and Journalism, Business Communications, Computer Science, Information Systems, International Relations, and Psychology, while its European affiliates bring in fields such as a Professional MBA, Marketing, Human Resources, Tourism and Health Care Management, and even Film Studies. It’s a selection that has brought in students from as many as 70 countries. Andreou said a key market now is the U.S.
“We have had a presence there but we are going to do more now,” he said. The school offers English-language teaching, although there are some key programs that include Greek, and also has Graduate degree programs. “We want to expand collaboration with American schools and offer more varieties of academic disciplines,” said Andreou, who brings an impressive background to bear, including degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and a varied career, including at the noted Foxboro Company in Massachusetts, as well as working in his fields in the U.S. before coming back to Greece, where he established himself further before joining New York College, where he still teaches as well.
His work experience includes teaching at Drexel University, as well as Director of Business Development and Internal Audit, at the Agricultural Bank of Greece Group; IT Manager at Deloitte & Touche; Senior Technology Consultant and Senior Application Engineer at companies in Silicon Valley in California. Even with Greece’s difficult economic times, he said, “The school is doing well.” With rising costs in colleges in other parts of Europe, particularly the U.K., he said New York College is a perfect alternative. “It makes it much more attractive for students who are thinking of going to the U.K. to get a degree to stay here, “he said.
One of the most sought after courses now, he said, is Psychology. “We see interest not just from the traditional 18-year-old student but professionals with degree who want to supplement their education,” he said. An offshoot of that is interest in teaching Special Needs students, especially as Greek society overcomes it anathema to a problem that had been hidden. “It’s becoming more popular for Greek educations to handle these cases that used to be in the closet. Parents wouldn’t talk about kids with problems like dyslexia. Now they can,” he said, and because of that, teachers in the field are going to be in demand and he said the college is perfectly positioned to fill that special need.
The college has seen an increase in enrollment of 10-15 percent, he said, because it has attuned itself to courses that prepare students for real-world careers. A burgeoning field, he said, is in courses aligned with the nation’s famed shipping industry. “There is the expectation for finding something in this job market easier than other fields,” he said, but it’s competitive and demanding and he said the college has prepared course studies to make students ready to step into the industry.
Greek shipping dominates the world and is a bulwark of the country’s economy, and New York College graduates can find themselves as desired as Ivy League law school graduates are in the U.S., Europe and throughout the world. Anticipating needs in the job market has helped the school too, he added, such as courses in fields such as Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Policy Security and Risk Management, especially in Europe, where energy is interconnected between countries and where energy policy is a mainstay of the European Union’s trade strategy. There are critical energy and pipelines deals between the E.U. and countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and others in Eastern Europe, especially Turkey, a key transit country.
These are the kind of 21st Century professions for which New York College is preparing students, he said. The school offers high quality multicultural education and was established in 1989, founded by Elias Foutsis, who is still its President, who noted that that while the economic crisis has rocked the world: “History has proved, as older people can assure you, that well-qualified, hard-working and optimistic individuals can turn the crisis into an opportunity.” It’s easier with a the kind of quality education they can obtain at New York College, which is licensed by the Greek Ministry of Education and the British Accreditation Council.
In his position, Andreou said he’s been able to draw on the experiences of his education and career and said when he came back to Greece in 1996 from the U.S. that, “There were a lot of opportunities,” with Greece’s elevation in the E.U. and as it rose to become the most influential country in the Balkans and Southeast Europe. He said the college has a prominent faculty of teachers who are experienced professionals in their field as well as having academic credentials. Admission standards are high as well, and require proficiency in English. As President Foutsis makes clear in his message to students: “We are proud of our commitment to education, to prepare students to become scholars and thinkers of a new century in which technology will continue to transform the way we advance the boundaries of knowledge. Our aim is to provide our students with prestigious degrees and more importantly, with the values and ethics necessary to excel in society in general.”