Harvard University, one of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, has reportedly been mulling how to create a course devoted to the refugee crisis which has hit Europe in the last decade.
The proposed course would be offered in close partnership with the University of Athens.
Greek Minister of Education Nikki Kerameus told interviewers from daily newspaper Kathimerini recently that the Greek administration learned about Harvard’s interest in creating a course that will analyze the refugee crisis in Greece during her recent visit to the US.
The minister made the official trip to the United States alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is a Harvard alumnus himself.
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens expressed its interest in cooperating with Harvard in order to create such a course of studies since Greece currently bans any private academic institution from operating in the country’s system of higher education.
The current center-right government of Greece has shown particular interest in opening Greek universities to the world by creating courses taught exclusively in English courses and by establishing collaborations with a number of foreign universities.
Greece lags far behind in attracting foreign students since it never adopted a cohesive strategy of opening its public academic institutions outside of the borders of Greece and Cyprus, apart from participating in the EU’s “Erasmus” programs.
It remains to be seen whether Harvard’s interest could herald a new era of global cooperation for all Greek universities — or if the country’s institutions will continue to remain one-sidedly focused on educating the Greek and Cypriot communities alone.