Columbia University Plans Global Center in Greece



The Alma Mater in front of the Low Memorial Library, Columbia University. Credit: Meihe Chen/Wikimedia Commons

Columbia University is planning to open a Global Center in Greece as an addition to its worldwide network of such centers that support remote learning and help students connect with the global community.

Currently there are Columbia Global Centers in Paris, Beijing, Istanbul, Amman, Nairobi, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, and Tunis, which have become study centers for Columbia University students in their regions. This way students are able to access dedicated spaces to convene, collaborate, and use programs that support remote learning.

The centers also bring together individuals connected to regional private enterprises, public officials, scholars, and students to collaboratively address global issues together.

The Columbia Global Centers are an initiative of Columbia President Lee Bollinger with the aim of connecting local students with international students and learning institutional  programs in order to facilitate the diffusion of knowledge and the strengthening of global dialogue.

This move goes hand in hand with Greece’s effort to have Greek students connect with prestigious International universities, with the Ministry of Education recently speaking of an effort to make Greek higher learning institutions more “extroverted”.

In a recent trip of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Education Minister Niki Kerameus to the United States, they visited universities and research centers with the aim of creating bridges with Greek universities. Columbia was among these institutions.

In February of 2020, in an interview with Kathimerini newspaper during his visit to Athens, the president of Columbia spoke about the possibility of establishing a Columbia Global Center in Greece.

“I think that Greece has rich potential,” Bollinger said.

“Everything I see makes it almost a top center of important issues in the region and in the world, whether one looks at climate change, human movement, refugees, culture, the role of ideas in world art or the impact of China and the US in the European Union. Almost any modern issue you come across, you will encounter in Greece. Therefore, it would be very attractive to have a center here.”