The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield joined senior academic colleagues in Greece this weekend (21-22 November 2015) to officiate at the graduation of over 200 students at its International Faculty in Thessaloniki, as well as meet alumni and partner organisations in the region.
The University's International Faculty, CITY College, based in in Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, offers undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level qualifications to students across the Mediterranean area and Balkans.
Degrees are taught in English and are tailored to address regional needs in areas such as such as logistics and managerial studies, computer science, psychology and healthcare.
At the higher level, the South East European Research Centre (SEERC), located in Thessaloniki, Greece and founded in 2003, brings together research academics from Sheffield, CITY College and the region on three key interdisciplinary areas: Enterprise and Innovation; Information and Communication Technologies; and Society and Human Development.
SEERC has a track record of success in attracting EU and private funding, utilising this to carry out applied research that is relevant and has impact in the region.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "As a University with successful partnerships across the world, we are delighted that the work with our colleagues in Greece which began 20 years ago has flourished to the extent that the University of Sheffield now has many hundreds of alumni across the Mediterranean and Balkan region.
"The original motivation for our work in the region stemmed from a group of committed academics who recognised a real need in Greece and across the Balkan area to develop the professional and management skills which would help build society and strengthen bonds of understanding. Today we have hundreds of graduates who play key roles in business and wider society.
"What we and they could not have known then was what tremendous challenges lay just around the corner, and what a crucial role these Sheffield graduates would need to play in addressing them. Europe is facing deeply troubling times, and nobody knows this more sharply than the people of Greece and the Balkan area, who have borne so much of the impact of both the economic crisis and the influx of migrants escaping terror in the Middle East.
“We do not have easy answers to any of these deep and complex problems. But we know that to solve our deepest challenges we will need thoughtful and dynamic young people who want to build a better world."
The University of Sheffield welcomes students from over 100 countries, and has 2,221 alumni living in Greece who came to Sheffield over the last 50 years to achieve their degrees. It also has 700 alumni in the Republic of Macedonia and 400 in Romania. There are more than 2,500 alumni who studied in Greece at our International Faculty.