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National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

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Type  Public
Academic staff  1.974
Students  104.000 [2014]
Undergraduate tuition and fees  1,500 EUR (2010)
Founder  Otto of Greece
Architect  Christian Hansen
Established  May 3, 1837
Administrative staff  1.316
Address  Athens 157 72, Greece
Total enrollment  103,972 (2013)
Phone  +30 21 0727 7000
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Rector  Meletios – Athanassios Dimopoulos
Founded  3 May 1837, Athens, Greece
Notable alumni  Eleftherios Venizelos, Dimitri Nanopoulos, Odysseas Elytis, Nikos Kazantzakis, Georgios Papanikolaou
Similar  Aristotle University of Thessa, Panteion University, National Technical University, Athens University of Econo, University of Patras

National and kapodistrian university of athens

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greek: Εθνικόν και Καποδιστριακόν Πανεπιστήμιον Αθηνών, Ethnikón kai Kapodistriakón Panepistímion Athinón), usually referred to simply as the University of Athens (UoA), is a public university in Athens, Greece. It has been in continuous operation since its establishment in 1837 and is the oldest higher education institution of the modern Greek state and the first contemporary university in the Eastern Mediterranean. Today it is the biggest university in Europe, with more than 104,000 registered students, according to the 2014 university data sheet. In 2012 it was ranked in the positions 501–550 among the best universities in the world, according to the index of QS World University Rankings, as well as according to the evaluation of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).


Rector message university of athens

Founding and expansion

The University of Athens was founded on May 3, 1837 by King Otto of Greece (in Greek, Othon) and was named in his honour Othonian University (Οθώνιον Πανεπιστήμιον). It was the first university in the liberated Greek state and in the surrounding area of the Southeast Europe as well. It was also the second academic institution after the Ionian Academy. This fledging university consisted of four faculties; Theology, Law, Medicine and Arts (which included applied sciences and mathematics). During its first year of operation, the institution was staffed by 33 professors, while courses were attended by 52 students and 75 non-matriculated "auditors".

It was first housed in the residence of architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert, on the north slope of the Acropolis, in Plaka, which now houses the Museum of the University. In November 1841 the university relocated on the Central Building of the University of Athens, a building designed by Danish architect Christian Hansen. He followed a neoclassical approach, "combining the monument's magnificence with a human scale simplicity" and gave the building its H-shape. The building was decorated by painter Carl Rahl, forming the famous "architectural trilogy of Athens", together with the building of the National Library of Greece (left of the university) and the building of the Athens Academy (right of the university). Construction began in 1839 in a location to the north of the Acropolis. Its front wing, also known as the "Propylaea", was completed in 1842–1843. The rest of the wings' construction, that was supervised at first by Greek architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou and later by his colleague Anastasios Theofilas, was completed in 1864. The building is nowadays part of what is called the "Athenian Neoclassical Trilogy".

The Othonian University was renamed to National University (Εθνικόν Πανεπιστήμιον) in 1862, following events that forced King Otto to leave the country. It was later renamed to "National and Kapodistrian University of Athens" to honour Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the independent modern Greek state.

A major change in the structure of the University came about in 1904, when the faculty of Arts was divided into two separate faculties: that of Arts (Σχολή Τεχνών) and that of Sciences (Σχολή Επιστημών), the latter consisting of the departments of Physics and Mathematics and the School of Pharmacy. In 1919, a department of chemistry was added, and in 1922 the School of Pharmacy was renamed a Department. A further change came about when the School of Dentistry was added to the faculty of medicine.

Between 1895 and 1911, an average of 1,000 new students matriculated each year, a number which increased to 2,000 at the end of World War I. This resulted in the decision to introduce entrance examinations for all the faculties, beginning for the academic year 1927–28. Since 1954 the number of students admitted each year has been fixed by the Ministry of Education and Religion, by proposal of the faculties.

Modern history

From 1911 until 1932 the university was separated into the Kapodistrian University (the humanities departments; named after Ioannis Kapodistrias) and the National University (the science departments). In 1932, the two separate legal entities were merged into the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

During the 1960s construction work began on the University Campus in the suburb of Ilissia, which houses the Schools of Philosophy, Theology and Sciences.

In 2013, the University Senate made the decision to suspend all operations in the wake of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs cutting 1,655 administrative jobs from universities around the country. In a statement, the University Senate said that "any educational, research and administrative operation of the University of Athens is objectively impossible".


The emblem of the University of Athens is the pagan goddess Athena.

Faculties and departments

The University of Athens is divided into schools, faculties and departments as follows. The naming is nοt consistent in English for historical reasons, but in Greek the largest divisions are generally named "σχολές" (schools) and are divided in "τμήματα" (faculties), furthermore subdivided in "τομείς" (departments).

  • School of Theology
  • Faculty of Social Theology
  • Faculty of Theology
  • School of Philosophy
  • Faculty of Philology
  • Faculty of History and Archaeology
  • Faculty of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology
  • Faculty of Psychology
  • Faculty of English Language and Literature
  • Faculty of French Language and Literature
  • Faculty of German Language and Literature
  • Faculty of Italian Language and Literature
  • Faculty of Spanish Language and Literature
  • Faculty of Slavic Studies
  • Faculty of Music Studies
  • Faculty of Theatre Studies
  • School of Law
  • Faculty of Law
  • School of Economics and Political Sciences
  • Faculty of Communication and Mass Media Studies
  • Faculty of Economic Studies
  • Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration
  • Faculty of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies
  • School of Sciences
  • Faculty of Physics
  • Faculty of Biology
  • Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment
  • Faculty of Chemistry
  • Faculty of Mathematics
  • Faculty of Methodology, History and Theory of Science
  • Faculty of Informatics and Telecommunications
  • School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Nursing
  • School of Education
  • Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science
  • Faculty of Primary Education
  • Faculty of Early Childhood Education
  • Academic evaluation

    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.

  • School of Theology
  • Department of Theology (2013)
  • Department of Social Theology (2013)
  • School of Philosophy
  • Department of History and Archaeology (2010)
  • Department of Philology (2013)
  • Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology (2013)
  • Department of English Language and Literature (2011)
  • Department of French Language and Literature (2010)
  • Department of German Language and Literature (2014)
  • Department of Spanish Language and Literature (2013)
  • Department of Italian Language and Literature (2014)
  • Department of Theatre Studies (2014)
  • Department of Music Studies (2014)
  • School of Law
  • Department of Law (2013)
  • School of Sciences
  • Department of Mathematics (2012)
  • Department of Physics (2013)
  • Department of Chemistry (2012)
  • Department of Biology (2013)
  • Department of Geology and Geoenvironment (2012)
  • Department of Informatics and Telecommunications (2011)
  • Department of Methodology, History and Theory of Science (2010)
  • School of Health Sciences
  • Department of Medicine (2014)
  • Department of Medicine – Postgraduate Programmes (2014)
  • Department of Pharmacy (2013)
  • Department of Dentistry (2010)
  • Department of Nursing (2011)
  • School of Economics and Political Sciences
  • Department of Economics (2014)
  • Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2014)
  • Department of Communication and Mass Media (2014)
  • Department of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies (2014)
  • School of Education
  • Department of Primary Education (2013)
  • Department of Early Childhood Education (2013)
  • Department of Physical Education and Sports Science (2013)
  • Campuses

    The main campus is at Ano Ilisia (Zografou). There the faculties of Science, Theology and Philosophy are situated. The faculty of Life Sciences is located at Goudi and the faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science is located at Dafni. The faculties of Media, Education, Economics, Law and Public Administration are housed in various buildings near the centre of Athens, along with various administration facilities. University administration was housed initially in a historical neoclassical building near the center of Athens on Panepistimiou Street, but was relocated at the main university campus later.


    Research in the University of Athens includes almost all research interests. Such research in the university is associated with that conducted by the hospitals and research institutes of the metropolitan area, including the National Research Center for Physical Sciences Demokritos, the National Research Foundation (EIE), the National Observatory of Athens, the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Center, the Athens High Performance Computing Laboratory, the National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR) and the Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA). Research conducted in the institutes of the metropolitan area of Athens accounted for more than 50% of the ISI-indexed scientific publications coming from Greece in 2004. The Department of Informatics and Telecommunications has been ranked continuously among the 100 most important research institutes in the field of Computer Science, according to Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

    Notable alumni

    Throughout its history, a sizeable number of University of Athens alumni have become notable in many varied fields, both academic and otherwise. Moreover, 2 Nobel prize-winners have studied or taught at Athens, with both their prizes being in Literature.


    15 Greek prime ministers and three Greek presidents (Konstantinos Karamanlis served as both) have studied at the University of Athens, including Charilaos Trikoupis, Eleftherios Venizelos, Georgios Papandreou, Andreas Papandreou, Konstantinos Karamanlis, Karolos Papoulias, and most recently interim prime minister Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou. Also, Constantine II, the last monarch of Greece, and Nicos Anastasiades, the current president of Cyprus, attended the university.

    The University of Athens has also been home to a large number of other politicians, who were primarily Greek or Cypriot, such as Dora Bakoyannis, Kyriakos Mavronikolas, Georgios Alogoskoufis and Fofi Gennimata.


  • Gerasimos Danilatos, physicist, inventor of the ESEM
  • Sophia Frangou, psychiatrist
  • John P. A. Ioannidis (DSc, 1996 and MD 1990), professor and medical researcher
  • Fotis Kafatos, biologist
  • Michael N. Katehakis, applied mathematics and operations research
  • Nikos Logothetis, neuroscientist
  • Evangelos Moudrianakis, biologist
  • Dimitri Nanopoulos, physicist
  • Costas Soukoulis, physicist
  • Georgios Papanikolaou, doctor, inventor of the Pap test
  • Panayotis Varotsos, physicist
  • Dimitrios Trichopoulos, cancer epidemiologist
  • Literature and philosophy

  • Giorgios Seferis, Nobel laureate (1963), poet
  • Odysseas Elytis, Nobel laureate (1979), poet
  • Cornelius Castoriadis
  • Nikos Kazantzakis
  • Emmanuel Kriaras
  • Helene Ahrweiler
  • Christos Kalpakidis
  • Other

  • Saint Nectarios of Aegina
  • Apostolos Santas
  • George Lucas Adamopoulos, founder of the only school in the Philippines founded by Greeks, Adamson University in Manila
  • Panagiotis Pikrammenos, judge and caretaker prime minister
  • References

    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Wikipedia