“Greece, an International Intellectual Centre”
Conference on “Greece, an International Intellectual Centre”
In October 1995, in the European Cultural Centre of Delfi, the large-scale conference on: “GREECE, AN INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL CENTRE: NATIONAL RIGHT AND OBLIGATION” takes place. It is an ambitious plan with the support and participation of a great number of institutions and prominent figures of the intellectual, cultural, political and economic sector. The main sections and individual topics of the conference are set out in a pre-conference organized in Zappeion six months before the implementation of the large conference in Delfi. The Scientific Committee comprises among others Mr. Lefas (Mayor of Delfi), A. Lentakis (Parliamentarian), G. Niotis (Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs), G. Pavlos (Professor of the University of Thrace), V. Polydoras (Parliamentarian), M. – Th. Poulantzas (Professor of the University of Rome), I. Tzanetakos (Journalist).
The conference in Delfi was the first organized and targeted effort to promote the specific topic. The aim, which was successfully achieved, was to share views with distinguished figures and formulate specific proposals of national acceptance that promise to highlight Greece as a world intellectual centre. The conference welcomed among others Mr. V. Karasmanis (Professor in the National Technical University of Athens, Director of the European Cultural Centre of Delfi), K. Diakogiannis (Lournalist), Μ. Simitsek (Vice-President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Vice-President of the International Olympic Academy), Α. Samaras (President of Political Spring – Greek political party “Politiki Anixi”) and E. Giannopoulos (Minister for Employment).
The conference speeches were held among others by G. Niotis (Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs), E. Moutsopoulos (Academic), M. – Th. Poulantzas (Professor of Sociology in the University of Rome), V. Vasilikos (Writer), V. Polydoras (Law-Book Writer and former Deputy Minister for Presidency, Education and Foreign Affairs), K. Chatzikostis (Editor in Cyprus), K. Zouraris (Professor of Politics), Ε. Sella-Mazi, (Professor of Linguistics in the Ionian University), S. Ermidou-Pollet (Professor, President of the International Centre for Scientific and Cultural Training), Ch. Daradimos (Sculptor), Dr. P. Bosnakis (Greek Philology, University of Princeton), Dr. Ε. Arsekiou (Modern Greek Philology, University of Birminigham), Α. Tzikas (President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee), K. Lefas (Mayor of Delfi).
Coordinators of the panel were the journalists Giannis Vlastaris and Olga Tremi.
Amendment of the Law on the conditions for issuing student visas for alien students
From 1992 to 2001 Mediterranean College has held the first position in the campaign for “OPENING THE GREEK BORDERS TO EDUCATION”, so that Greece obtains the necessary legislative regulations enabling alien students to study in our country. Constant pressure and a special Memorandum submitted to parliamentarians and ministers of Greek governments, to competent authorities, to the representatives of the media and generally to all decision-making centres, in combination to the conference “GREECE AN INTENARTIONAL INTELLECTUAL CENTRE”, have exerted continuous pressure to resolve the issue.
In 2001, under Law 2910/2001 (GOG 91, 2/5/01) on the ENTRANCE AND STAY OF ALIENS IN GREECE -CHAPTER D – ENTRANCE AND STAY OF ALIENS FOR STUDIES, the efforts of the Mediterranean College finally achieve their goal. Thus, in 2002 the College welcomes the first large group of Chinese students and ever since then many alien students graduate every year from Greek Colleges and educational institutes. They get familiar to our culture and knowledge and when returning to their homeland they become our best ambassadors.
Participation in International Education Fairs
Mediterranean College has been participatng for many years now in international STUDY ABROAD fairs organized all over the world, such as U.S.A., Russia, Dubai, China, Serbia etc., with the slogan STUDY IN GREECE. Aim is to encourage alien young people wishing to attend British study programmes to come to Greece and study in Greek Colleges that have franchise agreements with British Universities. In this way, Mediterranean College creates in the countries hosting the fairs an important infrastructure and a social network that will later lead candidate students to our country.
Participation in a business mission in China
In June, 2002, the President of the Mediterranean College participated in the multimember business mission in China, which was organized by Simitis government followed by the Prime Minister himself. Mr. Xinis as the sole representative of the field of education passed the message to the political leadership of the country that education as well can be a highly important Greek “export product” apart from the traditional export fields of agricultural production and tourism. Furthermore, with his presence in China, he developed contacts with competent bodies so as to open the way for Chinese students to come to private educational centres in Greece (Colleges, etc).
Movement to upgrade Omonoia Square
“Bangeion Mansion”: The Resurrection of a Legend
From 1994 to 2002 Mediterranean College was housed in the historic neoclassic building “Bangeion Mansion” in Omonoia Square and founded the “Omonoia Cultural Centre”.
Over the eight years of being housed in the Bangeion Mansion, Mediterranean College held the first position in the movement to the upgrade and restoration of the historic view of Omonoia square, the heart of Athens, as well as in the initiative to the resurrection of the legend of the “Bangeion Mansion”. In 1920, the Bangeion Mansion “create and housed” the last systematic philological centre of Athens, hosting the elite of intellectuals and artists, such as K. Varnalis, Or. Liaskos, A. Terzakis, T. Agras, D. Psathas, Myrtiotissa, N. Lapathiotis, G. Ritsos etc. thus contributing to the recognition of both their work and the work of the great poet Constantine Cavafy. Especially in honor of Constantine Cavafy, Mediterranean College organized a special exhibition and conference in the Bangeion Mansion.
The initiative to upgrade Omonoia and resurrect the Legend of the historic neoclassic Chiller building, whose full name was “BANGEION HOTEL PHILIP II”, found the support of the Mediterranean College, which published a special edition: “BANGEION, THE RESURRECTION OF A LEGEND”. In this edition that was distributed to thousands of Athenians one could read much interesting information about the historical square and see pictures of the surrounding buildings, many of which no longer exist.
In addition, the College contacted the Municipal Authority of Athens along with the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works (YPEHODE) and the businessmen of the square to start off a systematic effort for the reformation of the square in order for the place to regain its past glory.
Great personalities in the Mediterranean College
Mediterranean College has the honor to invite and welcome in Greece leading, globally renowned scientists and intellectuals.
Noam Chomsky (MIT)
In 2004, the leading linguist, thinker and philosopher Noam Chomsky, Professor in MIT University, speaks for the first time before a Greek audience at an open speech discussing “Globalization, US and the New World Order”, carried out in the crowded Neo Planitario of Eugenides Foundation. Noam Chomsky has already held two more speeches before the Mediterranean College students and the wider public with a videoconference connection between ΜΙΤ and Mediterranean College facilities in Athens.
Noam Chomsky has been a member of the Mediterranean College Academic Board.
Graciela Chichilnisky (Columbia University)
In 2005 Graciela Chichilnisky, Professor of Mathematics and Economics at UNESCO headquarters and Columbia University, “architect” of Kyoto protocol on the Environment and candidate for Nobel Prize in Economics, speaks before a Greek audience at an open speech in Stoa tou Vivliou on “Beyond the Global Divide: From Basic Needs to Knowledge Revolution”.
In 2007, in the framework of the 30th anniversary of Mediterranean College’s successful presence in Greece, Graciela Chichilnisky gives a speech in Athens Concert Hall on “Environment and Sustainable Development” and is awarded the honorary prize of the “GLOBAL CITIZEN FOR ENVIRONMENT” by Sophocles Xinis and a representative of the University of Teesside.
Graciela Chichilnisky has been a member of the Mediterranean College Academic Board.
Ted Honderich (University College London)
In 2007, the British philosopher and political thinker Ted Honderich speaks before the Greek audience at an open speech in TITANIA Hotel about “Right and Wrong, and Palestine, 9/11, Iraq, 7/7…”.