Session highlights

We’ve put the seed in the ground, and we have to nurture it so it will become a tree. That will take some time and effort, but we are happy to offer both.” Dr Christos Michalakelis, Assistant Professor, Department of Informatics and Telematics and Project Manager of Study in Greece, Harokopio University of Athens 

  • In March this year, the British Council announced a new partnership with the Greek Ministry of Education that will help universities form transnational partnerships. Greece is the leading host country for UK TNE learners in the EU, with nearly 14,000 TNE students in 2018/19. The two partners are working toward possible partner-matching work, with delegate visits planned between November and January.
  • The University of Aegean’s Rector Professor Chryssi Vitsilaki said that there was a strong government mandate in Greece toward supporting university internationalisation. She said the aim was to work on many initiatives, including more joint or dual degrees, student exchanges, and research collaborations. Dr Christos Michalakelis of Study in Greece added that Greek universities were now offering a greater number of programmes taught in a foreign language, such as English, French or German.
  • Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, said that there was a “fruitful opportunity” to develop more partnerships between the UK and Greece. She hoped to see increased interaction between UK institutions and Greek public universities, as well as more focus on student mobility in both directions. She that there was a need for both sides to “think creatively” to address mobility, although she added that the new Turing Scheme and partnerships between universities would assist with this. 

Session summary

Education is a central pillar of the bilateral relationships and the people-to-people links between UK and Greece.  Around 10,000 Greeks are studying in the UK, placing Greece the 6th largest in the EU market and among the  20 top sending countries to the UK; Greece, the largest partner of the UK in EU on Transnational Education (TNE) and among the top 10 collaborators of the UK in TNE globally; 3,000 Greeks work as university faculty and researchers in the UK; UK-Greek Alumni constitute one of the largest communities in the world vs country population.

It is estimated that around one in 30 Greeks has experience of higher education in the UK.  Within this context, in March 2021, the Greek Ministry of Education, the British Embassy and the British Council announced the launch of the UK-Greece Strategic Partnership in Education to foster collaborations between UK and Greek universities.  What is beginning to take shape in Greece, can inspire IHE leaders in European and non-European countries.

During this session you will find out more about some key ingredients for successful internationalisation strategies, including:

  • the national strategy that supports internationalisation of higher education and partnership with the UK 
  • the experience of the partnership programme so far and its value as a support mechanism to HEIs from both countries in meeting their internationalisation objectives  • next steps in the programme, internationalisation opportunities and ambitions for the future
  • Study in Greece – priorities of Greek Universities and the official portal promoting international opportunities for studies in Greece as key support instrument
  • the UK perspective on opportunities for internationalisation and partnerships seen through the lenses of the UK-Greece programme.


  • Chair: Dr. Almut Caspary, Higher Education, Research Strategy Coordinator, British Council, UK
  • Dr. Christos Michalakelis, Assistant Professor, Department of Informatics and Telematics &  Project Manager of `Study in Greece', Harokopio University of Athens, Greece
  • Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International, UK
  • Maria Tsakali, Head of Education, British Council, Greece
  • Prof. Chryssi Vitsilaki, Rector, University of Aegean, Greece