For many, the historic Athens Polytechnic building represents memory, a symbol, and a place of anti-fascist pilgrimage. For the few, it represents revenge, a release, and anti-authority mania.
Yet there is also an essential, daily, and inconspicuous Athens Polytechnic, which does not draw the lights of publicity, as its aim is educational.
As it seems, it is carrying out its mission in an excellent manner. That is not only because the Athens Polytechnic always stands out in international evaluation lists. As Ta Nea reveals today, its calibre is now recognised by top American universities, such as Columbia. That is why the two universities will for the first time collaborate on the undergraduate level in order to grant joint degrees.
In a country where the government views excellence as a stigma and remains suspicious of private universities, stubbornly refusing to establish any in Grecce, such collaboration can only send positive messages.
It should be used as a guide to expand such vehicles, which are cosmopolitan and prestigious. As Ta Nea’s sources indicate, there are also other American universities that seek to bolster their ties with the Athens Polytechnic.
Hundreds of thousands of youths who have emigrated due to the crisis are much missed by Greece. To stem that brain drain, and to persuade people to return and contribute to the country’s reconstruction, there must be signs of dynamism and openness.
Athens Polytechnic has all the means necessary to serve as a precedent and an ambassador in this area.