The exceptional identity of the University of the Aegean (UAegean) is based on the following characteristics:
I. Due to its insular, peripheral and borderline character, the University of the Aegean provides academic services of the highest standards, combining emphasis on the opening of novel and multidisciplinary scientific areas as well as the enrichment of traditional research fields.
II. Its premises are spread among the particularly extensive islands of the Aegean Sea, on the east border of Europe. More particularly, six islands are hosting the University sites, while supplementary academic activities are also supported on other, smaller islands.
III. The twofold objective of academic excellence and development and integration of the geographically fragmented and culturally diverse Aegean area, while respecting the specific characteristics of the Archipelagos, is achieved, through the effective organization and interconnection of academic and administrative structures, but also with the standardization of the required processes, the utilization of information and communication infrastructures and the multifaceted interconnection and mutual support with local communities.
IV. The mission of UAegean is extended to three dimensions:
(1) Education in 3 cycles continuously updated by the research evolution and enriched by new teaching methods and ICTs exploitation, as well as Life Long Learning programs’ provision so as to cover society needs
(2) Advanced Research on international level
(3) Supporting of the local society and the regional development of the territory where it is located through the adoption of an inter-temporal strategy, constantly focused on the international dimension and range, on Academic excellence in the state-of-the-art scientific areas
V. Targeting on further improvement practices, UAegean fully supports:
(i) European and International Collaborations
(ii) Participation in scientific, research and development networks among institutions
(iii) Implementation of research and development projects
(iv) Promotion of student, academic and administrative staff mobility actions
(v) development of joint Programs of Study
VI. The UAegean has managed to convert features like insularity and multi-division, into a good practice for decentralized operation. Through the use of new technologies - informatics and communications, the extensive high speed network technologies of the internet and the transfer of data which can maintain high quality research and also e-learning and e-governance, the frequent teleconferences, with the participation of both academic and administrative staff, the standardization of procedures, have developed an organizational structure of administrative, financial and technical services, which ensures cost savings due to the decrease of transportation, the balanced management and development of all University Units of the Institution and moreover, effective and immediate/direct – not from a distance – problem solving. University of the Aegean has established teleconferencing facilities in each island and in Athens’ unit, used for administrative and academic purposes.
For the next period 2021-2027, according to the objectives of continuous strengthening of quality in research, teaching and training, governance and support of society needs, the University of the Aegean will emphasize on:
- Increasing the number of staff mobility to/from Europe and from Third Countries, so as to exchange good practices, as well as to promote its academic and administrative staff expertise worldwide
- Increasing the number of its students’ mobility for credit (courses) and Traineeships (work placement).
- Development of more joint master degrees programs on a European level and of European doctoral schools in specific thematic areas.
- Increasing of the attractiveness of the University to students (1st, 2nd, 3rd HE cycle) as well as to academic and administrative staff from other European and non-European Universities (especially from east and south Europe neighborhood countries as well as south Mediterranean countries, Asia/China, USA, Latin America, Canada)
- Participation and support of all European actions and programs that aim to deal with economical crisis’ problems or other kind of crisis (such as those due to pandemies), affecting students and their future employment, as well as young and senior researchers
- Participation in actions that provide an add-on to the existing link between education, research and business, so as to reinforce the Aegean Archipelagos regional development in which UAegean contributes significantly so far
- Increasing the number of Networks of Excellence (research, education) in which the UAegean academic staff participates, as well as Networks of Universities aiming to collaborate and investigate efficient governance support measures, appropriate for academic communities
Regarding the selection of partners, the University of the Aegean:
- Selects academic partners, according to various criteria, such as academic excellence, proximity or subsidiary scientific domains, quality of programs of study, language, as well as facilities provided to students, strategic priorities of the UAegean, established on mature collaboration between researchers of both institutions. On a European level, the University gives priority to Institutions that own the European Chart while mobility activities are always implemented upon the signing of Bilateral Agreements
- Selects collaborators from non-EU countries based on academic excellence, proximity or subsidiary scientific domains, geographical neighborhood, language as well as facilities provided to students, strategic priorities of the UAegean, established on mature collaboration between researchers of both institutions. Particular emphasis is given to the interconnection of UAegean with Institutions in the Middle East, in the Mediterranean region and in Turkey, aiming at incoming students, researchers, faculty members from such countries. For the next years, importance will be assigned towards extending UAegean’s cooperation activities in Balkan countries as well as in countries of the former Soviet Union, of North and sub-Saharian Africa, of Asia, especially China (with which UAegean has already developed strong research collaborations). A further effort will be made for the extension of the Univetsity’s research collaboration with United States, Latin America and Canada, countries with which UAegean has also already developed its academical relations in the frame of its strategy for internationalization
Regarding the mobilities through Erasmus+ programmes, it is to be noted additionally that:
- The University of the Aegean encourages and supports student, faculty and administrative staff mobility, in order to preserve and promote its European/International profile in Education, Research and Practical training
- As all Departments of the UAegean apply fully the European System for transferring academic credits (ECTS), they are able to fully support studies and training in these terms
- All actions needed before, during and after the mobility are taken and furthermore additional actions are implemented and designed, so as to:
(i) exploit at the utmost the possibilities offered by Erasmus in order to increase mobility
(ii) exploit better the mobility effects for UAegean students and staff
(iii) be continually attractive to incoming mobility
(iv) create equal mobility opportunities for UAegean’s students and staff.