The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (often called the Aristotelian University or University of Thessaloniki) is the largest university in Greece and in the Balkans. It is named after the philosopher Aristotle, who was born in Stageira, about 55 km east of Thessaloniki. Its campus covers 230,000 square metres in the centre of Thessaloniki, with additional educational and administrative facilities elsewhere. The main campus is located in the centre of the city of Thessaloniki, and covers an area of about 33.4 hectares. It comprises 7 faculties which consist of 33 schools, 5 faculties which consist of one school each, as well as 4 independent schools. Some educational and administrative facilities are located off campus for practical and operational reasons. A number of these facilities are located outside the city of Thessaloniki or even in other cities. About 81,500 students study at the Aristotle University (72,140 in undergraduate programmes and 8,360 in postgraduate programmes). The language of instruction is Greek, although there are programs in foreign languages and courses for international students, which are carried out in English, French, German, and Italian.
The Aristotle University is one of Greece's public Universities and therefore it is a legal entity with full self governance. It is primarily state-funded and functions under the supervision of the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs. Other financial resources for the university are donations from individuals, participation in various EU research programmes and profits generated through management of the university assets. It is important to note that no fees are charged to the students of the university.
The administration of the university consists of collective bodies who take decisions within the framework of the Greek laws. Main objective of the administration's efforts is to ensure the proper function of the university and pursuit the benefit of the academic community as a whole.
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (A.U.Th.) performs a great deal of research in a variety of scientific fields. It is in constant and close cooperation with universities, organizations and research centres both in Greece and abroad. The large number of its faculties and its approximately 250 laboratories enable scientists of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to carry out a variety of research projects with great success. During the past 12 years, 4500 research programs were undertaken and realized with the participation of more than 10000 members of the academic community and several external collaborators.
During the past three years, 985 researchers – distinguished scientists – have provided educational and research services in collaboration with a total of 7,263 external scientific associates for the implementation of 3,151 International, European and National Research and Technological Development (RTD) projects. 1,436 of these partners were universities, research centers and organizations, while 405 were businesses.
Based on recent data from international ranking lists, of 20,372 higher institutions in the world, A.U.Th. moved from the 407th position in 2011 to the 158th in 2012, ranking first among 23 Greek universities. It is worth mentioning that Greece ranks first in the lists for the expenditure per publication per capita as a percentage of GNP, and second (following Ireland) in regard to the amount invested in scientific publications per country (Nature “Top Countries 2011: Scientific Publications”). In terms of promoting innovation, 32 Patents have been granted during the last 3 years on a national, European and international level. Finally, A.U.Th. is currently involved in establishing new infrastructure, setting up technology transfer systems, and creating an Interdisciplinary Research Center, in order to facilitate the selection process, as well as the implementation, placement and financing of research projects. The A.U.Th. Research Committee is a University body which coordinates the research done at the University. It was established in order to satisfy the special needs of research activity and to administer the "Special Account of Research Funds", allocating funding resources to different research programs.
An ideal coastal system for integrating ecological coastal studies with regional economy and management
The University's location on the south coast of Greece provides an ideal location for the study of costal risk assessment and management. On our doorstep we have internationally important wildlife, high density urban development. The University's well-established research units in coastal and aquatic management also underpin the course. This all provides for a stimulating and academically rigorous, interdisciplinary course, managed by the Faculty of Science and the School of Biology.
Students will have the opportunity to make their own practise in the Thermaikos Gulf Coastal System. It is located in the NW Aegean Sea eastern Mediterranean Sea. This coastal system belongs to the southern flank of the Alpine orogenic belt, located within the humid mesothermal climatic zone and within an essentially tideless marine environment. The coastal system is divided into two principal components: a) the terrestrial sub-system; and b) the oceanic sub-system. The terrestrial sub-system consists of the hinterland and the sub-aerial part of the coastal zone; the former represents mainly the catchment areas of the rivers discharging along the coastline of Thermaikos Gulf, while the latter consists mostly of the deltaic plains, the coastal plains and cliffs.
The Thermaikos Gulf forms the north-west Aegean continental shelf and it is a typical deltaic platform. Four rivers (Axios, Loudias, Aliakmon, Pinios) constitute the major sources of material input into the marine system of the Thermaikos Gulf. Thermaikos Gulf is the biggest source of farmed mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) in Greece, representing the 88% of the country’s cultivated sea area and 80-85% of the total national production. The farms are being located in two major areas, NW of the Gulf of Thessaloniki, Chalastra (inner Thermaikos Gulf-the area under consideration for the Policy Issue) and NW of Thermaikos Gulf (estuary area of Axios- Loudias-Aliakmon rivers). Mussel farming is an activity that takes place at the area for more than 25 years, occupying an important percentage of the local population, with the mussel production of Chalastra area exceeding the 12.000tn/yr. The sea area is part of the protected area of the estuary (under the Ramsar convection) but the mussel farming is an activity compatible to the natural environment, and thus a compatible activity to the protection status. The last years, due to several reasons, as the increase of the population of the greater area of the County of Thessaloniki, the development of other Human Activities (H.A.’s: agricultural & industrial activities) and the intense increase of the mussel farming at the area, there has been an important modification to the natural environment of the Gulf that leaded to a decline of the mussel production with socioeconomic impacts to the local population (decline of mussel farmers income, unemployment, not authorized expansions of mussel cultures, negative advertisement of the products to local and international markets, etc). Further, the coastal system under investigation in particular, the coastal zone accommodates more than 1 million people associated with a variety of economic activities e.g. agriculture, industry, and trade. Here, the county of Thessaloniki has been established as the second most important following the province of Athens socio-economic region of Greece, lying between some of the most important areas of the southern Balkans peninsula. Accordingly the Thermaikos Gulf Coastal System offers an ideal system for practical and applying projects relating to environmental risk assessment and marine recourses management.
Explore the biodiversity of Axios Delta-A natural treasure at the edge of town
The Axios Delta is a relatively natural Mediterranean Delta found on the western shoreline of the Thermaikos Gulf and it is one of the most important wetlands in Greece. It is the Axios - Loudias - Aliakmonas Estuaries National Park, consisting of the deltas of the Axios and Aliakmonas rivers, the estuaries of the Gallikos and Loudias rivers, the Kalohori lagoon, the Nea Agathoupoli marsh and the Alyki Kitrous lagoon. It is a large complex wetland system with a total surface area of around 320 sq. kms. Thanks to the great diversity of ecological conditions –ranging from extensive ricefields, grasslands and riparian forests to salty marshes and swamps- the area makes an ideal habitat for many species of wild animals and plants.
The delta is now part of the European network of biological importance (Natura 2000), which means that Greece is legally obligated to maintain its natural values. In 2008-2009, FOS assisted the Management Authority – a multi-stakeholder platform for official decision-making – with the development of a strategic framework for action. The framework is well-anchored in Natura 2000 habitat and species obligations and includes prioritized strategies for threat abatement. The approach has sparked the interest of other Management Authorities in Greece. Local partners hope to work around the current economic situation and find ways to keep building capacity and planning for the adaptive management of Greek Natura 2000 sites. Almost at the outskirts of Thessalonica (18 km) begins a large alluvial area formed by the extremities of Axios River with the riverside vegetation, elms, willows and bushes. Many bird species such as swans, ducks, egrets and many cormorants stay herefor the winter. There are also large surfaces of rice fields and rich fishing fields and oyster farming facilities at the shallow waters of Delta extremities.
The Delta of Axios can be visited throughout the year and one can find taverns serving mussels, fish, etc. The mouth of Axios was previously 10 kilometers BA from its current position, near the estuary of Gallikos river, in the western mouth of the port of Thessaloniki. The risk, however, to close the port of Thessaloniki from illuviations, led to the diversion of the watercourse which was begun in 1928 and completed in 1934. Thus the mouth moved from the mouth of the harbor at the mouth of the bay of Thessaloniki, near the mouth of the river Loudia. In the Valtochori region it has been built the dam, Ellis, a length of 1,132 meters, with the waters of which are irrigated with open canals (kanaletta) approximately 330,000 gross acres of agricultural land. The old River Delta eroded by the sea, but the mixing of saltwater with fresh water created a new Delta, which today is considered one of the most important wetlands of international importance. In 1954 it has began the construction of the dam of Axios in Eleoussa which came into full operation in 1962, serving the plain of Thessaloniki, east and west of the riverbed. With two pipelines, water diverted to irrigation networks, which watered until recent years, 125,000 acres east and west 225,000. Today, 35,000 acres are watered by the Aliakmonas river and the dam Eleoussa, which gives 25 cubic water per second, watering 320,000 acres. The largest proportion of crops are rice, processed tomatoes, cotton, corn and vegetable small areas.The wetlands area of the delta of the Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers is not uniform in all its stretch, but it consists of smaller parts with special characteristics each. A key role in these areas located between the land and the sea is played by the presence of water (surface, underground, permanent, seasonal) as well as its salinity. These aspects affect the vegetation creating characteristic areas, resulting in the formation of plants adjusted to the sand, plants resilient to salt, salt bushes, rushes, water plants and riverside tree vegetion.
Future climatic changes, associated with a predicted increase in air temperature and sea level on a global scale, could cause large-scale changes with radical consequences within the coastal zone of the Thermaikos Gulf area. Thus, a possible climatic shift towards more arid climatic conditions with longer summers and lower precipitation levels will have a series of environmental impacts, such as: degrading the soil structure i.e. by increasing salt accumulation in the top soil, a general sort of freshwaters inducing lowering of the water table, and different possibly stratification of coastal and shelf water masses. Subsequently, the bio-climatic zonations will gradually shifts northwards, with several species forced to migrate or disappear and new ones to appear; the latter may include bacteria and insects. Taking into account the vulnerability of the coastal system, in response to human impact and climatic changes, an integrated regional management programme concerning the socio-economic and environmental issues should be established; this could be set against a background of any future planned socioeconomic development and ecosystem protection.
More info: http://www.auth.gr/en
The campus of the Aristotle University covers 230,000 square metres and is located near the centre of the city of Thessaloniki. The majority of the university units is found inside the campus, but there are also various institutions, laboratories, and facilities of the university which are located outside the campus such as the Centre of Byzantine Researches, veterinary clinics, the university farm, and forest reserves). The following are some of the most important university units and facilities of the Aristotle University:
The University Student Club is housed in a private building located on the eastern side of the campus and plays a very important role in student life. Inside the Student Club is a restaurant, a reading room, a medical service, a snack bar, and a hairdresser's shop. There is also a musical department and a photography club.
The Student Club is responsible for the catering and medical care of the students of A.U.Th. and University of Macedonia. Every day it caters for approximately 12,000 students. Among its other responsibilities, it also organizes artistic, cultural and athletic events and maintains a chorus and a musical department.
The University gym is located on the eastern side of the university campus, next to the Student Club. It covers an area of 220,000 square metres and was initially founded in 1925, the same year as the University. Since then it has been transferred several times until 1978 when it was finally settled at its present position. Inside the university Sports Centre there is a football field, basketball and tennis courts, handball courts and many more facilities for dancing, weight lifting, ping pong and so on. The National and Poseidonion swimming pools are used for water sports such as swimming, water polo, water aerobics, and synchronized swimming.
The students participating in the sports programs of the centre can take part in the internal championships organized by the Sports Centre or in the inter-university national championships organized by the Sports Committee of the Higher Education in Greece. The A.U.Th. has always participated in these national championships with great success.
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki owns three branches of residence halls for AUTh students with a capacity of 1,740 students; they are administered by the National Youth Foundation. They include reading rooms, sport facilities, restaurants, café etc. Two branches are in the city centre, one in "40 Ekklisies" near the campus and one in the former “Egnatia” Hotel in Vardaris. The residence halls are reserved for students with special needs, such as members of low-income or large families, as well as some foreign students.
Day Care Unit
The Day Care Unit of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is an education and research unit for preschool-aged children (2.5 to 6 years old). The Unit provides children of the members of the academic community, including children of undergraduate and postgraduate students, with education, and offers theoretical and practical training to students of the School of Early Childhood Education.
The Day Care Unit is open Monday to Friday from 7.00am to 19.00pm, from September 1st to June 30th. If the number of children is sufficient, the Unit operates in the summer as well. The Unit is also open during Christmas and Easter vacation periods, but only for a few days.
Health care services
All students of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greek or foreign, undergraduate or postgraduate) are provided with health insurance which covers free medical care. This means that hospitalization and medication are provided free of charge. The insurance is valid for the entire period of studies, as long as it doesn't last more than one and a half times its normal duration. Every student who wants to receive free medical care must possess his personal health insurance booklet which is issued and renewed every year by the secretary of the department he/she studies in. Among others, health insurance provides: medical examination, dental examination, physiotherapy, etc.
Faith groups at Thessaloniki
Our students come from many different backgrounds, cultures and faiths, making Aristotle University a rich environment in which to study. Faith-based student societies include the Christian Union, the Islamic Society, the Jewish Society and the Sikh Society. The University's Faith and Student Well Being section supports this diversity through its team of faith advisers.
Faith and Student Well Being provides students with:
advice and information, whatever their beliefs and religious needs, prayer space within the University anda full programme of drop-in sessions, meetings, worship and events (during teaching periods).
The full-time faith adviser offers:
confidential pastoral care and support and information about local churches and places of worship.
The University Camp was initially founded in 1960. It is now is located in Poseidi, Chalkidiki, in a very beautiful place by the sea, full of pine trees. It opens its gates every year during the summer period for the students and the staff of the A.U.Th. The camp consists of a restaurant, a small grocery store, a bar, basketball and beach volley courts, and many more sport and entertainment facilities.
Network Operations Centre
The Network Operations Centre is responsible for managing the data network of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It was established in 1995 under the supervision of the Data Network Committee of the university. NOC's main objective is to provide quality network services to the academic community of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Among many services, NOC also provides the following:
Internet connectivity to all AUTh members (students and staff)
Basic network services (email, web hosting, Digital Certificates, Dial up)
Advanced network services (VoIP, Video Conference, Wireless networking, VPN, Proxy)
NOC's staff consists mainly of network specialists, undergraduate students working part-time as network technicians and undergraduate students as trainees. It is mainly funded by the Greek state and the European Union, as it participates in a variety of European Union programs.
Career Services Office
The Career Services Office of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was established in 1997 and its main objective is to help students and graduates take decisions concerning their future studies and career. It provides support and information about a variety of subjects including: undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Greek or foreign universities, available scholarships, student mobility programs (IAESTE, SOCRATESetc.), labor market in Greece and abroad, job vacancies and many more. There is also a group of specially trained personnel, which provides advice and guidance to students and graduates on decision making, CV compilation, job interviews and job application.
The Career Services Office organizes regularly career seminars inviting professionals from different scientific fields to lecture about their jobs and the status of the job market. These career seminars appear to be very helpful because they give students and graduates a chance to get in contact with people of different professions and acquire information about their experiences and accomplishments.
The students of A.U.Th. are supported by two independent institutions: The Social Policy Committee and the Student Counseling and Guidance Service.
The Social Policy Committee aims at solving a variety of problems the students may face and thus improve academic life on campus. It was established by the University Rector's Council in September 1997 and since then it has offered its services to a great number of students. These services are briefly listed below:
Supports students with special needs
Provides information concerning health care issues
Offers counseling and psychological support
Organizes numerous activities and events related to its objectives.
The Student Counseling and Guidance Service provides mainly psychological support and counseling to students on a variety of issues including social and academic life, family problems, adjustment difficulties, emotional problems etc. It also organizes seminars and on a regular basis that deal with stress handling, exam preparation, study time organization and many more. With the help of the Student Counseling and Guidance Service students can more easily adapt to student life and surpass any problems or difficulties. All these services are provided to students free of charge.
The A.U.Th. Orchestra was established in February 1999 and since then it has participated in a lot of concerts held all over Greece. Since its establishment the interest of the students in it has rapidly increased. The orchestra gives regular concerts for the public of Thessaloniki during the national holidays (25 March, 26 October, etc.) and participates in international festivals and events.
The official name of the Aristotle University Chorus is "J. Mandakas Chorus", named after its founder, John Mandakas, who created it in 1953. Nowadays the chorus plays a very important role in the musical and cultural life of the city of Thessaloniki and Greece generally. It also has a constant presence in musical events held all over the world, gaining not only national but also international recognition. For more than 50 years, the A.U.Th. Chorus has given the opportunity to more than 4000 students and other members of the academic community to cultivate their musical talent and to develop strong bonds of friendship and collaboration.
The chorus participates regularly in concerts held during national holidays, various events and festivals (Dimetria, Athens Festival etc.). It also organizes and participates in a lot of meetings of Greek and foreign choruses and orchestras. Finally it has published numerous CDs and DVDs and made a lot of recordings for the Greek national television and radio.
The chorus has contributed decisively in the development of choral music in Greece and in the familiarization of the Greek public with it through the presentation of hundreds of musical works. Furthermore it has presented many Greek compositions for the first time to the public, helping the Greek composers to achieve international recognition for their compositions.
Since 1964, the Aristotle University Chorus is a member of Europa Cantat, the European Federation of Choruses for young people. The rehearsals take place inside the Student club with the participation of the university Orchestra.
The Student Week is a cultural event organized annually inside the university campus. It actually lasts for three or four weeks and is organized by more than 60 student groups, whose interests include dance, music, theater, cinema, sports, poetry, comics, etc. This event is open not only to all the members of the academic community of A.U.Th., but also to all the citizens of Thessaloniki.
Its main objective is to promote students' talents in art and culture and to encourage the free artistic expression of the students as individuals or as a group. It also aims at strengthening the human relations between the students and the personnel of the university. The interest of the students in the Student Week has been rapidly increasing since its establishment in 1999.
The Teloglion Foundation of Art was founded in 1972 with the donation of the entire fortune, along with a very rich art collection, of Nestor and Aliki Teloglou to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This art collection is now exhibited in a separate building located in the northern side of the university campus. The Foundation is a non-profit organization supervised by the Aristotle University and directed by a board of Trustees composed mainly of university professors.
The art collection included mainly works of Greek artists during the 19th and 20th century and has now been enriched thanks to further donations made by famous persons and artists. At present, the collection includes works from various ancient civilizations, such as statuettes and pottery from the Hellenistic period, Corinthian and Romanpottery, Persian miniatures, Arabic and Chinese vases and dishes, etc. It also includes pieces from modern artists such as the monumental work of art "The World of Cyprus" by Diamandis.
The Foundation's mission is to support all art related studies and research and help the public familiarize itself with art and culture. This is achieved through the organization of numerous conferences, seminars and exhibitions of the museum's artworks.
Student Cultural Groups
There is a variety of student cultural groups that deal with Drama, Fine Arts, Music, Cinema, Chess, Debate, Comics etc. The cultural groups frequently organize events in which the work of the participants is presented to the public. These events can be theatrical plays, music concerts, debates, chess competitions, art exhibitions and many more. Every student can participate in any cultural group he/she likes and express his talent through art.
School of Modern Greek Language
The School of Modern Greek Language functions under the supervision of the Department of Philosophy since 1970. It offers courses of Modern Greek Language and Greek Culture to foreign students who wish to learn the Greek language and/or intend to study in a Greek University. The main objective of the school is to familiarize its students with the Greek culture, tradition, and customs.
The Aristotle University Library was founded in 1927 and is constituted of two main elements: The Central Library is housed in a separate building at the centre of the university campus; "departmental libraries" are owned by a university department. These two elements comprise the A.U.Th. library system, where more than 800,000 book titles and 300,000 volumes of periodicals can be found. The A.U.Th. library subscribes to 3,500 periodicals from all over the world.
The Central Library has a reading room for students and a reading room for university researchers and teaching personnel. The students' reading room has a capacity of approximately 1,300 students and can be used by any student who brings and reads his own books.
Every department of the university has its own departmental library where students can find books, periodicals, and information concerning the specific subjects their department deals with. Every departmental library has a reading room whose opening hours are determined according to the needs of the department's students and staff.
The Aristotle University Library is nowadays the second largest library in Greece, after the National Library. Since 1976 the library has been a member of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which enables it to lend and borrow books from libraries all over the world.
The Information Technology Centre of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was established in the beginning of 1998 under the financial support of the Greek Ministry of Education and the European Union. Its mission is to provide the academic community of the university with a variety of computer facilities, such as client–server applications, host-based applications, High Performance Computing and many more. It also provides technical support via email, phone or fax to all A.U.Th. members and takes care of central backup issues, site licensing matters, maintenance contracts, etc. ITC regularly organizes seminars on topics of computer science, popular software packages and the usage of the university infrastructure. Some of the services provided by ITC to A.U.Th.members are listed below:
Technical support and consultation services on IT issues
Distribution of public domain software
Maintenance and support of A.U.Th. Computer Labs
Central multi-platform backups
Students of the university who have special knowledge and experience on IT can apply to ITC and work part-time (3 hours daily). Currently ITC employs 8 undergraduate students.