Petition: Save the foreign language departments of the University of Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece

Bessie Mitsikopoulou mbessie at
Mon Feb 11 07:10:23 UTC 2013

Dear colleagues,

we need your support, please sign our petition at

and spread the word





Based on financial logistics rather than on criteria of academic excellence,
the  ATHENA scheme of the Greek government regarding University Education
calls for the merging of the Departments of English, French, German,
Italian, and Spanish Languages and Literatures, into a single "Department of
Foreign Languages and Literature" [sic] at the National and Kapodistrian
University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.  

The above Departments have a long-standing tradition in teaching and
research within the framework of autonomous programmes of academic studies.
Teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as research in
these Departments, covers distinct disciplines of literary and
theoretical/applied linguistic studies, always in fruitful dialogue with the
sociocultural context in which these disciplines develop. The ATHENA scheme
will turn our Departments into a huge and misleadingly-named new "Department
of Foreign Languages and Literature," with five language-based "directions".
Inevitably, this will lead to language degrees with limited value, lack of
educational standards and professional training.

Therefore, we the professorial staff of the aforementioned Departments are
opposed to the proposed merger and request from the Minister of Education to
respect and preserve each Department's autonomy, tradition and its valuable
contributions to society and the European mission. 



Bessie Mitsikopoulou



Bessie Mitsikopoulou, Associate Professor

Faculty of English Language and Literature

School of Philosophy

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Panepistimioupoli Zographou, Athens, GR-15784

Tel.: 210 727 7705 

Email: mbessie at





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