For the University of Thessaly, internationalization means:
Teaching and research staff with international studies and connections. The University of Thessaly was founded in the late 80s and had the opportunity to attract a vital number of young, international trained, multilingual and internationally connected members of teaching and research staff. The majority of the departments were established and operated during the 1990s and early 2000s, a period characterized by economic growth and ‘brain gain’ with the repatriation of highly trained academic and research staff from the whole world. The history of the UTH up to this day has created a genuinely internationalized learning and research environment.
Education in sync with the international environment. The undergraduate and postgraduate study programs comply with international standards and adopt the European system of academic unit transfer (ECTS). The study programs are interdisciplinary, designed according to international standards, and make use of multilingual literature and educational materials. As a public university we are constitutionally required to offer undergraduate studies mainly in the Greek language. Starting in 2018-2019, we are now offering an increasing number of undergraduate courses in English. These courses are addressed to incoming international students as well as Greek ones.
Globally-oriented education. The design and implementation of English-speaking study programs which will attract foreign students to the University of Thessaly is a high priority. In this direction, there are summer schools already being planned as well as international and shared postgraduate study programs which serve the consolidation of our academic community’s international extroversion.
Increasing number of international students. Every year, the UTH welcomes international students visiting the University to study in the Erasmus+ mobility framework. We have signed and kept active more than 350 bilateral agreements for student mobility with over 250 universities globally. The UTH offers international postgraduate and doctoral studies in specific fields of specialization. We also organize and host summer schools which attract young people from the whole world. During the academic year 2019-2020, the UTH welcomed a record number of incoming international students from 20 different countries. We aim to further increase this number in the future.
International research group network. The UTH research groups are participating as collaborators or coordinators in a multitude of research programs. The expansion of our research activity network is central in our research strategy.
Visits by international scholarship holders and researchers. The academic research groups of the University seek to attract talent and young scholars and researches from the international academia. Visiting professors and scholars are integrated in teaching and research activities of the UTH aiming at mutual educational benefits.
Reinforced exposure of the academic community to the international environment. Mutuality is at the core of the UTH’s internationalization strategy. Thus, we encourage our students’ mobility as well as that of our academic and administrative staff. The UTH takes advantage of all available funding tools for the benefit of students and staff so that they can have the opportunity to visit, teach at, research and get training in universities around the world. We believe that international academic bonds are strengthened through practices of bilateral mobility, constant international exposure and exchange of good educational practices.
Promoting multilingualism. At the UTH we consider linguistic competence as a necessary skill for academic development. Through the Foreign Language Centre we provide Greek and international students with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of foreign languages. Specially designed Greek language courses are offered to all international students, while there are also courses in English, French, German and Italian and, from the academic year 2020-2021 onward, there are also courses in Asian languages for both Greek and foreign students.
Open Access. As a public academic institute, we ensure that all facilities and services offered to domestic students are also available for international students. We strive to provide all available information for students in both English and Greek.
Parallel activities. We believe that social and cultural activities as well as participatory practices are vital for the production of learning and knowledge. International students and professors take part in a learning experience realized right next to cultural heritage monuments and internationally acclaimed tourist destinations. In order to enhance their cultural immersion, international students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities based on the wealth of cultural, athletic, environmental resources of the area (theatre, music, sport, outdoor activities, cultural field trips, etc.). Moreover, we actively encourage our international students and visitors to take part in public interest projects and social initiatives of the UTH (environmental policy, refugee crisis, volunteering, etc.).