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AHI Hosts Noon Forum on "American Higher Education in Greece: Challenges and Long-Lasting Benefits" with John S. Bailey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
September 9, 2005—No. 78 (202) 785-8430

AHI Hosts Noon Forum on "American Higher Education in Greece: Challenges and Long-Lasting Benefits" with John S. Bailey

WASHINGTON, DC—On September 8, 2005, AHI hosted a Noon Forum at the Hellenic House with John S. Bailey, President of The American College of Greece in Athens, Greece. The discussion was on "American Higher Education in Greece: Challenges and Long-Lasting Benefits."

Mr. Bailey, who has been at the helm of The American College of Greece for 30 years (he is the longest serving president of an overseas American institution of higher education and the fifth-longest among all heads of American colleges and universities worldwide), gave a detailed presentation of facts and trends regarding higher education in Greece, including the Greek and European legislative environment, efforts by the new conservative government to improve public universities, and the massive exportation of undergraduate and graduate students from Greece, especially to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Bailey briefly recounted the 130-year history of The American College of Greece, the support it has received over the years from American taxpayer through generous USAID-ASHA grants, and the role the College has played over the years in strengthening relations between the United States and its strong ally, Greece. Just last year, during the 2004 Olympics, millions of Americans learned that the campus of The American College of Greece, with its state-of-the-art facilities, served as the high-performance training center for the United States Olympic Committee. Indeed, the head of the U.S. Olympic mission to Athens said that the U.S. owes several medals to the fact that American athletes were able to have unrestricted access to such modern facilities.

Mr. Bailey said that hundreds of Americans, many of them of Greek descent, study, teach, or work at the College, and that many of the 33,000 alumni of Deree College, the undergraduate division, have gone on to distinguish themselves doing graduate studies in the United States. This mobility was facilitated when, in 1981, Deree College became the first American college abroad to be accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the organization that accredits top schools like Harvard, Yale, MIT, Brown and dozens of others in the New England region.

Mr. Bailey notes that the educational landscape in Greece as well as in all of Europe is changing rapidly, with European countries grappling with the challenges of homogenizing their educational systems and, at the same time, becoming more competitive with the U.S., the recognized world leader in higher education.

In this process, The American College of Greece can serve as an example of a responsive, versatile institution that offers an excellent education in tune with the evolving demands of a modern society. The challenge for the College is to continue to strive for excellence in order to attract an ever-growing share of Greek students who desire a strong internationally minded education or plan to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe.

With this goal in mind, the College is continuously updating its undergraduate offerings, improving student services, and student life, and rapidly expanding its Graduate School as well as its School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

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John S. Bailey completed his undergraduate education at Boston University and his graduate work at Northeastern University. He served as a combat infantry officer in the Korean War and was decorated for valor by the United States, French and Korean governments.

Dr. Bailey began his career in education at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He was appointed Assistant to President Asa S. Knowles in 1959, and served in several executive positions before assuming the Deanship of University College, the largest division of Northeastern, with more that 10,000 students enrolled in degree programs on seven campuses.

In 1969 he left Northeaster to become President of Nasson College, a private, independent, co-educational, NEAS&C-accredited college of arts and sciences in Maine. While at Nasson, he was elected President of the Higher Education Council of Maine, an organization of nearly thirty college presidents representing both private and public institutions.

While in Massachusetts, Main, and Athens, Greece, President Bailey served as a member, officer, director, and trustee of numerous cultural, business, educational, civic and military organizations, including The Better Business Bureau of Boston and the Board of Governors of the Copley Society, and was founder of the Consumer Affairs Foundation, Inc.

As President of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities, he had the exceptional opportunity to study, evaluate, and visit more than fifteen American-sponsored institutions of higher learning in Europe and the Middle East.

Attached please find a photograph of Mr. Bailey giving his presentation at the Noon Forum.

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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.