The web portal Study in Greece is campaigning for the promotion and international visibility of Greek Universities and the comparative educational advantages of our country. In particular, the campaign focuses on the foreign language study programs that Greek Universities offer to Greek and international students. The initiative is supported by the General Secretariat of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In this context, a number of educational programs and actions are presented in detail on a regular basis, such as undergraduate and postgraduate programs, summer schools etc, to inform international students about the many foreign language options offered by Greek Universities.

Study in Greece interviewed Professor Elias Tzavalis, Director of the MSc in Economics offered at the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) on the program, its features and what it has to offer to international students.

Elias TzavalisElias Tzavalis is Professor at the Department of Economics of the Athens University of Economics & Business since 2006.  His research interests focus on Financial and Monetary Economics, Banking and Econometrics. He is also the Director of the MSc in Economics offered by the AEUB exclusively in English.

Mr Tzavalis, please describe to us briefly the Master of Science in Economics that is offered by the Athens University of Economics and Business.

The MSc in Economics is an intensive full-time program targeted to students of a quantitative background, such as economics or the sciences, and its aim is to educate and train economists of high scientific standards in the fields of Economic Theory and Policy, as well as Econometrics. The main areas of study are Macroeconomic Theory, Microeconomic Theory and Applied Microeconomics, Theoretical and Applied Econometrics, Public Economics, Mathematical Economics, Industrial Organization etc. Our graduates are employed in large private companies, public authorities, ministries and banks or they continue for PhD studies in internationally known Universities in order to be employed later in Universities (as Faculty Members), research institutes and organizations, Central Banks, Research Departments of commercial banks, etc.

Given that the program is taught in English, please tell us why an international student should choose this MSc?

Our program is internationally competitive and well known abroad. Our teaching staff hold PhDs from widely known US or European universities and has published in leading academic journals. They work very closely with our students to support them in attaining essential skills and in-depth understanding of economic theory and econometric methods and learning how to apply them to the real world.  In addition, we grant scholarships to our students based on academic performance. Finally, our MSc is a very good value for money option for an international student who takes into consideration the living cost in a foreign country, like Greece. The location of our university, in the center of Athens, close to museums, the Pedion Areos park and metro stations, attracts foreign students from different countries around the world.

Economics1AUEB is a frontrunner in the field of Economics; is this an incentive for international students to study in this field in Greece?

Of course it is. And especially the MSc in Economics, which was the first postgraduate program in Economics established in Greece (in the year 1978 by the Department of Economics), is considered as one of the top master’s programs in Greece and internationally. The fact that all these years many of its graduates have been distinguished in their field of expertise and hold significant academic and research positions in universities and research institutes or occupy high-level managerial positions in the public and private sector both in Greece and abroad, is the biggest incentive for someone to pursue studies at the MSc in Economics of AUEB.

Which are the strategic plans of AUEB in order to attract more foreign language students?

AUEB has made internationalization into one of its strategic pillars. To this end the University is moving in a multitude of areas: an important short-term development is that AUEB will offer in the coming years its first undergraduate program entirely in English. At the same time, we are engaging more intensely with our partners throughout the world in areas like dual degrees, immersion projects, and others. In the long term, the University is planning to expand its facilities to further improve student experience and have a greater capacity.

Economics3Which has been the output so far? Is it satisfactory?

These efforts take time. We believe we are on a good path, a number of partnerships have been significantly strengthened and our international network is stronger than ever. We are optimistic for the future.

How do you think that the extroversion of AUEB will benefit both the university itself as well as Greece to become an internationally competitive educational destination?

Greece has all the potential to become an internationally competitive, regionally leading educational destination. The quality of academics is very high, and the country traditionally places great emphasis on education. In terms of the University the primary beneficiary should be our Greek students, who will get the opportunity to study side by side with students from abroad.

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