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.
Sign this petition here