Re-Imagining Education in the Post Covid Era – Alexis Phylactopoulos at DEF

CYA President, Alexis Phylactopoulos, participated in the Delphi Economic Forum taking place at the Zappeion Megaron in a hybrid format from May 10 – 15, 2021.

 Responding to the questions of journalist Makis Provatas, Mr. Phylactopoulos discussed issues such as the global problems of the humanities. Phylactopoulos pointed out that globalization for the students is not something new, but rather an element they have been living with since the day they were born.

“They realize that certain situations, like climate change, the coronavirus, cybersecurity, are things that are spreading across the globe. They see the planet; they do not necessarily see their country or their nation-state. How does this affect them in their [personal] lives? They see these “movements” being created, these international movements, become their initial interests. That is, what happened in the US recently, the Black Lives Matter, and the Me Too movement, which traveled from America ultimately to come to us, and rightfully so. These are parts of their lives. Also, part of their lives is the demand for the protection of diversity, parity, and inclusion. No more discrimination.”

  When the conversation shifted towards technology and its new roles in the field of education, Mr Phylactopoulos shared a hopeful vision of the future where education evolves into a new state, through the use of technology, that will lead to great accomplishments. 

“Education will undoubtedly become more democratic. That is, people’s access to knowledge, if you can have it at home at night with less cost, indeed becomes more accessible to more people.”

Provatas’ last question concerned opportunities to showcase Greece further, as a Study-Abroad destination. This quickly proved to be a subject the CYA President is passionate about, and he shared some valuable insight.

“Europe receives the lion’s share, with 350,000 Americans; 50% of Americans [study abroad students] come to Europe. 40,000 go to the United Kingdom,40,000 go to Italy,34,000 students go to Spain, and19,000 go to France. How many are left?6,000.   What [is Greece] missing? Is there something that we don’t have that others do? Of course not.  What we lack is a national policy for attracting international students.”

Mr Phylactopoulos praised the significant efforts of Greece’s current Minister of Education, and pointed out that there is still a long way to get where we need to be in order to attract international students. 

“You see, the benefits for the country are immense: from a financial standpoint in regards to income and as a source of soft power for the country. That is, these students remain spiritual friends of Greece afterward; there is no doubt. Anyone who has studied abroad has a particular sensitivity for the country they lived in, the country in which they studied during their youth.”

You can view the full conversation in the video below. (For English subtitles click on CC option at the bottom of the video).

Written by Sofia Stavropoulou
CYA Social Media Coordinator