Concepts like the Great Idea (Megali Idea), education, the Modern Greek State, scientific research or the student movement, are largely associated with the University of Athens and its people.
The University was founded merely seven years after the establishment of the Modern Greek State and marked a turning point both for the Kingdom of Greece and for the broader region of the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. In the years that followed –and in addition to its primary mission of promoting sciences– the University was significantly involved in the achievement of the fundamental demands of the modern era, such as universal access to education, the recognition of civil rights and the political organization of Greek citizens.
It could be argued that the history of the University of Athens interplays with and has a decisive impact on the history of Greece and the Greek Society, in which it was founded and grew.The nature of this multifaceted project experienced significant changes in the decades that followed and came to be associated with all fundamental, intellectual, political and social landmarks of Modern Greek history.
Persecutions on account of political opinion, the Greek language question, the women's movement, wars and civil conflicts, the Cyprus dispute, dictatorship and resistance, are only a few of the significant moments one may find when looking back at the history of the University and the choices of its people, from its first years of existence to date.
Its history determined our past and guides our present.