The University of Crete is a young public educational institution committed to excellence in research and teaching. Established in 1973, the University accepted its first students in 1977-78. It now has 16 Departments in 5 Schools (Philosophy, Education, Social, Economic & Political Sciences, Sciences & Engineering, and Medicine) as well as a number of affiliated research-oriented institutions, including the Skinakas Observatory, the Natural History Museum, and the University General Hospital. Currently, over 16,000 undergraduates and 2500 postgraduate students are registered here. They are educated by an outward looking academic faculty of around 500 members, supported by adjunct lecturers, post-doctoral researchers, laboratory support staff and instructors, as well as around 300 technical and administrative support staff.
Reflecting its research activity and associated initiatives, the University of Crete is the first Greek University to have signed the EU Charter and the Code for the recruitment of researchers, and forms part of the Euraxess European network for the mobility of researchers. The University fully participates in quality assurance mechanisms both for its academic and administrative structures, and it is a strategic choice of the University that there will be an ongoing effort to meet quality in all its structures.
The University of Crete strives for excellence in teaching, research and community partnerships and aims to
- provide a secure and open teaching and learning environment for our students,
- take a leading role in research and the resulting innovations,
- promote the cultural, social and economic development of the region and
- develop and strengthen collaborations with other academic institutions within Greece, Europe and worldwide.
Research and research training activities at the University are organized along the lines of the Divisions within each Department. Research activity follows the classic academic model insofar as it is driven by the initiatives of scholars and scientists in developing their own curiosity-driven or practice-based projects or working in collaboration with other research groups. These collaborations mirror the increasingly multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary character of both basic and applied research which is blurring the boundaries within and between the Scientific, Technological and Medical disciplines and the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. This feature is also reflected in research training, with many of the postgraduate studies programmes offered by the University being multi-or interdisciplinary in character.
Research and research training in Crete currently benefits from an academic and technological environment of international standards which has been built up over the last 30 years through a cluster of research orientated institutions including the University, the Institutes of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), which has its headquarters in Heraklion, the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology & Aquaculture (IMBBC), and the University General Hospital (PagNi), as well as other HEIs in the region – the Technical University (TUC) the Technological Educational Institute (TEI),and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh).
In particular, close collaborations between the University and the Institutes of FORTH create access to excellent complementary facilities for research and research training in highly competitive fields such as molecular biology, the neurosciences, photonics, informatics, and environmental chemistry, as well as in the Humanities. These Research Institutes not only complement the educational mission of the University, but have also promoted strong regional, national and international collaborations in research activity.
The Department of Preschool Education (DoPE), has a two-fold aim: a) to provide quality teaching and initial training and preparation for its students and b) to promote educational research and pedagogic applications. The following features of DoPE are in accordance with the Annual Report of the Department’s Research Activities and the Final Report of the Internal Evaluation Programme of the year 2009, published on the Department webpage edc.uoc.gr/ptpe. The DoPE is second in the list for External Evaluation and Rating (by the EU officers). Its research programmes financed either by the University Research Committee, the Ministry of Education or the EU. The DoPE holds and runs successfully 4 Research Laboratories: a/ Pedagogical-Educational Research and Applications, b/ Research in Psychology, c/ Research on Drama and Artistic/Aesthetics Education, d/ Music and Psycho-kinetics Education. The DoPE cooperates on Research with several universities in the following countries: UK, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Malta, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Finland, Canada, the USA and Cyprus.