Welcoming message by the President of State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ), Emeritus Professor Kyriakos Athanassiou
Ι recently had the honour to be appointed, by the State, as President of the Administrative Board at the State Scholarships Foundation, along with a team of distinguished colleagues. We are aware of the fact that we took up this job in a difficult period, at times of economic stringency and fewer opportunities for young people, who constitute our country’s finest resource.
Surely, in such an address, it is impossible not to raise the issue of scholarships and financial aid policy, which illustrates our views, but also society’s current needs. State Scholarships Foundation was created as an institution in the 50's, at a time when Greece had just come out of two wars, a world war and a civil war, which had left behind ruins and poverty. For this reason, at its Establishment Law, there is a clear orientation towards the distribution of all financial aid strictly to "persons not possessing sufficient financial means". We believe that the current conditions require setting a new policy that puts priority on those members of our society who are demonstrating diligence and hard work, while also in considerable financial distress.
A second area, which we believe our policy of scholarships and financial aids should focus on, should be the continuous adaptation to changes in the research and apprenticeship fields, areas that, in the past, were not a priority. Such sectors are for example the Human Sciences and the Agro-industry sciences, in which our country is at a privileged position and can respectively ensure a cultural and a differential advantage. For this reason, we took advantage of the opportunity presented to us by the grants for doctoral and post-doctoral candidates, already launched by IKY and financed by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF). So we managed, in cooperation with the leadership of the Ministry of Education and that of the NSRF, to double, wherever possible, the number of scholarships in these areas.
We aspire to do everything in our power to involve as many members and groups of our society as possible in claiming grants, participating in the assessment, launching programmes and in the continuous improvement of the transparency in all procedures.
To achieve these objectives, we know that we have both the support of the state and of the exceptional team of IKY.