Founding and expansionThe University of Athens was founded on 3 May 1837, by King Otto of Greece (in Greek, ''Othon'') and was named in his honour Othonian University (Οθώνειον Πανεπιστήμιον). It was the first university in the liberated Greek state and in the surrounding area of as well. It was also the second academic institution after the Ionian Academy. This fledgling university consisted of four faculties; Theology, Law, Medicine and Arts (which included applied sciences and mathematics). During its first year of operation, the institution was staffed by 33 professors, while courses were attended by 52 students and 75 non-matriculated "auditors". It was first housed in the of architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert, on the north slope of the Acropolis, in Plaka, which now houses the Museum of the University. In November 1841 the university relocated on the Central Building of the University of Athens, a building designed by Danish architect Christian Hansen (architect), Christian Hansen. He followed a Neoclassical architecture, neoclassical approach, "combining the monument's magnificence with a human scale simplicity" and gave the building its H-shape. The building was decorated by painter Carl Rahl, forming the famous "architectural trilogy of Athens", together with the building of the National Library of Greece (left of the university) and the building of the Academy of Athens (modern), Athens Academy (right of the university). Construction began in 1839 in a location to the north of the Acropolis. Its front wing, also known as the Propylaea, was completed in 1842–1843. The rest of the wings' construction, that was supervised at first by Greek architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou and later by his colleague Anastasios Theofilas, was completed in 1864. The building is nowadays part of what is called the "Athenian Neoclassical Trilogy". The Othonian University was renamed to National University (Εθνικόν Πανεπιστήμιον) in 1862, following events that forced Otto of Greece, King Otto to leave the country. A major change in the structure of the University came about in 1904, when the faculty of Arts was divided into two separate faculties: that of Arts (Σχολή Τεχνών) and that of Sciences (Σχολή Επιστημών), the latter consisting of the departments of Physics and Mathematics and the School of Pharmacy. In 1919, a department of chemistry was added, and in 1922 the School of Pharmacy was renamed a Department. A further change came about when the School of Dentistry was added to the faculty of medicine. Between 1895 and 1911, an average of 1,000 new students matriculated each year, a number which increased to 2,000 at the end of World War I. This resulted in the decision to introduce entrance examinations for all the faculties, beginning for the academic year 1927–28. Since 1954 the number of students admitted each year has been fixed by the Ministry of Education and Religion, by proposal of the faculties.
Modern historyThe University Club building was founded in 1930. Today the building houses the Health Services Office, the Meals Department, the University Club reading rooms, and the Students Cultural Association (POFPA). From 1911 until 1932 the university was separated into the Kapodistrian University (the humanities departments; named after Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the independent modern Greek state) and the National University (the science departments). In 1932, the two separate legal entities were merged into the "National and Kapodistrian University of Athens." During the 1960s construction work began on the University Campus in the suburb of Ilisia, Athens, Ilissia, which houses the Schools of Philosophy, Theology and Sciences. In 2013, the University Senate made the decision to suspend all operations in the wake of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (Greece), Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs cutting 1,655 administrative jobs from universities around the country. In a statement, the University Senate said that "any educational, research and administrative operation of the University of Athens is objectively impossible".
Faculties and departmentsThe University of Athens is divided into schools, faculties and departments as follows. The naming is nοt consistent in English for historical reasons, but in Greek the largest divisions are generally named "σχολές" (schools) and are divided in "τμήματα" (departments), furthermore subdivided in "τομείς" (faculties). The University of Athens also offers English-taught 4-year undergraduate programme (with tuition) in Archaeology, History, and Literature of Ancient Greece.
Academic evaluationIn 2015 the external evaluation of the institution cited University of Athens as ''Worthy of merit''. An external evaluation of all academic departments in List of universities in Greece, Greek universities was conducted by the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (HQA) in 2010–14.
RankingsThe University of Athens is considered one of the leading universities of Greece, a leading European regional university and is present in the top universities annual lists. The most recent is the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities of 2019 that listed it in the 219th place out of 12.000 universities worldwide (1st in Greece, 70th in Europe) with very high perspectives regarding the university's openness. It is ranked 401st–500th in ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings, The Times Higher Education'' (''THE'') annual list. Furthermore, according to the ''QS World University Rankings'' annual list it is listed 651st–700th with very high research output. The Shanghai Ranking (''Academic Ranking of World Universities'') ranked in 2018 the University 301st–400th globally. In 2018 it was listed by the CWTS Leiden Ranking in the 232nd place globally with great publication output in the Biomedical and Health Sciences field. In 2019 the University was situated in the 73rd place worldwide in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities by citations in Top Google Scholar Profiles. The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Ranking (USNWR) lists it 279th in the world and 1st in Greece. In the field of Pharmacy and Pharmacology it is listed 101st–150th in the world by QS and 94th by USNWR. The last situates the University 114th in Immunology and 166th in Clinical Medicine.
CampusesThe main campus is at Ano Ilisia, Zografou. There the faculties of Science, Theology and Philosophy are situated. The faculty of Life Sciences is located at Goudi and the faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science is located at Dafni, Attica, Dafni. The faculties of Media, Education, Economics, Law and Public Administration are housed in various buildings near the centre of Athens, along with various administration facilities. University administration was housed initially in a historical neoclassical building near the center of Athens on Panepistimiou Street, but was relocated at the main university campus later. ::
ResearchResearch in the University of Athens includes almost all research interests. Such research in the university is associated with that conducted by the hospitals and research institutes of the metropolitan area, including the National Centre of Scientific Research "Demokritos", National Research Center for Physical Sciences "Demokritos", the National Hellenic Research Foundation, National Hellenic Research Foundation (EIE), the National Observatory of Athens, the Pasteur Institute, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Center, Biomedical Sciences Research Center (BSRC) "Alexander Fleming", the Athens High Performance Computing Laboratory, the National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR) and the Academy of Athens (modern), Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA). Research conducted in the institutes of the metropolitan area of accounted for more than 50% of the Institute for Scientific Information, ISI-indexed scientific publications coming from Greece. The Department of Informatics and Telecommunications has been ranked continuously among the 100 most important research institutes in the field of Computer Science, according to the ''Academic Ranking of World Universities'' (''ARWU'').
Notable alumniThroughout its history, a sizeable number of University of Athens alumni have become notable in many varied fields, both academic and otherwise. Moreover, List of Nobel laureates by university affiliation, two Nobel Prize-winners have studied or taught at Athens, with both their prizes being in Nobel Prize in Literature, Literature.
PoliticsFifteen Prime Minister of Greece, Greek prime ministers and three President of Greece, Greek presidents (Konstantinos Karamanlis served as both) have studied at the University of Athens, including Charilaos Trikoupis, Eleftherios Venizelos, Georgios Papandreou, Andreas Papandreou, Konstantinos Karamanlis, Karolos Papoulias, and most recently interim prime minister Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou. Also, Constantine II of Greece, Constantine II, the last monarch of Greece, and Nicos Anastasiades, the current president of Cyprus, attended the university. The University of Athens has also been home to a large number of other politicians, who were primarily Greek or Cypriot, such as Dora Bakoyannis, Kyriakos Mavronikolas, Georgios Alogoskoufis and Fofi Gennimata.
Science* Gerasimos Danilatos, physicist, inventor of the ESEM * Sophia Frangou, psychiatrist * John P. A. Ioannidis (DSc, 1996 and MD 1990), professor and medical researcher * Fotis Kafatos, biologist * Michael N. Katehakis, applied mathematics and operations research * Nikos Logothetis, neuroscientist * Dimitri Nanopoulos, physicist *Georgios Papanikolaou, doctor, inventor of the Pap test * Costas Soukoulis, physicist * Dimitrios Trichopoulos, cancer epidemiologist * Panayotis Varotsos, physicist * Leonidas Zervas, organic chemist
Literature and philosophy* Seferis, Giorgios Seferis, Nobel laureate (1963), poet * Odysseas Elytis, Nobel laureate (1979), poet *Nikos Kazantzakis, writer and philosopher, nine times Nobel nominee *Helene Ahrweiler, Byzantinologist *Cornelius Castoriadis, philosopher * Dimitra Fimi, academic and writer * Emmanuel Kriaras, lexicographer and philologist * Vassilis Rotas, author, translator and politician
Archaeology* Stylianos Alexiou, archaeologist and philologist *Yannis Sakellarakis, archaeologist
Religion* Saint Nectarios of Aegina * Ieronymos I of Athens, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece * Anastasios of Albania, Archbishop of Albania * Demetrios Trakatellis, Archbishop of America
Other* Apostolos Santas, Greek veteran of the Resistance against the Axis Occupation of Greece during World War II * George Lucas Adamopoulos, founder of the only school in the Philippines founded by Greeks, Adamson University in Manila * Panagiotis Pikrammenos, judge and caretaker prime minister * Semni Karouzou, archaeologist and curator
See also* Athens University Museum * Education in Greece * List of modern universities in Europe (1801–1945) * List of research institutes in Greece * List of universities in Greece * List of University of Athens alumni * Open access in Greece