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The “Iason” Programme was founded in 1994 at the initiative of the Rector’s Office and upon the approval of the Senate of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Its objective is to support the study of the Greek language and culture in sixteen (16) universities in countries around the Black Sea. The Faculty of Philosophy coordinates the programme.

The 16 universities which participate in the programme are the following ones:
(a) in Russia: “M. Lomonosov” Moscow State University, Saint Petersburg State University, Kuban State University of Krasnodar, Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
(b) in Ukraine: “Taras Shevchenko” National University of Kyiv, Odessa “I. I. Mechnikov” National University, “Ivan Franco” National University of Lviv, “V. I. Vernadsky” Taurida National University, Mariupol State University of Humanities.
(c) in Georgia: “I. Javakhishvili” Tbilisi State University, Akhaltsikhe State University, Vatum State University.
Including the following ones: Yerevan State University (Armenia), Moldova State University (Chisinau), University of Iasi and University of Bucharest (Romania).
 
Each of the departments – whether large or small – of Greek studies in the above universities has to be administered by a body composed of at least three teaching members, and provide students with a library and basic facilities. Its teaching and research activities have to be part of a complete programme of studies leading to a state degree, recognized by the official authorities of the relevant states. It is on these conditions that the Rector of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has signed a programme agreement with the above universities and offered support through the “Iason” programme.
 
Such support includes: (a) on-the-spot visits to universities to find out their exact needs, (b) providing research equipment and facilitating teachers and students at the above foreign universities and departments to carry out their tasks, as well as offering scholarships to enhance Greek language learning and support further studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Moreover, the Aristotle University has bought and sent to the above universities: (a) 1,000 books of Modern Greek Literature and 250 books of Greek history, (b) technical equipment. Seminars and conferences are also organized. More than 10,000 books have been sent to 14 of the above universities so far, and 400 students, 35 teachers and 35 postgraduate students have been awarded scholarships and have attended courses in Modern Greek language and culture. Some of these universities have been provided with technical equipment, and conferences and seminars have been held thanks to the support offered by the Aristotle University.
 
The programme is supported by: the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education of the participating countries, the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (Ι.Κ.Υ.), the National Youth Foundation (NYF), the Municipality of Neapoli, the Municipality of Kalamaria, the Student Halls of Residence in Thessaloniki, as well as by other agencies, and sometimes by private parties.
 
The “Iason” programme is mainly funded by the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, supervised by the Rector of the university, professor Ioannis Mylopoulos, supported by Ioannis N. Kazazis, professor at the School of Philology, and coordinated by Artemis Xantopoulou-Kyriakou, professor at the School of History and Archaeology. Dimitris Fotiadis, employee at the Department of International Relations of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is responsible for the secretarial and administrative support of the programme.