If you’re wandering through the grounds of one of the elite universities in the United States, don’t be surprised if you overhear conversations in Greek.
A new study published in the Journal of Informetrics has revealed Greece ranks second in the number of academics exported to top American universities.
Conducted by Associate Professor of Economics at the Technical University of Istanbul Tolga Yuret, the study looked at where degrees had been obtained by 14,310 professors across 48 of the US’ top universities and found 149 Greek academics: a ratio of 13.6 per million of the Greek population.
“I firmly believe that tertiary education in Greece is extremely high calibre,” medical professor and rector at Athens University, Thanos Dimopoulos told Kathimerini, “and aims not just at amply educating students at every level, but is also clearly geared toward the production of science via basic and applied research in a broad spectrum of fields.”
Professor of medicine at Stanford University, John Ioannidis noted a shortfall in the study, which showed more than one percent of regular professors are Greeks who got their degrees in Greece, but said that it would have been above two per cent if it included Greeks born in Greece who were educated abroad, as well as second-generation Greeks.
“The study also does not include the areas of medicine and biology, where the Greek presence is even stronger,” he said, with Greeks excelling in cutting-edge technologies for sustainable development.
The professors included in the study mainly graduated in Greece between 1970 and 2000, but Professor Ioannidis said he is afraid we may not see the same performance among graduates from the past decade or so.
“For example, Greece has produced very few studies that have had a wide impact in the past few years,” he said.
“Not a single paper from Greece made it into the top 750 cited papers, according to data from the Scopus database for 2015 through September 2017.”
Topping the list in first place was Israel with 24.22 professors per million of its population, while Canada was third with 10.75 per million (382 academics).
Greece topped the European cohort, which included the UK, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Spain, and Portugal amongst others.