Athens education showcase packs them in

first_imgEDUCATION & CAREER 2013 – the largest exhibition of international education opportunities in Greece – was held in Athens on 9 and 10 March, and 150 exhibitors from ten countries attended the showcase over the two days. One of the 12,000 visitors to the fair, now in its 15th consecutive year, was Roula Tsiolas, Managing Director of the Australian Industrial Systems Institute (AISI). Ms Tsiolas told Neos Kosmos: “The fair enabled us to reach out to the largest foreign student market in Europe. “A very high percentage of Greek students opt to study at foreign universities and Greece has more students studying abroad than any other nation, proportionate to its population.” AISI was the only Australian education provider present at the expo. With up to 50,000 Greek students studying abroad at undergraduate and graduate level, Greece is a top European market for student recruitment. “It’s important for Australia-Greece bilateral relations to be a part of such a prestigious exhibition – it provides the opportunity to showcase Australia’s high quality education services,” said Ms Tsiolas, who said that she would like to see more Australian providers attend the Greek education expo in future. “The international studies trend shows no sign of a slowdown,” said Ms Tsiolas. “Even under the current tough economic situation, education remains a number one priority for every Greek family.” Ms Tsiolas said that the AISI’s experience of the fair showed prospective students had a great interest in Australia – for its reputation of high quality education provision, and because of the support network that exists within the Greek Australian community. The prospect of being able to work whilst studying was also a major factor in Australia’s attractiveness. “Students were interested in their prospects and value of the qualifications once completed, as their experience in Greece has been disappointing, with many being unemployed despite the completion of high level tertiary degrees.” During their visit Ms Tsiolas and her colleagues’ visit met with professionals from medicine, accounting, chemists, engineers, nurses, teachers and highly-skilled tradespeople. “All expressed an interest in professional development – not only in their current fields of expertise, but also a willingness to pursue new career paths with opportunities for professional growth and competitive employment skills,” said the AISI’s CEO. “They expressed a need to fill the current void that they are currently living on many levels. They came to the exhibition seeking training that will be ‘valuable for life’, as they said, training that will provide them with global opportunities.” AISI first began marketing their education services in Greece two years ago. “Since then we have seen the market grow at a very fast rate. From the Institute’s own statistics, the market shift from the sub-continent and Asian nations to European international student enrolments has been astounding, with students from Europe now making up more than 65% of the Institute’s student body.” Pana Tsiolas, AISI’s business development officer who also attended the exhibition, said that it had given exhibitors the opportunity to network, to recruit students and look for collaborations and alliances. “This is what will continue to facilitate Australia’s profile in Europe and what will promote Australian-Greek/European relations. “Our decades of knowing and understanding each other’s cultures should not be taken lightly. “It was great to see and meet with participants from Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus – and in particular the European University of Cyprus with whom AISI has an articulation arrangement. “We just wished that there were more participants from Australia.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img