Greek education visionary awarded honorary degree from QMU
This week, one of Greece’s most inspirational leaders and educational visionaries was granted an honorary degree from a Scottish university.
Dimitris Diamantis, Principal of Metropolitan College, which is one of the largest providers of private higher education in Europe with eight campuses spread across mainland Greece and the Greek islands, was awarded with an honorary degree from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. The honour was bestowed upon Dimitris in recognition of his outstanding leadership qualities and his services to the development of higher education in Greece.
Professor Richard Butt, Deputy Principal of Queen Margaret University, flew to Greece to present Dimitris with the award of honorary doctorate in Business Administration. The presentation took place at Metropolitan College’s graduation ceremony in the impressive surroundings of Athens Concert Hall.
Queen Margaret University became involved in Greek higher education in 2000 with the first course running in 2001 which allowed Greek students to graduate with a prestigious British degree from QMU. Leaders at Queen Margaret University became particularly aware of Dimitris’ incredible determination and visionary qualities during a period of financial crisis which saw Greece’s national debt reach almost unmanageable levels and youth unemployment exceed 50% at times. Throughout these immensely difficult years, Dimitris held his nerve and maintained his vision for Metropolitan College – pulling off a major expansion of courses and student numbers.
Before becoming Principal last year, Dimitris had used his business management expertise to lead the development of an ambitious strategic plan involving restructuring the college, new partnerships and expansion of the academic activity into new fields of study. Over the years, he has shown a great understanding of further and higher education in Greece and has an extraordinary grasp of education in the British context. This has allowed him to forge partnerships with a range of UK universities including the University of East London, Oxford Brookes University, Solent University, and Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, as well as the Universities of Arizona and North Alabama and the École Hôtelière de Lausanne.
Through his leadership, Dimitris has been able to transform Metropolitan College from a modest college into a large successful organisation, with multiple bases across the country and some 8,800 students across the globe. It is now recognised as the leading provider of private higher education in Greece and has an international reputation for excellence.
According to research by the British Council, Greece is the top host country for UK transnational educational learning in the EU. Thanks to the work of Metropolitan College, and by virtue of Queen Margaret University’s partnership with the College, the University is in the top three UK universities with the highest numbers of transnational educational students in Greece.
Professor Richard Butt, Deputy Principal of Queen Margaret University, said: “Dimitris played a key role in bringing Queen Margaret University to Greece through, initially, a Logopaedics degree, followed in 2003 by a degree in Mass Media and Communication. Since then, he has led the longest continuous educational partnership in Greece which today comprises 13 Queen Margaret University undergraduate and graduate courses with around 3000 students.
“Dimitris has been pivotal to the strength of the partnership between Metropolitan College and Queen Margaret University. He embraced the standards of quality assurance and enhancement to ensure that fair and rigorous processes were implemented across all the campuses. His commitment to the students is inspirational. He leads by example and the academic and professional services staff across all campuses demonstrate strong values of social justice, a strong work ethic and complete commitment to enhancement of the student experience.”
Professor Butt concluded: “We are delighted to present Dimitris Diamantis with the award of Degree of Doctor of Business Administration, Honoris Causa. This award recognises his outstanding commitment in providing the highest quality learning experience for the young people of Greece and the exceptional opportunities this brings to broaden their horizons. Dimitris passion for lifelong learning, partnership and social justice chime with Queen Margaret University’s values, and enable us to work together successfully to break down borders and make a difference in the world.”
Notes to Editor
Queen Margaret University first became involved in Greek higher education in the year 2000, when Queen Margaret University College (as it was then) began discussions with the European Educational Organisation (EEO) in Athens. At that time, EEO was part of the AKMI group, with which it merged in 2003 under the umbrella name Athens Metropolitan College, now Metropolitan College. The first QMU programme to be delivered in Greece was BSc (Hons) Logopaedics (ie Speech and Language Therapy), which began in 2001.
For further information about Metropolitan College visit: https://www.mitropolitiko.edu.gr/en/