The Ionian Islands have a rich cultural heritage that coupled the Greek tradition with the air of Italian influence during the period of Venetian rule. The result: – Personalities who have pride of place in the history of literature and arts and excelled in science, philosophy, poetry and writing while spreading Ionian culture, such as Ioannis Kapodistrias, Aristotle Valaoritis, Dionysios Solomos and many others.

The philosophy, music education and culture of the Ionian Islands as well as the long and special tradition of the Heptanese Islands, as they are also known, are also famous. In the southwestern part of the largest square in the Balkans, Spianada Square, the Ionian Academy dominates majestically, arrogantly gazing at an open horizon, as befits any non-secular institution.

It was founded in 1824 with the great generosity of the Philhellene English Count, Frederick North, Earl of Guilford, and at the initiative of the Ionian State.

It was the first Greek University in the history of Modern Greek education and adorned Corfu for 40 years.

Its grandeur, is as if it is frozen at some point in time…(1864), where it ceased to exist permanently, to reemerge today with the founding of the Ionian University and the restoration of the imposing three-story, bringing the lights of education to younger students of modern Greece.

Until 1941, the building housed only the Municipal Library and High School, while in 1943 it was burned by German bombing. About half a century later, it was rebuilt to accommodate the Ionian University. Despite ceasing to function as an Academy, it had fulfilled its purpose and goal. It contributed significantly to prepare researchers who later became worthy executives in education and administrative and judicial services of the newly formed Greek state.

At the Ionian Academy, the academic modern Greek language was heard and shaped (through various fluctuations), the first modern Greek university textbooks were published and graduates began their careers by shaping their academic personality, men who excelled in Greek education.

During the 40 years of operation of the Ionian Academy (1824-1864), many distinguished personalities taught there: Konstantinos Asopios, Christoforos Filitas, Ioannis Karantinos, Nikolaos Pikkolos, our national poet Andreas Kalvos, Neophytos Vamvas, Konstantinos Typaldos, who became the metropolitan of Stavroupolis and later reorganized the Corfu, the philosopher, politician and diplomat Petros Vrailas-Armenis, the professors of Medicine Konstantinos Zavitsianos and Charalambos Typaldos Pretenteris, and many others.

120 years after the cessation of the operation of the Ionian Academy, came the continuation of this first Greek University:

The Ionian University was founded in 1984, together with the Universities of Thessaly and the Aegean.

It consists, after its merger with the TEI of the Ionian Islands, of five faculties and twelve departments and today has been operational for 34 years, journeying in the horizons of knowledge, education and research.

Its headquarters are located in Corfu, with University units in Lefkada, Cephalonia and Zakynthos.

It consists of the following twelve Departments of Studies:

Department of History (Corfu)

Department of Foreign Languages

Translation and Interpretation (Corfu)

Department of Music Studies (Corfu)

Department of Archives, Librarianship and Museology (Corfu)

Department of Informatics (Corfu)

Department of Sound and Visual Arts (Corfu)

Department of Digital Media and Communication (Argostoli)

Department of Ethnomusicology (Lixouri)

Department of Environment (Zakynthos)

Department of Food Science and Technology (Argostoli)

Department of Regional Development (Lefkada)

Department of Tourism (Corfu)

The role of the new Ionian University with its presence in all the Ionian islands, becomes important in regional development, in Western Europe as well as in the wider Adriatic and Mediterranean area and is a higher education institution, fully integrated into its European society. The acquisition of knowledge is a pole of attraction for young students and academics of international prestige and the Ionian University is gradually emerging as an important institution of reflection, cogitation and culture for modern Corfiot society.

The primary purpose of the Ionian University is to promote science and knowledge through teaching. Their study system focuses on the student, not only as a learner, but also as an active participant in the process of producing and channeling knowledge. In addition, the Foundation is on alert for a continuous upgrade in the quality of teaching and effective learning so that it meets modern needs and internationally competitive quality criteria. At the same time, it encourages and financially supports the organization of scientific conferences, workshops and seminars.

The Foundation not only opens new horizons for its own students, but also opens its portals to students from other countries. It is not limited to offering quality studies, but offers new spiritual paths to its students, through its participation in the ERASMUS + program, whose main goal is to promote the European dimension in education and the acquaintance with European cultures.

Within the framework of the program, among other activities, student exchanges are offered. These exchanges provide the opportunity for Greek students to study at European Universities to complete part of their studies, according to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) and the opportunity for European University students to study at the Ionian University to complete part of their studies respectively. The Academic Staff of the University consists of distinguished scientists who excel in both teaching and research and enjoy recognition in the international academic community.

The most capable Administrative Staff of the Ionian University respond worthily to their duties by supporting with all its might, consistently and effectively, the administrative functions of the Foundation. The care and support offered by the administrative services surround the students of the Ionian University from the first moment they enter its gates and continue even after completion of their studies.

Conducting research and educating top scientists is one of the three main goals of the University, which it consistently serves. The highest purpose of every spiritual institution is the mental and spiritual cultivation of the individual and this is exactly the highest purpose of every human being. Spiritual cultivation is as necessary for man as food is for the body. After all, its value has been recognized since antiquity.

A country operates and develops, according to the requirements of each era, through the creation of cultured individuals. Where education is omitted, art, science and culture lag behind.

The word “education” has its roots in the Latin word “educo“, which means: development FROM INSIDE, that is, to withdraw, to develop through USE. Who can forget those words of Delmouzos:

The better the human soul becomes the more it works. But mental cultivation and freedom do not come ready from the outside, but it is a fruit that matures inside us more and more, with unceasing individual effort “.

Ionian University


ΑΡΧΕΙΟ MyKerkyra magazine

My Kerkyra magazine: the Real Corfu (2019). “Ιόνιος Ακαδημία – Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο: η πορεία τους μέσα στο χρόνο“, σελ. 66-69

Text Composing: Maria Mavrona, Administrative Officer of Ionian University
Text Composing: Ada Kiriazi
Photography: Maria Mavrona
Photography: Shutterstock
Translation - Text Editor: Adelia Cook
Share this Post


Get highlights of delivered to your inbox