The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, officially founded in 1837, is now the largest state institution of higher learning in Greece, and among the largest universities in Europe.
The university was founded by King Otto of Greece and was the first to exist in the liberated Greek state and surrounding area of the Southeast Europe as well. What began as a university of four faculties, has now doubled to eight to include: theology, philosophy, law, economics and the sciences.
There are three campuses, with the main one in Ano Ilisia, Zografou, while other smaller faculties are located in Goudi and Dafni.
The University Club, founded in 1923, operates as an annex of the university and a public Corporate Body, aimed at improving the living conditions of students. Located in the centre of Athens, The University Club aspires to achieve its aim through the provision of free health care, meals, physical education equipment, the operation of health services, restaurants, a canteen, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a reading room, a library, and computer labs.
While at university, the Club helps students in a non-academic manner organising lectures, concerts, choirs, exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, seminars, excursions in Greece and abroad and developing international student relations and exchanges In addition, it facilitates students after graduation by helping them search for work.
In 1993 the university alongside Japan’s Nippon Foundation established the creation of a Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) programme in Athens, in order for the university to support students pursuing postgraduate and/or PhD studies in fields within the humanities and social science disciplines.
Notable alumni include Dimitri Nanopoulos, a Greek physicist who is one of the most regularly cited researchers in the world, Helene Ahrweiler, a Greek university professor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Greece, and Xenophon Zolotas, a Greek economist and former interim prime minister of Greece.