National Technical University of Athens

National Technical University of Athens
National Technical University of Athens
Εθνικό Μετσόβιο Πολυτεχνείο
Seal of NTUA
(Prometheus Carrying Fire)
Established December 31, 1836 (OS)
January 21, 1837 (NS)[1]
Type Public
Chancellor Simos Simopoulos
Vice-Chancellor John Avaritsiotis
Tonia Moropoulou [2]
Admin. staff 1350[3]
Undergraduates 8500[3]
Postgraduates 1500[4]
Location Athens, Greece
Campus Patision Complex
(central Athens),
Zografou campus
Colors White and Gold          
Athletics 40 sports
Mascot Prometheus
Affiliations TIME, CESAER

The National Technical University of Athens (Greek: Εθνικό Μετσόβιο Πολυτεχνείο, National Metsovian Polytechnic), sometimes simply known as Athens Polytechnic, is among the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions of Greece. It is named Metsovion in honor of its benefactors Nikolaos Stournaris, Eleni Tositsa, Michail Tositsas and Georgios Averoff, whose origin is from the town of Metsovo in Epirus.[6]

It was founded in 1837 as a part-time vocational school named Royal School of Arts which, as its role in the technical development of the fledgling state grew, developed into Greece's sole institution providing engineering degrees up until the 1950s, when polytechnics were established outside of Athens. Its traditional campus is located in the center of the city of Athens on Patision Avenue features a suite of magnificent neo-classical buildings by architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou (1811–1885). A suburban campus, the Zografou Campus, was built in the 1980s.[6]

NTUA is divided into nine academic Schools, eight being for the engineering disciplines, including architecture, and one for applied sciences (mathematics and physics). Undergraduate studies have a duration of 5 years. The university comprises about 700 of academic staff, 140 scientific assistants and 260 administrative and technical staff. It has, also, a total number of 8,500 undergraduates and about 1,500 postgraduate students.[3] Eight of the NTUA's Schools are housed at the Zografou Campus, while the School of Architecture is based at the Patision Complex.



NTUA was established by Royal Decree on December 31, 1836 (OS), January 21, 1837 (NS), under the name Royal School of Arts.[1] It began functioning as a part-time vocational school (only Sundays and holidays) to train craftsmen, builders and master craftsmen to cover the needs of the new Greek state. In 1840, due to its increasing popularity and the changing socio-economic conditions in the new state, NTUA was upgraded to a daily Technical School who worked along with the Sunday school. The courses were expanded and the institution was housed in its own building in Pireos Street.[1]

The restructuring

In 1843 a major restructuring was made. Three departments were created:

  • The Part-time vocational school
  • The Daily school
  • A new department called Higher School of Fine Arts

The new department's object was fine arts and engineering. The new department, which was later renamed to School of Industrial and Fine Arts, rapidly evolved towards a major higher education institution. Tradition has it that "arts" was a term used to describe both technical professions and fine arts. Even today, the school maintains a school of Architecture which is closely related to the School of Fine Arts which later evolved to become a separate school.

The name Polytechnnic came in 1862, with the introduction of several new technical courses. This restructuring continued steadily until 1873. At the time, the school became overwhelmed by the plethora of students wanting to learn high technical skills, and this led to its moving to a new campus.

The relocation

The historical Patision Street campus in a postcard of 1900.

In 1873 it moved to its new campus in Patision Street and was renamed, unofficially, as "Ethnicon Metsovion Polytechnion" (National Metsovian Polytechnic) after the birthplace of its benefactors that financed the construction of this historical campus. At the time, the campus in Patision Street was even partially incomplete, but the high demand by students made it urgent to rellocate.

In 1887, the institution was partitioned into three schools of technical orientation, the schools of Structural Engineering, Architecture and Mechanical Engineering, all four year degrees at the time. This is when the institute was recognized as a technical education facility by the state, which was a crucial step for its development, as it became accompanied to the country's needs as it developed.

In 1914, new schools were created and the officially now named Ethnicon Metsovion Polytechnion went under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Works. This is when new technical schools started being formed, a procedure completed three years later, in 1917 when the NTUA changed form: By special law, the old School of Industrial Arts was now separated into the Higher Schools of Civil Engineering, Mechanical & Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Surveying Engineering and Architecture. Later, the schools of Naval Engineering, and Mining Engineering and Metallurgy were formed, and the school of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering was split up into two separate schools, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, which is almost the form of schools maintained until this day.

In 1923, the NTUA alumni formed the core of the Technical Chamber of Greece, the professional organization that serves as the official technical advisor of the Greek state and is responsible for awarding professional licences to all practicing engineers in Greece.[6]

In 1930, the Athens School of Fine Arts is established, acquiring its independence from the NTUA, as a school exclusively focused in the teaching the Fine Arts.[7] This allowed the two schools to develop separately as a technical and an arts school respectively.

In 1941 to 1944, the National Technical University of Athens played an important role in the country's political life with the Greek students participating in the National Resistance under the German occupation. During the Axis occupation of Greece, NTUA, in addition to its function as an academic institution, became one of the most active resistance centers in Athens.

The uprising

The most important event of NTUA's history is the Athens Polytechnic uprising on November 17, 1973, which was the first step to overthrow Greece's military dictatorship. In the 14, 15 and 16 of November 1973, the students were barricaded inside the institute, and started broadcasting a pirate radio transmission, calling the people of Athens to rebel. In the evening of November 17 however, a AMX-30 class military tank broke the main gate and charged inside, after receiving orders from the dictators. About 28 students were killed in the incident and the uprising ended. The junta however, was irreparably damaged by the popular outcry. The junta fell in 1974, after the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and since then, November 17 is celebrated as a day of freedom and democracy. All schools and universities of the country remain closed that day.[6]


View of the Zografou campus.

The main campus is located in the Zografou area of Athens, housing all the schools of NTUA except Architecture, which remains in its traditional location in the Patision Avenue for historical reasons. The main campus spreads over an area of about 190 acres.[8]

The School of Applied Mathematics and Physical Sciences is housed on the south-west of the campus. The Civil Engineering school and the Rural and Surveying Engineering school are both housed on the north-west near the Zografou Gate. Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Naval Engineering, and the new Electrical Engineering school are all housed near the middle of the campus, while the old Electrical Engineering buildings remain on the south-east.


There are in-campus roads making all buildings accessible by bicycle and car. There are also various internal buses that allow for transportation within the facilities, driving around the perimeter of the campus and through 8 different bus stops. The campus is accessible through three main gates: the Katechaki and Kokkinopoulou Gates on the north, and the Zografou Gate on the west. There are 2,000 dedicated parking spots scattered throughout the campus, most nearby all major buildings. The campus resides near the metro station of Katechaki, which makes it accessible within minutes from any area of Athens. Furthermore, six different buses are available for transportation from various city locations to the campus: 608 from Galatsi, 230 from Acropolis, 242 from the Katechaki Metro station and 140 from Glifada.[9]


In the campus lies the NTUA central library, which operates since 1914, and is the first library in Greece with a complete index. Today, it remains one of the largest technical libraries in the country, featuring a collection of over 215,000 books and 100,000 scientific issues.[10] The library is available to the public at all times for studying, and available to students, faculty, and internal and external researchers for borrowing.[11]

Food and accommodation

Each of the school buildings has a canteen, where casual meals including snacks, sandwiches and various beverages are offered. The central restaurant is located near the center of the campus, and provides three meals a day during weekdays. These meals are free for students with low income, and very cheap for other students, faculty, and visitors.

Accommodation is also offered for free to students with low income. The housing area for students is located at the north of the campus, and includes 14 buildings for accommodation, one separate restaurant, and an administration building.


NTUA boasts high research activity, as research and education are both its primary goals. Research is managed by administrative and education personnel, but can be conducted by graduate and sometimes undergraduate students as well. Research is administrated by five different offices:

  1. The Special accounting for research office (ΕΛΚΕ)
  2. The Liaison Office
  3. The Office of Researchers
  4. The Interdisciplinary Research Center
  5. The Interdisciplinary Unit for Reusable Energy

Research is funded by the NTUA endowment, or often directly through public or private funds.[12]


National Technical university of Athens is ranked 102nd in the world in 2009 and 114th in 2010,by the QS world university rankings, on the subject of Engineering & Technology


A pair of dancers from the NTUA dancing department

Music department

The NTUA music department was established in 1960 by chancellor Alexander Pappas. The first president of the music department was composer Dimitris Makridis. It features a mixed choir, a string orchestra, and free lessons for various instruments, among others piano, guitar, bouzouki, and cello. The music department groups regularly perform publicly within the facilities of the university, but also elsewhere. The department president today is conductor and composer Michalis Economou.[13]

Dancing department

The Dancing department was established in 1990. It is formed by students, and it features various groups, including a Greek traditional and folk dances group, a European and Latin dances group, and a tango group. The groups meet up weekly, and perform regularly inside and outside the facilities of the university. Attendance and dancing lessons are free for students. The dancing department is housed near the center of the main campus.[14]

Theatrical group

The theatrical group was established in 1991. It is a self-managed group, which teaches the art of performance and often performs in public. Participation in the group is free for students. The theatrical group is housed near the center of the main campus.[15] The theatrical group has also organized a separate percussion lessons group.[16]


The main sports facilities of NTUA are housed in the Sports Center located to the south of the campus, taking up about 3500 square meters. The campus sport facilities feature tennis and soccer courts, a field and track, a sauna, ping pong tables, and more.[17] More than 40 sport teams exist, and the sports practiced include aerobic, yoga, pilates, basketball, volleyball, soccer, handball, ping pong, tennis, martial arts inside the campus facilities and swimming, polo, rowing, yachting, rapel, rafting, squash, wind surfing, and equestrianism outside.[18]

Open source

There is an Open Source students group whose purpose is to promote the use of open source software throughout the university and beyond.[19] Furthermore, NTUA officially supports open source software by using it in its laboratories and other facilities, but also hosting mirrors for all major open source projects [20] with a collection of over 2.5 Terabyte of free and open source software.[21]


The National Technical University of Athens is divided into nine academic schools (Greek: σχολές), which are furthermore divided into 33 departments (Greek: τομείς):[3]

View of the School of Mechanical Engineering.


See also


  1. ^ a b c "Ιστορία" (in Greek). Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  2. ^ "Organization – The Rectorial Council". Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d "NTUA Schools". Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  4. ^ "Postgraduate Studies". 
  5. ^ "General Information". Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  6. ^ a b c d "History". Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  7. ^ "Ανώτατη Σχολή Καλών Τεχνών – Ίδρυση και Σκοπός". September 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  8. ^ "NTUA Digital Map". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  9. ^ "Transportation at NTUA". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  10. ^ "History of the NTUA Library". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  11. ^ "NTUA Library FAQ". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  12. ^ "NTUA Research". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  13. ^ "NTUA Music department". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  14. ^ "Dancing department of NTUA". NTUA Dancing department. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  15. ^ "Theatrical Group History". NTUA Theatrical Group. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  16. ^ "Percussion Seminar". NTUA Theatrical Group. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  17. ^ "NTUA Map". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  18. ^ "NTUA Sport Center Opening Ceremony". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  19. ^ "Open Source Software Community of NTUA". Open Source Software Community of NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  20. ^ "FTP mirrors". NTUA NOC. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  21. ^ "FTP.NTUA.GR". NTUA. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  22. ^ "About Aster Data". Retrieved 2011-08-25. 

External links

Coordinates: 37°59′16.31″N 23°43′53.81″E / 37.9878639°N 23.7316139°E / 37.9878639; 23.7316139

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