Academic History

NYC, 1989-2023



New York College was established in Athens in May 1989, through a groundbreaking academic affiliation agreement with the State University of New York, the largest university system in the United States, encompassing 64 campuses with 420,000 students. This agreement carries substantial historical significance because it stands as the first international academic validation agreement between an American public university and a Greek private college. Notably, it predates any other similar agreement in Greece and all Eastern Europe.


Since 1989, the pioneering agreement of academic validation has enabled Greek students to pursue courses for academic credit within Greece, leading to a bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) conferred by the State University of New York (SUNY)—initially SUNY New Paltz, later followed by SUNY Empire.

This historic agreement has significantly shaped the map of post-secondary education in Greece by:

  • Paving the way for further academic collaborations between New York College and other public universities in the U.S. and Europe.
  • Setting a precedent that evolved into similar but extended forms of agreements, such as international academic franchise agreements, between Greek colleges and esteemed American or British universities.
  • Establishing an applied model (international academic validation) as a basis for the official recognition of private colleges by the Greek State. This model culminated after 23 years in Law 4009/2012, which explicitly mandates such international agreements (academic validation or franchise) as a precondition for official recognition.


In 1990,  Elias Foutsis, Hon PhD, the President and Founder of New York College, solidified the collaboration between New York College and the State University of New York by donating an authentic replica of the classical statue of Hermes of Praxiteles to its campus in New Paltz, New York State. Crafted by the National Technical University of Athens (ΕΜΠ) in authentic Pentelic marble for this purpose, the statue has adorned the campus of the State University of New York at New Paltz for decades, serving as a cultural representation of Greece in the United States. It symbolizes the academic philosophy of New York College, blending reverence for tradition with enduring Greek values and a forward-looking perspective.

Shown in the photo above: The marble replica of the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles, situated in the lobby of the Administration Building on the campus of SUNY New Paltz (1991), formerly known as SUNY / The College at New Paltz. From left to right, in the front row: Dr. Robert Mumper, Director of International Education at SUNY New Paltz; Dr. Don Bisco, Dean of the SUNY New Paltz Business School; Mr. Elias FoutsisHon PhD, President and Founder of the NEW YORK COLLEGE Educational Group; Dr. Alice Chandler, then President of SUNY New Paltz; and Dr. William Vasse, Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY New Paltz.


In September 1991, the NYC Athens Campus was inaugurated as the sole multi-building academic campus in the heart of Athens. Situated across from Zappeion and Olympieion (known as 'The Pillars of Olympian Zeus'), the campus comprises primarily four buildings: Syngros Hall, Mumper Hall, Kapodistrias Hall, and Paparrigopoulou Hall.


Positioned on the edge of Plaka, Athens’ historic district, and overlooking the National Garden, Zappeion, and Olympieion, the campus occupies a distinguished location, nestled in the shadow of the Acropolis and the Parthenon, where classical knowledge has thrived for centuries. The illustrious history of the four-building complex spans three centuries, from the 19th century to the present day (21st century), reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the surrounding area. Furthermore, the functional collaboration between NYC and the neighboring historic National Gymnastics Club (ΕΓΣ)—founded in 1893—establishes an educational-sporting 'dipole,' cementing its reputation as a world-class city campus steeped in history.


During the graduation ceremony held on the SUNY New Paltz campus in 1994, BACHELOR degrees were conferred upon the inaugural cohort of 20 graduates from the joint 4-year degree program of New York College and SUNY New Paltz.


With the graduation of the pioneering cohort of the joint four-year degree program of NYC and SUNY New Paltz, the shared objective outlined in the groundbreaking 1989 international agreement of academic validation came to fruition. As articulated in the agreement, the aim was to enable highly motivated but financially non-privileged students to pursue a rigorous academic program, irrespective of financial need—a goal of global significance that was both forward-thinking and practical, as evidenced by its realization in 1994 and its enduring impact thereafter.


After nine years of successful operation, New York College established the University of New York in Prague (UNYP) in the Czech Republic, marking the first institution of higher learning to be recognized as a private university by the Czech Ministry of Education.


A shared strategic objective of both institutions, Greek NYC and American SUNY, has been the academic agreement between them since 1989 to become a model for similar programs in other countries with limited resources invested in education. This ambition has been effectively realized by the New York College Educational Group (NYC Group), not only through the operation of UNYP in the Czech Republic since 1998 but also through the active involvement of the NYC Group in establishing additional private universities in Southeastern Europe (Tirana, Skopje, Belgrade) from 2002 to 2019, all in cooperation with the State University of New York—either SUNY New Paltz or SUNY Empire.


In 2001, the NYC inaugurated its branch in Thessaloniki, serving as the academic outreach of the college in Northern Greece and the Balkans.


New York College in Thessaloniki, Greece, places special emphasis on fostering an outward-looking perspective among its students to align them with the demands of the increasingly globalized world economy.


The Doctoral Studies Department at New York College (NYC) in Greece, along with a similar department at its affiliate UNYP in the Czech Republic, was inaugurated in 2005 in academic cooperation with the University of Bolton in the UK.


The Doctoral Studies Department, established at NYC and UNYP in collaboration with the University of Bolton, represents an academic pinnacle of the successful trajectory of the NYC Group, which expanded the horizons of the Collegiate Sector of Greek Education in 2005: Subsequently, other Greek colleges have implemented similar programs for doctoral degrees awarded by foreign universities.


In 2009, NYC expanded into the broader Athens region by adding a five-storey building to its facilities. The new building, named NYC Pythagoras Hall, is situated in Kallithea, equidistant between the NYC Athens Campus and the harbor of Piraeus.


Located near the Department of Informatics and Telematics of Harokopio University, as well as the central facilities of state corporations (such as Information Society SA and the General Secretariat of Information Systems), NYC Pythagoras Hall serves as the state-of-the-art technological-education hub of NYC, offering students cutting-edge resources for their academic pursuits.


The enactment of Law 4009/2012 marks a significant milestone in the establishment of colleges in Greece as institutions of university studies. This legislation not only reclassified Greek colleges up from “Centres of Postsecondary Studies” to “Colleges” but also recognized the degrees awarded by foreign universities to graduates of Greek colleges as professionally equivalent to those conferred by Greek (state) universities.


For New York College (NYC) and the State University of New York (SUNY), Law 4009/2012 represents a significant vindication. The law mandates a fundamental condition for the licensing and operation of any college in Greece: the existence of an international academic validation or franchise agreement between the college and at least one foreign university. NYC and SUNY exemplified such an agreement through their 1989 model agreement, historically the first comprehensive international academic validation agreement in Greece and Eastern Europe.

2014 - 2018

The world ranking of New York College (NYC) in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities for eight successive semesters, from the fall semester of 2014 until the spring semester of 2018, underscores the prominence of NYC in the College Sector of Greece in the long run. With eight intrasectoral—i.e., within the College Sector of Greece—first-place rankings from 2014 to 2018, New York College has consistently outperformed all other Greek corporate colleges in terms of world rank: Those eight first-place rankings of NYC continue to stand today as an unbroken record of excellence in the College Sector of Greece.

In 2018, the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) highlighted NYC’s achievement by publishing comparative lists with the world ranks of Greek institutions of higher learning. Excerpts from the QAU’s publication regarding the world rank of NYC were also republished at the time (2018) in Kathimerini, the premier Greek daily newspaper (issue seq. no. 29,810).


According to the QAU study (2018), Webometrics Ranking of World Universities—compiled by the Cybermetrics Lab of the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Spain's leading public research organization—is considered one of the most reliable ranking tables globally: According to Professor Thanos Dimopoulos, the NAUA Rector at the time (2018), it is based on data directly verifiable on the internet, avoiding indicators that rely heavily on interviews, questionnaires and opinion surveys, which may be biased or subjective.” Therefore the authoritative nature of Webometrics has solidified NYC's position as a pioneer in international education.



New York College is the only college of university studies in Greece that organized multiple anniversary events and commemorative actions for the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution. Among these actions was the synergy of the NYC Film Studies Department with world-renowned Greek composer Vangelis Papathanasiou (VANGELIS), Oscar winner and world pioneer in electronic music, to produce an anniversary video entitled The Bicentennial Great Walk of Athens.


This bicentenary video, The Bicentennial Great Walk of Athens, has historical significance for NYC and the whole world because it is in effect the Swan Song” of VANGELIS: It is the last production with his music (2021), just one year before his passing away peacefully (May 19, 2022) as a model citizen of the world and a Great Hellene, who honored Greece and elevated the human spirit many times in his globally significant life.


A comprehensive 10-year review, spanning from July 2013 to July 2023, solidifies the position New York College (NYC) as the top corporate college in Greece according to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities: With eight first places, three second places, and three third places during this period (2013-2023), New York College has achieved more distinctions at all levels compared to other Greek corporate colleges. This remarkable feat underscores a decade of excellence for the international New York College Educational Group (NYC Group), reinforcing its status as a distinguidhed player in the private college sector of tertiary education.


Published in ALFAVITA and other educational-news blogs (FOITITITIKA NEAEKPAIDEYO.GR, etc.) in Fall 2023, this review highlights that only the NYC Group—and no other private educational institution in Greece—has consistently maintained a presence in the honorary “WORLD” list of Webometrics, alongside the top worldwide 12,000 Higher Education Institutions or HEIs (top 37.5% HEIs in the world). Whether through NYC, UNYP, or both, the institution's uninterrupted inclusion in this prominent list during the twelve-year period 2013-2024 signifies a golden era for the NYC Group in general and NYC in particular.


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