The University of Western Macedonia (UoWM) runs 22 Departments in 5 cities of West Macedonia. The new University was established in May 2019 under the law of synergy between Universities and TEIs, which enabled the University to redefine its role and status in the Greek academic context by remodelling new organization processes, curricula, functions and attitudes. Although it is a large university with a brief academic history in comparison with other Greek Universities, UoWM, being a new HEI, features vigour, flexibility and determination, all of which contribute to prompt decision- and policy-making processes, as well as implementation of innovative practice in the context of Greek academia.

The new UoWM Governance, in compliance with the international best practices and trends, has introduced a new Internal Regulation and Strategic Plan, and established quality as a fundamental concept to accomplish the University vision and mission. In this respect, special emphasis has been placed on fostering and creating a culture of quality in all fields, from teaching and research to day-to-day activities of the academic community members.

At present, the University is pursuing rapid development schemes and is focused on an ambitious building schedule, which involves a new University Campus in Kozani and improvement of the existing infrastructure (including student welfare facilities and accommodation) in the other cities running University departments. UoWM’s strategic planning objectives have also focused on making the University a Zero Footprint Institution (Green University); in this respect, full digitization of all university functions has already been introduced.

The UoWM Governance consider that student and employee welfare and health (both physical and mental) and to shaping attitudes towards work environment and vulnerable groups, from a holistic rather than narrow perspective.

The University also aspires to make a substantial contribution to development schemes in West Macedonia, in the framework of decarbonisation processes by 2023, in which Greece was the first European country to engage. As a great percentage of the local GDP has so far relied on power generation plants in West Macedonia, the rapid transition to the post-lignite era is associated with serious economic and social challenges. In this context, the University of Western Macedonia is a strategic partner for implementing the new regional development model during the transition period to a low carbon economy, and will become the hub of development of an integrated innovation ecosystem aiming at brain gain in West Macedonia.

In effect, the rapid changes around us are seen as an opportunity, which, as it has officially been stated, will enable UoWM “to play a completely different role from what has been typical of other Greek universities for many decades “.