6 students of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens pursuing postgraduate studies in social sciences and humanities have been selected to receive the "Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF)" fellowship for the academic year 2019-20.

The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) is a fellowship program aiming to identify fellows who have high potential for leadership in international affairs, in public life or private endeavor. The SYLFF Program is a collaborative initiative of the Nippon Foundation, the endowment donor, and the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research (TF), the program administrator. The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is the only Higher Education Institution in Greece selected for participation to the program by the Foundation since 1993.

Until today, 305 students of the NKUA pursuing postgraduate or doctoral studies in social sciences and humanities programs with an international dimension have been awarded with the SYLFF fellowship.

For the Academic Year 2019-20 the following six (6) fellows were nominated to receive a fellowship of $8,300 each. The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, as the program administrator, is responsible for the management of SYLFF fellowship program and payments are made directly by the Japanese Foundation to the nominees.

  • Athanasiadis George, postgraduate student of the Department of History and Archeology
  • Dikaios George, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration
  • Grammatikopoulos Alexander, postgraduate student of Department of Theology
  • Katopodi Helen, postgraduate student of the Law School
  • Kerentzi Persefoni , PhD candidate in the Department of Early Childhood Education
  • Panagiotakis Achilleas, postgraduate student of the Department of Philology

On February 12, 2020 the above six (6) nominees were greeted by the Rector, Professor M.A. Dimopoulos; the Ambassador of Japan to Greece, Yashiro Shimizu; the Chairman of the NKUA Program Steering Committee, Vice-Rector for Academic and Student Affairs, D. Karadimas and the Professors, members of the Committee:  E. Iliadou (Law), S.Thomadakis (Economics) and I. Panagiotopoulos. (Theology), at the reception for the signature of the fellows' MOUs with the TF

The Rector welcomed the Ambassador and congratulated the fellows for their selection for the fellowship receipt for the academic year 2019-20. He pointed out that being part of the SYLFF family is not only an honor but a responsibility as well, since Sylff fellows should be leaders who will overcome differences, such as nationality, language, ethnicity, religion and political systems, in order to tackle global issues. Their high integrity and drive to address unique issues to their respective countries can make the difference.

The students presented their area of research and also thanked the TF and the NKUA for their supportat

The members of the Committee  congratulated the fellows, and notified Ambassador Shimizu that "the relationship of the University of Athens with SYLFF and the Tokyo Foundation has been a long and fruitful one. Many Greek students have benefited from the Fellowships and went on to distinguish themselves in their fields and in impactful activities. We cherish and want to nurture and enrich this relationship. We urge our newly successful students, in receiving the fellowship, to seek to achieve socially valuable roles in their respective fields". When receiving this scholarship, our students become members of a large community of over 16,000 fellowships from 44 countries and a very strong Japanese foundation that continues to support its alumni fellows through other programs and opportunities offered to them. We encourage our young fellows to get involved in other programs offered by the TF and actively participate in social activities.

A message by Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Sylff Association and the Nippon Foundation was also distributed to the fellows which emphasized “The choice of what we do with our Association membership, though, is ultimately up to you. I hope you’ll choose to maximize your engagement with our community and enrich your Sylff experience. I look forward to working closely with you to make the Sylff Association a truly dynamic movement that facilitates positive change in society".

Finally, the Ambassador of Japan to Greece, Yashiro Shimizu congratulated the nominees for their selection and expressed his willingness for further cooperation in the fields of education and culture, highlighting also possibilities for cooperation between the two countries in related areas. The Ambassador was also informed about the close cooperation of the University of Athens with Japanese Universities for the exchange of faculty, researchers and students like Keio, Waseda and Ritsumeikan Universities.