The University of the Mountains, a non-Profit Company which started as an initiative of the University of Crete, was founded to fill in a power vacuum in the relationship between academia and society, and particularly between academia and the local agents of the mountainous regions of Crete, both on an individual and on a collective level. Joining the forces of academics from diverse scientific fields with those of the residents of the remote rural areas of the island, it attempts to put into practice a network and mechanism of activities, which will see to the mutual exchange of knowledge and expertise.
Projecting the method of mutual learning as the most suitable way to achieve its objectives, the University of the Mountains aims to implement the conditions for the equal and direct dialogue of urban centres with rural areas, in order a) to secure the redistribution of learning opportunities mainly to individuals deprived of direct/indirect access to knowledge, b) to alert in regard to and to contribute to the preservation of the geographical, financial, social and cultural particularities of each region, c) to improve the health services provided in those areas, and d) to protect their thousands-year long traditions and modes of production, while retaining the highest standards in regard to aesthetics and the environment.
Being the point where a University with a vision to open up to society and Locality merge, the University of the Mountains has four pillars of action, reflected on its 4 working departments: 1) Health, 2) Society/ Culture, 3) Economies/ Environments and 4) Education. While its most immediate actions evolve around the organization of public lectures, meetings, festivals, seminars supplementary to the main syllabus of local schools and doctors’ visits, the University of the Mountains has also taken up action in the areas of financial consultation and synergies, and carries out research projects with the aim to better study the problems of each given area, as perceived, lived and uttered by the citizens themselves.