Founded in 1837, almost along with the modern Greek state, NTUA is the oldest Technical University in Greece. Initially established by a royal decree "on architectural education" it was a technical school operating on Sundays and holidays which offered instruction to those desiring to master in architecture. Though, at a remote location it soon attracted many students. Its popularity lead to the extension of courses and by spring 1840 to the operation of a regular day school along with the Sundays counterpart. It was then moved to its own building on Piraeus street. The joint efforts of students and instructors contributed to a continuous growth and to revising standards.
The National Technical University of Athens is structured according to the continental European system for training engineers, with an emphasis on solid background. The duration of courses leading, after the acquisition of 300 credit units to a Diploma, of Master’s level, is five years. The valuable work of NTUA and its international reputation are due to its well-organised educational andresearch system, the quality of its staff and students, and the adequacy of its technical infrastructure. NTUA graduates were pivotal to Greece’s pre-war development and to post-war reconstruction. The graduate engineers who staffed public and private technical services and companies were and remain by general consent, equal to their European counterparts. Many have been elected to distinguished teaching and research positions in well-known universities all over the world.
Under Article 16 of the Greek Constitution and consequent laws, and in accordance with its tradition and structure, the primary institutional component of the NTUA’s mission, effected through the integrated complex of studies and research, is to provide advanced higher education of outstanding quality in science andtechnology.
For this purpose, NTUA operates as a State University with nine Schools, self-administered by the Senate, the Rector, the Vice-Rectors, the School Presidents, representatives of the academic staff and students from every School, as well as representatives from other university bodies.
The obvious need for any major institute of higher education to operate and offer education and research opportunities within a well organised and completely unambiguous internal system of principles, aims, procedures, rights and obligations, led, between the years 1997 and 2000, to the in depth internal and external evaluation of the NTUA’s structure and activities and consequently to the drawing up, discussion with all NTUA’s members and approval by the Senate and the Ministryof Education, (Government Gazette 1098/B/05.09.2000), of the NTUA Statute. This code of operation and development, considered as one of the best European University Statutes, defines that the main strategy of NTUA in the new millennium, is not only to maintain its position as an outstanding and internationally recognised public university of science and technology, but also to strengthen that position as regarding all its basic operations. All other strategies, aims and actions must be compatible with this basic strategic choice.