The University of the Mountains (UoM) is a Non-Profit Company and the initiative of the University of Crete (UoC). It was formed to bring the academia closer to society. The UoM aims to meet its prime goal by establishing contacts initially with people living in the mountainous areas of Crete and, at a later stage, with people living in other islands. These contacts will be both at an individual, group/association, and at local government level. With this interaction between apparently varied groups the UoM plans to create and set in motion a network and a system of actions for the exchange of knowledge and expertise at multiple levels.
By encouraging reciprocal teaching as the best suited means for reaching its target, the UoM is preparing the ground for direct and on equal terms dialogue among urban centers and regional communities with the aim to a) promote the re-distribution of educational opportunities mainly for the benefit of people who have been denied the right to direct and indirect knowledge, b) raise awareness with respect to the geographical, economic, social and cultural characteristics of the targeted regions, c) improve health services available in these areas, and d) protect their customs and traditional methods of production, setting at the same time high standards to anything that harms and threatens the environment.
The intention of the UoM is to become the locus where the university, as an institution which is attentive of the diverse needs of society, meets such needs locally. To this end the UoM has set up four pillars of action, each corresponding to 4 Work Groups: 1) Health, 2) Society / Culture, 3) Economy / Environment, and 4) Education. Its most expedient actions are public lectures, meetings, events, seminars in support of school work, and health related expeditions. At the same time the UoM expands its actions to economic counseling and to synergies and partnerships while its field research is in progress. This involves onsite investigation of local problems as such are perceived, experienced and described by the inhabitants of the targeted areas.