Corfu Island - The Ionian Academy
The first Ionian Academy was founded in Corfu in 1808 during the Imperial French period with the initiative of the Imperial Commissioner Bessier and with the support of French and Ionian intellectuals. It was not a foundation of education but a research institute which studied the problems of Corfu and where many interesting announcements took place. Amongst the members of the Ionian Academy mentioned are prominent men of the Arts, Prose and Science such as A. Moustoxydis, A. Korais, O. Foskolos, A. Psallidas, Marios Pierris, I. Chaptal, I. Champolion, I. Visconti, V. Monti, E. Pouqueville and others. In the 6 years of its operation 1808-1814 this first Academy made prolific contributions to scientific research. During the years of the Imperial French the Ionian Academy was the first to systematically excavate on Corfu.
The second Ionian Academy which was the first Greek University started to operate in 1824. The idea for the establishment belongs to I. Kapodistrias who sent a memorandum to the English Minister of External Affairs Lord Castlerig in the convention of Paris in 1815. Kapodistias had a great supporter in this effort, Lord Gilford who promoted the matter on behalf of the Ionian State. So in the Constitution of 1817 after the gathering of Senate and after its confirmation, the System of Government with the provision from the protector over reign the Senate who would decide against all these measurements "firstly the establishment of basic Schools and later the establishment of one University with every kind of science, literature and fine arts ".
On 17th May 1821 the Ionian Parliament voted for the establishment of the Ionian Academy. This matter conceded many phases because of the reaction of Armostes Maitland who did not want to see the good in the achievement of a higher educational foundation and three more years were needed to decide and vote for the amount money which would be used from the public fund for the function of the Ionian Academy.
The formal operation of the new university started on 17th May 1824 in the building of the Old Fortress, the number of the first students reached 150. The Professors of the University were the best thing that the enslaved Greece had to show at that time. Because the intellectual force of the whole nation gathered on Corfu to assemble artistic and scientific creativity.
The Ionian Academy included four Schools of Law, Philosophy, Medicine and Theology, and two more Schools of Polytechnics and Pharmaceuticals. In these Schools 51 Professors in total taught from which 42 were Greeks and 9 International. Among the Greeks are Const. Asopios, N. Vamvas, E. Voulismas, P. Vrailas Armenis, N. Delviniotis, K. Zavitzianos, A. Kalvos, I. Karandinos, A. Kogevinas, A. Pikolos, O. Pylarinos, K. Sakellaropoulos, Ch. Typaldos, Th. Pharmakidis, Ch. Philitas and others . Some of them continued their university career in the University of Athens before and after the Unity of Ionian Islands.
After 40 years of operation the Ionian Academy was abolished by the law PH' which came into act in 1865, the pioneer Greek University which first taught the scientists who later outlined the major positions of the Greek State and its intellectual and educational foundations.