Philip Kunig, born in 1951, studied law and East Asian studies at the University of Hamburg and earned his doctorate in 1980 with a dissertation on international developments in Africa. His habilitation, entitled "The Rule of Law. Reflection on Its Importance to the State Law of the Federal Republic of Germany," was published in 1985. Kunig held positions in Kiel, Hamburg, and Heidelberg before accepting a professorship in public law at Freie Universität Berlin in 1988. Shorter periods of teaching and lecturing, as well as visiting professorships took him to Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hanoi, Bangkok, Seoul, Istanbul, and Ankara, to name just a few. Since 2010 he has been vice president of a consortium of German universities founded to create a German-Turkish University in Istanbul.
The National University of Athens was founded in 1837 and is one of the oldest modern universities in the region of the eastern Mediterranean.