Ca’ Foscari University of Venice has inaugurated its 150th Academic Year (academic year 2017-18) on February 20th 2018 in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella at the Teatro La Fenice. The Venetian University, established in 1868 as the Royal Business School, has celebrated its 150th anniversary.
“This institute should follow the example set by Antwerp, to carry out the education in the field of Economics for young people … It is especially with regard to relations with distant countries, to which England, France and Germany owe much to their growing prosperity, that Italy would need … to place itself, as soon as possible, on the broad horizon of current world trade.” This is how Edoardo Deodati and Luigi Luzzatti began the document they directed to the government to establish the “Project of the Royal Business School in Venice” on April 4th 1868.
On August 6th of the same year, King Vittorio Emanuele II approved the bylaws with Royal Decree n.4530.
In his speech, Rector Michele Bugliesi recounted the history of Ca’ Foscari and its achievements:
“Among all achievements, we cannot forget the recent ANVUR evaluation which placed Ca’ Foscari in third place among the Italian Universities for the quality of research. This is an extraordinary success, confirmed this year by the evaluation by the Departments of Excellence, which awarded 5 of the 8 Departments of the University with a total of just over 35 million euros in funding. Our University is attracting more and more of the best talents. We now have 8 professors holding ERC funding, 24 Marie Curie Individual Fellowship researchers, and 15 new researchers who chose Ca’ Foscari as their host institution in 2018. We are the first Institution in Italy and among the first ten institutions in Europe for the number of Marie Curie Fellowships.”
7,328 students enrolled in the 2017-18 academic year, a 9.75% increase compared to 2016-17, in which there were 6,677 students enrolled.
Overall, there are 21,045 enrolled students, a number which is continuously increasing. In the academic year 2011-12, there were 18,962 students. Today, 38% of our students come from outside of Veneto. The number of international students is also increasing. The Rector stated, “This year, we enrolled 329 students with foreign diplomas (selected from over 400 candidates), making the total of incoming students over 1,100, 16% of the 7,000 enrolled students.”
During the ceremony, an Honorary Doctorate in Economics was given to Sir Richard Blundell, professor at the University College London. Student representative Ana Dacinoi and administrative and technical staff representative Antonio Soldani also made speeches.
The La Fenice choir performed the Italian anthem and the Gaudeamus igitur at the end of the ceremony.
The Rector also recounted the investments put into the teaching and technical-administrative staff. “We have not only invested in our students, but also our teaching staff, who are growing in number. Alongside the new 2018 recruits, the size of the teaching staff is well on its way to reaching the planned 10% increase.”
The Rector Michele Bugliesi also emphasised that education should be at the centre of political agenda. “To the governors of the University system and the future governors, we ask for the attention and trust that universities deserve. We demand that there be concrete and stable growth prospects and additional resources given to reward merit and invest in quality. We demand simple rules, clear rules that make the complex administrative task easier. We hope that in full respect of those rules, and the principles of transparency and responsibility of public institutions, the independence of choice and the possibility of being judged based on the results of the choices can be guaranteed.”
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