Ca’ Foscari inaugurates the 2020/2021 academic year

Tiziana Lippiello, Rector of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, delivered her speech during the Opening Ceremony of the 2020-2021 Academic Year, which was held on 24 February 2021 and streamed on Youcafoscari, the university’s YouTube channel.

The Rector, who is the first woman to lead a university in the Veneto region and one of the few female rectors in Italy, encouraged the young women of today to continue to work hard for their future, with determination, resourcefulness and confidence.

“I believe what matters most is the perspective with which many women naturally look at their careers and personal lives” - Rector Tiziana Lippiello

The Rector then directly addressed young people, recognising the university’s responsibility for supporting students and encouraging them to give their contribution to knowledge, progress, sustainability and social inclusion. She also highlighted the importance of recognising, cultivating and rewarding merit in every field.

“Education, research and innovation are the pillars of this renaissance”  - Rector Tiziana Lippiello

The focus then shifted from individual value to the collective, social value of scientific research. The Rector emphasised that research “is always a collective, plural endeavour” which offers us hope as we face new challenges.
“It is now time to move away from the current emergency logic and see the future as a great opportunity to rethink the organisation of work and the way in which services are provided” - Rector Tiziana Lippiello

The ceremony included the welcome addresses by Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor of the City of Venice, and Elena Donazzan, Regional Assessor for Education. The ceremony also included the addresses by the Representative of Technical Administrative Staff and Language Assistants, Roberta D’Argenio, and the Students’ Representative, Irene Pizzolotto.
The newly-appointed Italian Minister of University and Research Cristina Messa also contributed to the Opening Ceremony, prasing Ca’ Foscari and its Rector for the international vocation that makes Ca’ Foscari a role model in the Italian academic world. The Minister also expressed her willingness to support strategies that enhance the value of human capital, stating that Next Generation EU will be an opportunity to make research more competitive and to invest in quality education and training.

“These challenging times in history have highlighted the importance of investing in research, education and training for the future of our country” - Minister Cristina Messa

The guest lecture entitled Empowerment of young generation: role of culture, education, research and innovation was delivered by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. The European Commissioner presented the New European Bauhaus initiative and invited the Ca’ Foscari community to become part of it.

“This is a natural place for universities to intervene – and Ca’ Foscari, for your history, heritage, for your location, for your talents, is exceptionally well placed to contribute” - European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

During the ceremony some Ca’ Foscari students read a variety of literary passages dedicated to Venice and written by Italian and international authors, in order to celebrate the city’s 1600-year anniversary.
Furthermore, Merit Awards and Teaching Awards were presented to the best students and teachers. In fact, every year Ca’ Foscari, together with Fondazione Coin and Crédit Agricole Friuladria, awards scholarships to the three best-performing first-year undergraduate students in each of its 17 bachelor’s degree courses. Teaching Awards are assigned to professors and researchers whose teaching has been most appreciated by the students, as proven by student satisfaction surveys.

The future of Venice and of the Venetian territory, and the close relationship between Venice and Ca’ Foscari were also among the points that Rector Tiziana Lippiello discussed. The university is working to provide new spaces for students, such as the Student Residence at the San Giobbe Economic Campus, and opportunities for young people. By doing so it will continue to contribute to the city’s development in the lagoon and on the mainland.

“Venice is the university, and the university is Venice” - Rector Tiziana Lippiello

Most of the ceremony was held in Italian, but you can find an Engligh translation of the Rector's address here below.
Watch the full event here: