#USI25 - The birth of a university at the end of the second millennium: presentation of the book to mark USI's 25th anniversary


Institutional Communication Service

22 November 2021

The presentation of the volume "L'Università della Svizzera italiana: nascita di un ateneo alla fine del secondo millennio" (Università della Svizzera italiana: the birth of a University at the end of the second millennium), edited by Pietro Montorfani (Head of the Historical Archives and the new Heritage Office of the City of Lugano) and Mauro Baranzini (former member of the Steering Committee for the Faculties of Lugano and former Dean of the Faculty of Economics) will be held on Tuesday, 30 November, at 6:30 pm in the Lugano West Campus Auditorium.

After the welcome by USI Rector Boas Erez, Prof. Antonio Loprieno (former Rector of the University of Basel and President of the Conference of Rectors of Swiss Universities, for several years member of the USI Council and now President of the European Federation of Academies of Sciences) and the columnist and author Moreno Bernasconi will introduce the discussion with the authors. At the end of the presentation, the first scholarship dedicated to Arnoldo Bettelini, one of the foremost intellectuals who - back in the 1930s - strongly supported the value of founding a university in the Swiss Italian-speaking region, will be awarded.

Manuele Bertoli, State Councillor, Director of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport, will give the closing speech.

Registration is mandatory by 25 November at [email protected]. A Covid certificate is required to attend. The maximum capacity of the room is 220 seats. Refreshment will be served at the end.


The volume

The book retraces the efforts made since the nineteenth century to secure a university for the Swiss Italian-speaking region. Among the best-known attempts are the unfulfilled one of Stefano Franscini's Academy, approved by the Grand Council in 1844, and the CUSI, which fell by popular vote in 1986. To finally have a university, it would be necessary to wait until 1995, when first the City Council of Lugano and then the Grand Council of Ticino voted for establishing the Foundation for the Faculties of Lugano and the Cantonal Law on the Università della Svizzera italiana. Ticino was later recognised as a university canton by the Confederation in the year 2000.
What emerges is a picture of a political and social reality that came together for the university project, overcoming historical barriers. Thanks to the unexpected courage of a small number of politicians, academics, and officials, the university project was able to succeed. It is also thanks to the patient and intelligent work of the legislative commissions responsible for examining the two projects, the municipal and the cantonal, that Southern Switzerland has been able to create a cohesive university that now includes six faculties and that is racking up many positive results, well attested to by recent international rankings.


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