25 years of USI in (some) numbers

#USI25 #USIsU #shapingknowledge #25yearsofUSI


A quarter of a century of USI in some numbers that, to a certain extent, help to “photograph” the dimensions of this journey, the growth and development of our University. Through numbers that try to quantify in a cumulative way our work in the development of knowledge, in particular through education and research, and our local presence, we retrace in this way #25yearsofUSI that have been, generally speaking, 25 years of growth of knowledge in Ticino.

In presenting these figures, we have sometimes deliberately resorted to some simplifications and "shortcuts", with the aim of "giving the idea", even without being methodologically perfect. On the other hand, beyond the numbers themselves, our 25th birthday is an opportunity to remember, greet and thank above all what is "behind" and "around" these figures: pioneers determined to give Ticino a voice in the world, young people and families who have given us trust, authority and patrons who have believed in us, people who have poured their energy into teaching, research and administration to build and continue to build that collective path devoted to the civility and hope that is our University.



That's the difference in the number of our students in #25yearsofUSI.

On 21 October 1996, when courses began, USI had a total of 326 students in its three original faculties: the Academy of Architecture, the former Faculty of Communication Sciences (now the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society) and the Faculty of Economics. Twenty-five years later, there are 3'350 students, i.e. 10 times as many, from almost 100 different nationalities studying in our five Faculties: the Faculty of Informatics was added to the original three in 2004 and the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences in 2014.

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Another way to count #25yearsofUSI.

In 2021 USI celebrates its 100th anniversary if ... we count in a quinary number system. 25 (decimal system) corresponds in fact to 100 in base five. A play on figures to underline how in our University we cultivate original perspectives and constantly search for unexpected paths.

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This is the number of scientific publications produced, at a minimum, in #25yearsofUSI.

The figure is based only on publications reviewed in Scopus for USI and affiliated institutions. The number of publications has increased from 7 in 1996, due entirely to research institutes that were already active in Ticino (IDSIA and IRSOL, later affiliated to our University), to 58 in 2001 and 195 in 2006. In 2011 the number reached 450 and the progression continued until 613 publications in 2016 and 784 in 2020, underlining the role that USI has played - and continues to play - over the last 25 years in structuring scientific initiatives on the territory and, more generally, as a driving force and gravitational pole of scientific growth in Ticino.

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The total number of graduates from our University in #25yearsofUSI.

USI held its first graduation ceremony in 2000, at the end of the first four-year degree programs in Communication Sciences and Economics. With the first degrees came final recognition by the Federal Council, guaranteeing Ticino the status of university canton. In 2002 the first graduates in Architecture were honoured, while in 2004 the first Bachelor's degrees arrived, following the introduction of the Bologna Process. A year later, the first Master's degrees are awarded, the Master in International Tourism. In 2006 USI honoured its first graduates of the Faculty of Informatics, established in 2004, and in 2018 the first diplomas of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, for candidates who successfully completed the MD program. To date, over 10,000 USI students have graduated, exceeding the 10,000 capacity of the Corner Arena in Lugano.

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The number of diplomas we have awarded in #25yearsofUSI.

The stages of graduation correspond to those we have traced for graduates. We also emphasize the first advanced degrees, in 2000 along with the first graduate degrees, and the very first doctoral degrees, in 2002. Please note: graduates are people who have obtained a diploma from USI; if the same person has obtained several degrees, it is counted only once, considering the last degree obtained. Diplomas, on the other hand, are all titles conferred by USI, regardless of the person; for advanced studies programmes, only Executive Master / Master of Advanced Studies titles are considered.

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The minimum total study hours that have been generated in #25yearsofUSI.

Based on the latest available data, USI has awarded 12'302 diplomas to date: 1'457 licentiate/four-year degree, 3'962 Bachelor's degrees, 5'123 Master's degrees, 516 doctorate degrees and 1'244 advanced studies degrees. For the sake of simplicity, if we consider only undergraduate and graduate studies (bachelor's / four-year degree, Bachelor's and Master's degrees) and resort to a few "shortcuts", we multiplied the number of degrees by their respective ECTS value, resulting in a total of 1'677'600 ECTS. Since each ECTS is equivalent to an average of 27,5 hours of study, we arrive at an overall volume of (at least) 46'134'000 hours of study generated by students in undergraduate and graduate studies in 25 years of USI.

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16’000'000 CHF

The amount distributed in scholarships in #25yearsofUSI.

This figure considers only the scholarships that are reviewed in the USI Annual Report. In 1996 the total amounted to CHF 253'500, in 2020 (latest available data) approximately CHF 16'000'000. We would like to thank the generosity of all our supporters and in particular the private foundations that are particularly linked to our University, which have made it possible to support a total of almost 3'000 of our students.

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255’194’900 CHF

It is the figure obtained in competitive research funds in (less than) #25yearsofUSI.

The data covers the period from 2005 to 2020. Of the total CHF 255'194'900 received in recent years, 61'478'150 came from European programs, 143'940'810 from the Swiss National Fund, 8'966'510 from Innosuisse, 13'539'830 from competitive foundations, 15'098'360 from swissuniversities programs and 12'171'240 from other programs. Also in the 2005-2020 period, 1'598 research projects were completed at USI, while researchers, active or previously active at USI, were awarded 22 ERCs, prestigious research funds granted by the European Research Council on a highly competitive basis. To these are added other important awards, including a Marcel Benoist prize (the Swiss "Nobel") and two Pritzker Prizes (the "Nobel" of architecture, with which the "research by design" conducted with their activity was awarded professional by architects and architects who teach at the Academy of Architecture). The young researchers who did their PhD at USI and then went on to careers in research and development, for their part, were chosen by first-rate if not top-notch universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Columbia University, Cornell University, University College London, Johns Hopkins University, University of Washington, New York University, Imperial College London, Northwestern University, Duke University, EPFL, London School of Economics, University of Bristol, Erasmus University Rotterdam, TU Delft, and by organizations such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, IBM.

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680'216'640 CHF

These are the spin-offs generated for the benefit of the region in (less than) #25yearsofUSI

According to an independent study carried out for the State Council of the Canton of Ticino, every CHF that the Canton invests in USI generates 3,2 CHF in benefits for the Ticino region, thanks in particular to the flow of contributions for training and research from the Confederation, other Cantons, the European Union and foundations, and to the induced activities linked to the purchase of local goods and services, to the presence of students, and to congress tourism. Considering only "direct" cantonal contributions, on the basis of the available USI profit and loss accounts, from 2006 (the year in which USI reached a "critical mass" with more than 2'000 students) to 2018, our University has benefited from 212'567'700 CHF in funding, which has enabled us to generate 680'216'640 CHF in spin-offs in the area. Taking into account all the available data (2000-2018) and using - with some simplification - the same multiplication factor, the Canton's contributions amount to a total of 269'216'450 CHF, for effects amounting to 861'492'640 CHF.

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