Gala Opening of the New Academic Year

Oct. 18, 2019

The main event at the opening of the 25th academic year took place on Thursday, 17 October at the Lanthieri Mansion in Vipava.

The rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik first greeted the guests: “The beginnings of the University of Nova Gorica date back to 1995, when we started humbly but determined to create a different and top-class research, student-friendly and internationally open university. State and local communities, with few exceptions, have often failed to understand an institution that wanted to be autonomous, independent and simultaneously socially responsible. Thanks to the outstanding persistence and dedication of all employees and participants, the UNG has developed into a first-class university institution, which is particularly renowned worldwide for its scientific excellence and international involvement,” Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik said in his introductory speech.

Today, the pedagogical activities of the university are spread around seven different Schools. Up until today, the University of Nova Gorica has produced 233 PhDs, 396 Master’s degree graduates and 895 Bachelor’s degree graduates. The research activities take place in six centers and four laboratories. The number of foreign students is increasing every year and this year the percentage of foreign students is as high as 54% of the entire student population. They come from 48 different countries, from Europe and from other continents.

“The success of academic institutions is achieved by the scientists, artists, professors, assistants, students and other university staff – at the UNG, we have been lucky enough to be able to attract the best individuals, who create at and are committed to the university even during a period that does not exactly welcome innovation. Our researchers achieve outstanding scientific results that place us at the top of the research universities in Europe. In the EC study, we have been ranked at the top, among the elite universities such as the ETH Zurich and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, in terms of scientific excellence. Also on the Round University Ranking we have managed to further improve last year’s position, and are now in the 140th place in the world, in the first place in Slovenia, and 71st place in the field of engineering sciences,” explained Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik.

At the University of Nova Gorica we are continuously upgrading and perfecting our programs. This year, we are introducing the Master’s and PhD programs in the field of materials science and a master’s program in the field of viticulture and enology. Moreover, we are preparing a lot of novelties in regards to the internationalization of the studies at our university. We are planning, in cooperation with foreign universities, to introduce double degree programs which enable students to study at two different universities or institutions.

“There are new challenges to confront in the 25th academic year. The maintenance of our vision has never been easy and we are not expecting it to be easy in the future. We will need to avoid the pitfalls that might deceive us into taking a course of agreeableness and of copying outdated concepts of higher education. For this reason, too, the University of Nova Gorica will need to initiate a rejuvenation process that will bring freshness and new ideas in the fields of science and art, new concepts of study and of university management.

We are entering this new academic year with optimism, confident in our mission, committed to international university norms, and with a responsible attitude towards our students and to society in general. We are convinced that we are excellent and that together we can achieve more,” the Rector concluded his speech.

At the ceremony, the Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik, presented different awards, namely, the doctor honoris causa of the University of Nova Gorica, the title of professor emeritus of the University of Nova Gorica and the honorary member of the University of Nova Gorica.

At its session on 15 May 2019, the Senate of the University of Nova Gorica adopted a decision to award the title of an honorary doctor of the University of Nova Gorica – doctor honoris causa – to Prof. Giacinto Scoles for outstanding scientific and professional achievements in time-dependent spectroscopy and life sciences.

At its session on 15 May 2019, the Senate of the University of Nova Gorica adopted a decision to award the title of professor emeritus of the University of Nova Gorica to Prof. Dr. Xavier Greffe for his important contribution to the international reputation and development of the University of Nova Gorica and the exemplary performance of pedagogical and mentoring work.

At its session on 15 May 2019, the Senate of the University of Nova Gorica adopted a decision to award the title of honorary member of the University of Nova Gorica to Prof. Dr. Lawrence Banks, for his outstanding contribution to the development of scientific excellence at the University of Nova Gorica in the field of molecular and cell biology.

We also awarded nine male and female students. The alumnus primus award was given to those graduates who graduated first in their generation: Josipa Škrapić. Another award, alumnus optimus, was given to those who achieved the highest grade point average in each year of their studies: Andrea Torroni, Gaja Tomsič, Zala Zbičajnik, Nik Obid, Nika Kravos, Ana Cukjati, Nada Ihanec, Josipa Škrapić and Mery Gobec.

Congratulations to all awardess!

Andreja Leban, Pubclic Relations

Attachments

A Gala Opening at the Start of the New Academic Year. Photo: Ana Kete
Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik, Rector of the University of Nova Gorica. Photo: Ana Kete
Honorary doctor of the University of Nova Gorica – doctor honoris causa – Prof. Giacinto Scoles. Photo: Ana Kete
Honorary member of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. DR. Lawrence Banks. Photo: Ana Kete
Professor emeritus of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Xavier Greffe. Photo: Ana Kete
Awardees and Administration of the University of Nova Gorica. Photo: Ana Kete