Welcome from the Rector
Daria de Pretis has been the Rector of the University of Trento since April 2013.
The University of Trento is different from other universities. It was founded about 50 years ago, on the basis of a scientific and organizational project which was unprecedented in the history of Italy. From its very beginning, it has always been protective towards its academic freedom and it has always been engaged in the development of the local community which hosts and supports the University itself. Throughout the years it has increasingly widened its research and training fields, thus including new disciplines and it has continuously pursued high quality research and teaching activities. The University has remained small in size, since it has always aimed at training learned men and women capable to think critically, rather than simply training professionals. Over a few decades it has been able to conquer the highest positions in the Italian university rankings and it is now gearing up, with accuracy and passion, to systematically play a high-level, well-deserved role at European and international level. Our University considers students as its core interest, since it would not exist without them: thus it engages in making each student a protagonist, granting them a central role. The University of Trento aims at attracting the most talented and deserving students, granting them equal opportunities. The surrounding environment is rich in opportunities and inputs for the students, thus allowing them to cultivate their skills in a responsible manner.
Our University is aware that every university needs to foster strong integration between research and teaching activities. Academic research must not be self-oriented but it must be functionally intertwined with the need to transfer knowledge. The academic teaching activities must not be a mere presentation of consolidated contents, but they need to form the basis to boost and share research activities. Teaching activities need to be rooted in an uninterrupted research experience: this is the only way to train students capable to make the most out of the labour market and become tools to disseminate innovation at wide-spread level.
The international orientation has always featured the life of the University of Trento, which is proud of its European and international networks of cooperation and relations. The University of Trento belongs to the international research community, as far as teaching and researching activities, intellectual exchange, and civil debate: this is not a privilege any longer, but a vital need.
Difficult challenges and decisions are ahead of the University of Trento, in the next few years – the same to be seized by other universities, Italy and Europe. The virtuous features which have nurtured the evolution of the university up to now will be the tools to further develop: the endurance to pave new ways, to avoid taking things for granted and to debate every achievement; the patience to detect, cultivate and grow talents.
Daria de Pretis