“2020 will be remembered as a complicated year, but also as a time of great change. A long year in which we wrote a page of the university's history. That is why I thought it was right to leave a trace of what we lived and to share in a simple and honest way our experience of a great Italian university: Politecnico di Milano "
Rector of Politecnico di Milano Ferruccio Resta introduces his new book, just published from Bollati Borighieri "Let's start back from knowledge: from classrooms emptied by the virus to the new central role of university", purchasable in all bookshops.
The book, a dialogue between the Rector and Ferruccio De Bortoli, focuses on the difficulties that Italian universities faced in 2020 and was presented live in the Paolo Grassi Theater in Milan as well as live streamed on the Facebook page of the Politecnico.
During the presentation, the authors retraced the events of the past year that placed Italy in front of challenges that can be faced- according to the Rector - by investing in education, in particular university education .
2020 has been a very complicated moment for Politecnico di Milano and for all Italian universities: the management of the emergency pushed our University to close physical classrooms and to open online ones for 45,000 students.
On one hand the pandemic has forced to close many activities, on the other it has pushed a great deal of activities that involved various structures and departments of the Poli: from the use of laboratories to help institutions and companies, come to example the creation of Polichina (we talked about Polichina in the Digital talks "Chemical Engineering at the service of the community"to the elaboration of Unlock, a holistic model on the effects of a gradual reopening of the social and economic activities of the country(we spoke about Unlock in the number 8th of MAP).
"Starting afresh from knowledge" is also a programmatic manifesto that claims the central role of the University in the training of young students, the future of our country.
In this regard, the debate on the division of incoming funds is fundamental.
"We need ad hoc programs - declares the rector of the Politecnico di Milano to Corriere della Sera -, we must distinguish the sites by their vocation, the generalist ones and the specialized ones, those that meet local criteria and those that have an international dimension".
An approach that presupposes the enhancement of the differences between universities, but also to ensure that they form strategic alliances between them, giving students the opportunity to build their university careers anywhere, online and offline.
The goal is to create flexible professionals who grow "with a sharing of knowledge, in particular between the humanities and scientific and technological sciences".
"Starting afresh from knowledge" is a book that focuses on the great changes that are underway, and that the pandemic has accelerated: school - now too often forgotten -, work and new professions, emerging technologies, projects for cities and the role of universities in the socio-economic context, the growth of the territory."
An opportunity to restart from competence and rethink the future from the foundations, something that can only be done by returning to believe and invest in the value of knowledge, to face the great challenges of tomorrow.