Welcome to the University of Lugano

Ten years of age last anniversary, and the University of Lugano (USI) is sprucing up for a new challenge, a crucial phase for its future. Unlike its sister universities, which are firmly rooted in the Swiss academic context, USI has no long and solid tradition to rely on.

This is hardly a drawback, however; on the contrary, a young USI is receptive to all sorts of opportunities to explore and pioneer. It is willing to take on enriching new initiatives; free to put forward strategies to meet the challenges confronting modern man: the environment, the economy, society, and the new technologies.

If USI stands out in the Swiss academic landscape, it is partly for its original teaching programmes. These are informed by regional and historical-cultural motives, but equally by an inspired readiness to act on the reforms currently implemented in higher education.

Look at the Academy of Architecture and the Faculty of Economics: their creation was fully justified, the former by a glowing centuries-old tradition, and the latter by the strength of Lugano’s financial centre with its resonance nationwide and worldwide. Then look at the Faculty of Communication Sciences, unique of its kind in Switzerland, and the Faculty of Informatics, well on its way to becoming the third centre of excellence in Switzerland after the two Federal Institutes of Technology. Both Faculties are eminently equipped to answer the call for experts and professionals to be trained in fields whose impact on social change, and consequently on change in our lifestyle, is likely to increase.

Combined with its privileged geographic position – USI acting as a bridge between south (Lombardy) and north (the rest of Switzerland across the Alps) – these choices give our university an identity of its own. USI is characterised by steadily rising student numbers, growing success in research and the international mix of its actors (the highest proportion in Switzerland), whether students, research and doctoral assistants, or professors.

Tempered by measured ambition, these factors are vital if USI wants to rise in the esteem of the public, particularly in Italian-speaking Switzerland; but also if it wants to grow in the eyes of the world, an objective that cannot be ignored in today’s globalised society.

Piero Martinoli
President of the University of Lugano