Letter from the Rectors of the Universities of Lombardy

University - 04 May 2020

The Universities of Lombardy and recovery: safety, regularity, continuity

On 22nd February last, before any decree or ordinance, all the universities of Lombardy decided to discontinue their teaching activities (lectures, dissertations, exams), by transferring them in remote mode with a significant organizational and economic effort.

Some universities in Lombardy have already decided to continue with this suspension as a precautionary measure, others have already decided and will take the appropriate measures in the coming days. In any case, the objective is to guarantee the conclusion of the academic semester in safety, regularity and continuity and to plan the new academic year according to the same principles, confirming that whatever teaching method will be adopted, Lombardy universities will be ready to welcome their students, especially the new ones, in classrooms, laboratories and in hospitals for research.

The University is the main seat of scientific research and higher education of the new generations. Its duty has been, in these long months, and in this dramatic situation, both to make the voice of science heard, to implement procedures for the protection of public health, and to guarantee - albeit remotely - continuity and quality of teaching and educational courses.

There are already numerous important scientific results, often published in international journals, and many interdisciplinary research projects have been launched, once again confirming excellence, especially in the fields of health, technological innovation, digitalization and internationalization, as a further factor of regional attractiveness.

Now that it has been decided to resume some activities in the coming days, it is not enough to call for prudence and respect for the rules, remembering that the pandemic is by no means over. We must strongly reiterate what the University has represented in recent months on the scientific, educational, sanitary and ethical level.

The political decisions on the management of the epidemic and its economic and social consequences have always been based on science, competence and experience that the Universities have made available, with promptness and responsibility. Its function, at local and national level, will become even more important for the future: it is from the University, from all our Universities, that we must start again, in our cities and in our Region.

The Rectors who sign this letter belong to the territory most tormented by the epidemic and therefore feel it is their duty to remind public opinion, and those who govern us, that it is the primary task of the University to show the way to rebirth, strengthening training courses, international relations, the health care training chain, services, the right to study, information infrastructures, technological platforms.

In order to carry out this essential work, the Lombardy Universities make available a great wealth of knowledge and their own structures that have never stopped working, even in the darkest days.

However, in order to really get out of this crisis, to be a real engine for a social, cultural and economic rebirth, the University, particularly in our Region, without any protagonism and differentiation, cannot be left alone or marginalized. It is a duty to help it, thus investing for the future of all with a serious and adequately financed project.

In our Region we ensure the possibility of studying in absolute tranquillity and attending our universities, our laboratories, our hospitals, in safety, in order to add to the great cultural and professional attractiveness and ability to enter the world of work, the guarantee of safety that in this period (it will not be short) will be put on the same level as the importance of scientific research.

We were the first to understand the danger, we would like to be among the first to be put in a position to revive our communities, based on scientific knowledge and thus contributing to a renewed social cohesion.

The Rectors of the Universities of Lombardy

Prof. Franco Anelli - Università Cattolica del Sacro cuore

Prof. Gianni Canova – Università IULM

Prof. Elio Franzini - Università degli studi di Milano

Prof. Enrico Felice Gherlone - Università San Raffaele

Prof.ssa Giovanna Iannantuoni - Università Bicocca

Prof. Marco Montorsi - Humanitas University

Prof. Remo Morzenti Pellegrini – Università degli studi di Bergamo

Prof. Riccardo Pietrabissa - Iuss Pavia

Prof. Ferruccio Resta – Politecnico di Milano

Prof. Francesco Svelto - Università degli studi di Pavia

Prof. Angelo Tagliabue - Università dell'Insubria

Prof. Maurizio Tira - Università degli studi di Brescia

Prof. Gianmario Verona - Università Bocconi

Prof. Federico Visconti – LIUC Università Cattaneo