The opening ceremony of the academic year of the University of Verona started this morning at the Polo Zanotto following an ancient tradition, with a choir that sang the “Gaudeamus igitur”, the ancient hymn of goliardia. Immediately after, the Magnificent Rector Pierfrancesco Nocini, dressed in academic vestments and ermine hood, shared a report on the fourth year of his rectorate, characterized, as stated by himself, by «challenges and successes».  

Today, 30 thousand students and PhD students are enrolled at the University of Verona which can count on 857 teachers and 821 administrative and technical staff. 78 study courses, 18 Ph.D. courses, 45 specializations, and 30 master’s degrees offered at UniVr. 

Among the most important achievements, the Rector mentioned the increase in the educational offer: at the time of his election in 2019, there were 63 courses which have increased to the current 78. And by 2024, they will be 81. The establishment of the Faculty of Engineering of Medical Systems, in synergy with the Faculty of Medicine, and the establishment of the Degree in Pharmacy in synergy with the Hospital of Negrar, as well as the Degree in Biology in English, are the flagship of the Rectorate Nocini. The increase in enrollment from 26 to 30 thousand units is also an important result of his mandate, not easy, as marked by two years of pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Despite this, the quality of catering has improved, and a problem that has lasted since 1982 has been solved by opening the cafeterias in hospitals also for trainees.

The report of the Rector could not miss a reference to the topic of the moment: the protest of students for housing difficulties that was felt before and during the ceremony. Nocini recalled that the problem is long-standing and well-known to the academic authorities who are trying to find solutions. Solutions that are not easy and can not be realized by the University alone. Synergy with private entities is needed. ESU, the university development agency, is looking for alternatives. They have found 30 beds in the Filipino neighborhood. Thanks to the Episcopal Curia other 130 were identified in Veronetta and another 120 by an agreement with the Green Cross. «And the City?» Nocini asked, alluding to the fact that the municipal administration of Verona is absent on this theme and knowing that in the front row sat the mayor Tommasi with a tricolor band. «I am convinced – he added diplomatically- that the municipality will also do its part.»

But the announcement that brought a spontaneous applause from all those present in the large hall of the Polo Zanotto, was the one relating to the decision to move the no-tax area from 22 thousand euros to 27 thousand euros of income, which will allow 8500 students to attend the University of Verona for free, without being a burden to their families. An act of tangible solidarity that can also be read as a concrete response to the housing demands of students in tents. A real response, which shows how the rectorate of Nocini is able to move on various levels, ranging from the one that creates synergies with the territory and with the business world to the social one, which meets the real needs of students and their families. All with an attitude of great seriousness, without proclamations, without demagogy, but with many facts.