With the inauguration of a new academic year on October 29, 2021, Dr. Giuseppe Argiolas will outline the main perspectives and introduce new courses.
It will be a solemn debut for Giuseppe Argiolas who will be experiencing the inauguration of a new academic year as director of Sophia University Institute (IUS). He will be accompanied by the Grand Chancellor, Giuseppe Cardinal Betori, and Vice Chancellor and President of the Focolare Movement, Margaret Karram.
Following his appointment, Dr Argiolas, took over as director, on March 2, 2020, just a week before Italy went into full lockdown. Even the inauguration of the academic year 2020-2021 was postponed several times and, in the end, was never held.
“We could call this year the first post-pandemic academic year,” says Argiolas, “in the sense that in several countries we are coming closer to overcoming the most painful and difficult phase of the phenomenon.” Argiolas comes to this conclusion also by observing that “Almost all of the students enrolled in the first year have already arrived. And the vast majority of those who enrolled last year, but were stuck inside their countries, have now been able to get here. This was an achievement, and it underscores the importance of the physical presence of the students here at Sophia.”
However, the pandemic did not immobilize the university. There was a series of roundtable discussions throughout the year, titled Lessons from the Pandemic, Analysis and Perspectives Beyond the COVID-19 Emergency. “We’ve tried to transform the constraints imposed by the pandemic into opportunities for the students. Therefore, we shared our reflections, which were developed in an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and international framework. These three ‘i’s were the keys that guided us as we presented the theoretical subject matter, but also the experiences of Sophia’s students and teachers.”
In addition, this year and a half’s online experience for Master’s and Doctoral degree students, has led to added offerings. “This is the most important news of this new academic year,” the director explains with a bit of institutional pride. “It’s called Sophia Web Academy, a new set of online courses for people of all ages who would like to take advantage of Sophia’s academic offerings to continue with their own education. It begins with two courses: Culture of Unity and Dialogic Leadership.”
With what frame of mind will Director Argiolas approach his first inauguration of a new academic year? “With great emotion,” he is not afraid to confess, “and with the desire to listen deeply, so that I can express this academic community in thought and in sentiment.” Then, he adds: “I have a sense of intense gratitude for God who has accompanied us, and for the students, the staff, for their commitment. We would never have achieved certain results if it had not been for the personal and collective commitment and mutual support among all, which was never lacking, not even in the most”.