Events - 20.05.2017 - 00:00
21 May 2017. Numerous guests from academia, business and politics – among them the Chairman of the University's Board of Governors, Education Minister Stefan Kölliker, National Councillor Walter Müller, Councillor of State Paul Rechsteiner, Minister of Economic Affairs Bruno Damann (Canton of St.Gallen) and Education Minister Roland Inauen (Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden), as well as representatives of 13 universities from home and abroad – together celebrated the University of St.Gallen’s greatest day of the year, the dies academicus.
Success thanks to local roots and an international presence
President Thomas Bieger opened the ceremony and in his address considered the question as to why local roots were particularly significant in an era of globalisation and digitalisation. For Bieger, local roots in the region were very important and had always been part of the HSG. "Established by the Canton, the City and business, no other university expresses the idea of a regionally embedded university as well," said Bieger, "and I’m talking of both society and the economy." For a university to be successful, however, it always required a good balance between international openness and integration in international networks, on the one hand, and physical local roots, on the other hand, for only in this way would both parties profit from each other: the region from direct and indirect economic effects, and the university from a vibrant environment, a network of inspiring practice partners, as well as from basic funding.
The spirit of a new start
"Switzerland does exist – and how!" said Martin Meyer, journalist (head of the NZZ's culture section from 1992-2015), publicist, essayist and author of books, in his address. Time and again, however, it was torn between being a successful small country and part of a wide, by now also globalised world. Scepticism and sobriety would ensure that this to-ing and fro-ing was sensibly balanced out as a many-faceted process of give and take. However, other qualities were also in demand: primarily a spirit of a new start that originates in the liberal centre, is more actively committed to freedom and realises the principle of creative responsibility as against administrating laziness and ideological obscurantism. The fact that the Swiss grassroots democracy still kept much under its own control should be understood and exploited as a locational advantage.
Studying in the digital age
Under the heading of "Studying in the digital age: why still at uni?" Mario Imsand, President of the Student Union of the University of St.Gallen, raised the question of the added value that a university was able to create in a digital world. He spoke about the students’ pride in the fact that the HSG was regarded as an educational institution of people who think critically and act sustainably. "In times of change, this core competence must not be lost." The HSG should develop even more intensively into a place of personal exchange. Knowledge and subject matter should be acquired in private study while the campus should be a place where students acquired the skills to understand things. After all, what ultimately counted for students was not degree certificates and credits, but a "licence to operate" in a constantly changing environment.
Four new Honorary Doctors
The following personalities were awarded Honorary Doctorates:
Outstanding achievements honoured
The Fondation Latsis Internationale, Geneva, awards a generous annual prize at selected universities in Switzerland with the purpose of promoting young researchers. The 2016 Latsis Prize went to Assistant Professor Dr. Thomas Epper.
The Latin America Prize for Doctoral Theses at Swiss Universities, which is awarded by the HSG’s Fund for the Promotion of Research into Latin America, went to Dr. Fabian François Müller.
The HSG's Student Union awarded two prizes: the prize for excellent teaching – the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching – went to Prof. Dr. Vito Roberto, Professor of Private, Commercial and Business Law. The Mentor Prize was awarded to Prof. Dr. Ulrike Landfester, Vice-President for External Relations and Professor of German Language and Literature.
More articles from the same category
The world is undergoing change. This is evident in current international politics as well as the rapid development of artificial intelligence.…
Come to this year’s OBA and discover which profession ignites your passion. How about HSG? Prospective apprentices and students can gather information…
Farewell to HSG philosopher Dieter Thomä: Leading thinkers gather in St.Gallen to discuss the power of the past and the future of society.
You can watch the public sessions as streams and recordings via website and YouTube.
Discover our special topics