Events - 25.05.2019 - 00:00
Guests from politics, academia, business and the general population attended the HSG’s greatest day of the year, the dies academicus. Famous guests from near and far included Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, the President of the Cantonal Government and Chairman of the University’s Board of Governors, Stefan Kölliker, Mayor and University Governor Thomas Scheitlin, Councillor of State Paul Rechsteiner, Canton Ministers Bruno Damann, Marc Mächler, Fredy Fässler and Alfred Stricker (Appenzell Ausserrhoden), as well as numerous representatives of 13 universities from home and abroad.
Regional roots, international presence
The ceremonial part was opened by President Thomas Bieger, who spoke about “Regional roots and international presence thanks to trust”. Looking back on the past academic year, Thomas Bieger mentioned some milestones. Thus the cantonal bill concerning the Joint Medical Master, which in cooperation with the University of Zurich and the St.Gallen Cantonal Hospital will enable students at the Master’s Level to take up their studies in medicine from Autumn Semester 2020, was adopted by a majority in June 2018. A second voting success was registered in February 2019 with the adoption of the IT education offensive, which includes the establishment of a School of Information and Computing Science at the HSG.
Furthermore, President Thomas Bieger referred to the consequences of digitalisation on teaching. Thus new didactic forms had become noticeable and visible in teaching at the University of St.Gallen thanks to initiatives such as the Teaching Lab and the Maker Space. While the cantonal voting public’s decision regarding the Platztor campus was still outstanding, a further milestone had already been reached with donors’ pledges for the new Learning Center of more than CHF 50m to date.
Having mentioned these successful projects, which are fundamental to the future development of the University, Thomas Bieger also addressed less gratifying incidents related to secondary employment, expenses and institutes’ way of dealing with resources generated by themselves. In order to tackle these problems and regain lost trust, the University had initiated an extensive package of measures. To conclude, Thomas Bieger asked the audience to support the HSG on its path towards the renewal and improvement of processes, since it would only be with society’s trust that the HSG could prosper in the long term and fulfil its role as an important educational institution for the region.
Disorder and new order in society and the university
Complexity in the world was on the increase, and universities, too, were being challenged, said Student Union President Yannik Breitenstein in his address. Constant change was becoming the state of normality. This raised the question as to the university’s role in society and how the HSG would want to position itself in the future, said Breitenstein. On the occasion of the dies academicus, Breitenstein presented some possible answers to these questions from the students’ perspective.
A new honorary senator and four new honorary doctors
Outstanding research and achievements honoured
Three particularly innovative and relevant research projects of social and economic significance were honoured with the HSG Impact Award, which was conferred for the second time this year: the project of Prof. Dr. Roland Hodler and Dr. Mirjam Anna Brüderle, “Impact of Oil Spills in Nigeria on Neonatal Deaths”, the research project “Success factors in job retention among employees with mental illnesses (SVA)” of Prof. Dr. Stephan Böhm and his team, as well as the “Data-Driven Platform for Sustainable Mobility” of Prof. Dr. Felix Wortmann, Andre Dahlinger, Ben Ryder, Bernhard Gahr and Mathieu Chanson. The Fondation Latsis Internationale, Geneva, annually awards a generous prize at selected universities for the purpose of promoting young researchers. The 2019 Latsis Prize went to Prof. Dr. Beatrix Eugster.
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. Micaela Díaz Rosaenz and Dr. Annatina Aerne.
The HSG’s Student Union awarded two prizes: the prize for excellent teaching – the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching – went to Dr. Andreas Wittmer, Permanent Lecturer in Business Administration with special focus on Aviation. The Mentor Prize was awarded to the University of St.Gallen’s Real Estate Department.
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