sant’anna school celebrates nEW ACADEMIC YEAR 2018-2019 conferring PhD honoris causa on president of ecb mario draghi. opening ceremony speech by rector perdomenico perata and lectio magistralis by president mario draghi

Sant’Anna School celebrated the New Academic Year 2018-2019 conferring an honorary PhD in Economics on Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. On Saturday, December 15, 2018, Sant’Anna School held its 32nd anniversary ceremony in the presence of Rector Pierdomenico Perata, IUSS Rector Michele di Francesco, Tomaso Sacconi, representating undergraduate and graduate students, and Luca Bardi, Sant’Anna School Managing Director. Markus Brunnermeier, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Economics at Princeton University, delivered the Laudatio to Mario Draghi.

Professor Pierdomenico Perata, addressed the audience expressing his concerns about higher education financial sustainability, government policy and public research funding: “Italian public higher education and public research universities have been hit by cuts in government support. Higher education contributes to Italy’s global competitiveness by producing the highly skilled graduates who help effectively manage transformational changes and respond to the challenges ahead. How can we deliver high profile research projects when the number of degrees declined and Italy currently ranks at the bottom of European States in the share of university graduates? Germany increased by 40% its academic investments (Italian total expenditure on higher education accounts for one third of Germany’s) and the research funding needed for a knowledge-industrial- based economy. Nevertheless, Italian universities have met their standards of success and innovation over the past 10 years. Italian public universities have implemented standards and assessments that are designed to better prepare workers and professionals of the future. We need to address the challenges and tackle the misconceptions about the vaccines safety or pseudoscientific beliefs about the chemtrails theory. Italian people need to discern between real science and pseudoscience. It is critical in the pursuit of prosperity and competitiveness in a globalized knowledge economy”.

“I feel even prouder to be an Italian”, said Mario Draghi beginning his lectio magistralis. In his remarks, he referred to Tommaso Sacconi’s speech. “Your speech was powerful”, added Draghi. It takes bravery to embrace change. Courage is the knowledge and the ability to move forward”. Mario Draghi highlighted his experience: “We shared the political project whose central aim is a Europe that is united in freedom, peace, democracy and prosperity. From the launch of the EMS in 1979 to the ERM crisis in 1992, the Italian lira was devalued seven times against the DM, losing around half of its value cumulatively vis-à-vis the German currency. At the same time, consumer prices in Italy grew cumulatively by 223%, compared with 103% in the euro area 12”. Draghi concluded: “It is therefore also in the interest of the weaker countries in the euro area to complete banking union and to proceed with the construction of a genuine capital market. Yet today, for many, the memories that inspired those choices seem distant and irrelevant, all it matters is that we are emerging from the crisis. The fascination with illiberal prescriptions and regimes is spreading all over the world but this is why our European project of unity and diversity is even more important today”.

Click here for the lectio magistralis by Mario Draghi. The Sant’Anna School ceremony video is available here.

Cover photo:  New Academic Year 2018-2019 celebration, Rector Pierdomenico Perata and Rector Michele di Francesco conferring the honorary doctoral degree in economics on Mario Draghi, President of ECB.

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