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Press Release English
In Syracuse, the World Academy meets "remotely" and thinks about the post Coronavirus
The first “Academia post Corona” meeting held remotely on 14 th of April 2020 promoted by the American University of Sicily with the participation of more than 100 high profile professors from 47 countries from all over the world representing 83 university. A dynamic international meeting that involves scientists with the idea not to produce typical and usual recommendations but to create subgroups to bring forward empirical researches that will propose concrete solutions. A brief presentation made by participants followed by introduction offered by prof. Sami Basha, president of the AUS. The mayor of the city of Syracuse, Francesco Italia gave his "Welcoming words" whom, despite his many commitments for the city, has cut some of his time, honoring the participants with his presence. He emphasized that, despite the discomfort and the closure, Syracuse remains the center of culture and that in times like these, it is always wise to start again from education. Professor Basha added that Sicily, and in particular the city of Syracuse, are a pearl and should be re-valued internationally. The American University of Sicily is a university research association, based in the city of Syracuse, which deals, through its centers and institutes with issues and topics related to the Mediterranean region. In support of the "Academia post Corona" initiative, the AUS Advisory Board, made up of professors from various national and international universities, started the conversation by stimulating the discussion. A productive discussion took place allowing the exposure of different points of view, which has developed a common vision for how to rethink research and redesign the university institution for a better future especially during this period of crises. Four questions were answered during the discussion: (1) How can/will higher education institutions respond? (2) What is our responsibility to the public good in the post-COVID wake? (3) How does this change our research? Our partnerships? Our fields of study and teaching methodologies? (4) How might we adapt to increase access to higher education for those most affected?. The Pandemic highlighted the many emergencies that can no longer be avoided in the post Corona. Professor Gregory Light, former director of the Searle Center advancing teaching and learning at Northwestern University of Chicago, talked about how we can learn from the failure of critical thinking in the university system, suggesting strengthening the same on multiple fronts, starting from schools. Prof. Gokce Gokalp, vice dean at the faculty of education of the Middle East Technical University of Ankara in Turkey, who strongly supports the importance of face-to-face teaching, essential for safeguarding human contacts, pointed out the importance of the discovery of a new dynamic humanism. Prof. Raja Gyreis from the University of Tel Aviv, reported the disadvantage for minorities both in accessing online services and in the difficulties that will arise following the crisis, proposing concrete and immediate solutions to avoid the worst. For the medical field, Professor Arben Gjata, Rector of the University of Medicine of Tirana (National Coordinator of the Task-Force for Education and Human Services), underlining the historical friendship between Albania and Italy, intervened offering concrete solutions on how better to act despite the great difficulties of continuing the online teaching for scientific and medical subjects. Prof. Walid Basha, an immunologist known for his career in laboratory research at the "Al Najah University" in Palestine, highlighted the deficit in research, highlighted how academy must “awaken”, and turns to the service of human being. A voice from the university of Jordan, prof. Areej Assaf, specialized in Cancer Immunotherapy, recalled the importance of academia and the words of scholars in political decisions.
Professor Giuseppe Milan, professor of intercultural pedagogy at the University of Padua, shared his point of view by saying that today's situation put us at a crossroad: change or stay as we are. Change is a proposal of courage that must address service-learning taking in consideration the local communities . Along the same lines, Professor Dragan Ćalović, VP for International Cooperation at the Faculty of Contemporary Art in Serbia, a young academi c and very active in international collaboration, sees that the solutions are found through the opening of the Academy to the world. Author of the book "Becoming Nonviolent Peacemakers" prof. Eli McCarthy, Georgetown University, active in the international Catholic network for non- violence, spoke of a more dangerous virus and little treated by the Academy, namely violence. He proposed to increase international cooperation to better think about preventing nonviolence that might increase after the epidemic. Prof. Rebecca Hopkins, associate academic of Western Technical College in the United States, has drawn the conclusions: the future of the Academy, in this world that changes after the Pandemic, must see the barriers of mobility decrease for students and must consider social responsibility and look at the common good through public health.
Professor Basha concluded by saying that although bureaucratic and economic obstacles have emerged worldwide, meetings like these, among other things at low cost, can make us breathe and help us think better about a common future. Furthermore, a good coordination and proactive dialogue among academics at international and national levels will rescue the drift of our humanity, and will keep us in common good in front of some political choices. So many questions and answers where given at this first and unique international meeting, but the meeting had to end, but with certainties; The first that we have to meet again "online" for now, but above all "in presence", certainly in Syracuse. The second: the Academy wants to be an active part in any changes that await humanity specially in this pandemic.
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Albania- Armenia- Belarus- Belgium- Bosnia and Herzegovina- Botswana- Bulgaria- Canada- China- Costa Rica- Cyprus- Czech Republic- Estonia- Hungary- Iceland- India- Indonesia- Israel- Italy- Jamaica- Japan- Jordan- Kosovo- Latvia- Lebanon- Lithuania- Malaysia- Malta- Morocco- North Cyprus- Oman- Palestine- Philippines- Poland- Serbia- Slovakia- Slovenia- Spain- Sri Lanka- Sweden- Tunisia- Turkey- Ukraine- United Kingdom- USA- Zimbabwe
Albania University Ambis Vysoka Skola/ American University of Beirut/ American University of Jenin AAUP/ American University of Sicily/ An- Najah National University/ Arrupe Jesuit University/ Bethlehem University/ Boston College/ Canadian Institute of Technology/ Catholic College of Mandeville/ Catholic University in Ruzomberok/ Catholic University of Milan/ Central European University / Dobrich college/ Cyprus Institute of Marketing/ De La Salle University Dasmarinas/ Delhi University/ Donbass National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture/ Estonian Business School/ Eszterházy Károly University/ Euro-Mediterranean University/ Sultan Qaboos University/ Faculty of Contemporary Arts/ Florida State University/ George Washington University/ Georgetown University/ Griffith college/ Herzegovina University/ Ibn zohr university/ INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE HALIEUTIQUE/ Institut Pasteur Tunis/ International Christian University/ Jordan university of science and technology/ Karazin Kharkiv National University/ Katholic University of Leuven/ Lithuania Business Univeristy of Applied Sciences/ Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre/ Lutsk National Technical University/ Medical college off Wisconsin/ Middle East Technical University/ Moscow State University/ MU-Varna/ National technical university/ Neijiang Normal University/ Northwestern University/ Polytechnic University of Tirana/ Reykjavik University/ Saint Mary's University of Minnesota/ Tel Aviv University/ The American College of Sofia/ The University of Jordan/ Univeristy of Latvia/ Universidad de la Empresa/ Universitas Bandar Lampung/ Université Hassan II de Casablanca/ Université Ibn Tofail/ Universiti Teknologi MARA/ University Business Academy in Novi Sad/ University College of Business in Prague/ Canadian Institute of Technology/ University of Balamand/ University of Botswana/ University of California/ University of Costa Rica/ University of Cyprus/ University of Delhi/ University of Kyrenia/ University of Malta/ University of Manouba/ University of Medicine Tirana/ University of Mitrovica/ University of Murcia/ University of Padua/ University of Silesia in Katowice/ University of West of Scotland/ V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University/ Vitebsk State University/ Wayamba University of Sri Lanka/ Western Technical College/ York St John University/
A Siracusa l’Accademia mondiale si raduna “in remoto” e pensa al post Coronavirus Lingua ufficiale l’inglese per il primo incontro “Academia post Corona” tenutosi il 14 aprile 2020 in remoto e promosso dall’American University of Sicily con la partecipazione di circa 100 professori di alto profilo da 47 paesi da tutto il mondo in rappresentanza di 83 università. Dopo la presentazione dei partecipanti e l’introduzione dell’incontro da parte del prof. Sami Basha, presidente dell’AUS, ha preso la parola per un “Welcoming word” il sindaco di Siracusa, dott. Francesco Italia che, nonostante i suoi numerosi impegni per la città, ha ritagliato un po’ del suo tempo, onorandoci della sua presenza e sottolineando che, nonostante il disaggio e la chiusura, Siracusa rimane il centro della cultura e che, in tempi come questi, è sempre saggio ripartire dall’educazione. Il professor Basha ha aggiunto che la Sicilia, ed in modo particolare Siracusa, sono una perla e vanno rivalorizzate a livello internazionale. L’American University of Sicily è un’associazione universitaria di ricerca, con sede nella città aretusea che si occupa, tramite i suoi centri ed istituti, di tematiche inerenti all’area del Mediterraneo. A sostegno dell’iniziativa “Academia post Corona”, l’Advisory Board dell’AUS, composto da professori da varie università nazionali ed internazionali, ha avviato la conversazione lanciando spunti di riflessione. La chat aperta a tutti ha permesso l’esposizione dei diversi punti di vista e la comune visione per come ripensare la ricerca e ridisegnare l’istituzione universitaria. Tanti gli osservatori e gli uditori rappresentanti di centri di ricerca e di aziende interessati all’argomento. La Pandemia ha evidenziato le tante emergenze alle quali non si potrà più sfuggire nel post Corona. Il professore Gregory Light, ex direttore del Searle Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching della Northwestern University di Chicago, ha posto l’accenno di come si possa imparare dal fallimento del pensiero critico nel sistema universitario, suggerendo un rafforzamento dello stesso su più fronti, a partire dalle scuole. La prof. Gokce Gokalp, Vice President della Middle East Technical University di Ankara in Turchia, che sostiene fortemente l’importanza della Didattica in presenza, imprescindibile per salvaguardare i contatti umani, ha segnalato l'importanza della scoperta di un nuovo umanesimo mentre a livello internazionale si procede in modo ambiguo. Anche il prof. Raja Gyreis dall’Università di Tel Aviv in Israele, ha segnalato lo svantaggio per le minoranze sia per l’accesso ai servizi online sia per le difficoltà che si presenteranno in seguito alla crisi, proponendo delle soluzione concrete ed immediate per evitare il peggio. Per l’ambito medico il professor Arben Gjata, Rettore dell’Università di Medicina di Tirana (National Coordinator of the Task-Force for Education and Human Services), sottolineando l’amicizia storica fra Albania e Italia, è intervenuto offrendo soluzione concrete su come meglio agire nonostante le grandi difficoltà di proseguire nell’insegnamento online per le materie scientifiche. Il prof. Walid Basha, immunologo noto per la sua carriera nella ricerca di laboratorio presso la “Al Najah University” in Palestina, di fronte al deficit nella ricerca ha messo in luce come l’accademia si debba “risvegliare”, perché la ricerca non sia vuota e finalizzata alla promozione accademica o al servizio di una agenda politica, ma si rivolga a servizio dell’uomo. Anche la voce dalla Giordania della prof. Areej Assaf, Professor in Cancer Immunotherapy, ha richiamato all’importanza da dare alla parola degli studiosi nelle decisioni politiche. Il professore Giuseppe Milan, professore di pedagogia interculturale all’Università di Padova, ha condiviso il suo intervento dicendo che la situazione di oggi ci presenta un bivio: cambiare o rimanere come siamo. Il cambiamento è una proposta di coraggio che deve indirizzare al service-Learning verso la comunità locale. Sulla stessa linea il professore Dragan Ćalović, V P per l’International Cooperation alla Facoltà di Arte Contemporanea in Serbia, giovane accademico molto attivo nella collaborazione internazionale, vede che le soluzioni si trovano tramite l’apertura dell’Accademia al mondo. Autore del libro “Becoming Nonviolent Peacemakers” il prof. Eli McCarthy, Georgetown University, attivo nella rete cattolica internazionale per la non violenza, ha parlato di un virus più pericoloso e poco trattato dall’Accademia, ossia la violenza. E ha proposto di aumentare la cooperazione internazionale per pensare con meglio prevenirlo, finita la pandemia. In conclusione la prof. Rebecca Hopkins, presidente accademico associato della Western Technical College negli Stati Uniti, ha tirato le somme: il futuro dell’Accademia, in questo mondo che cambia dopo la Pandemia, deve veder diminuire per gli studenti, schiavi del sistema accademico, le barriere della mobilità, deve considerare la responsabilità sociale e guardare al bene comune attraverso la sanità pubblica. Il professore Basha ha concluso dicendo che, sebbene siano emersi a livello mondiale gli ostacoli burocratici ed economici come un destino che ci accomuna, incontri come questi, fra l’altro low cost, fanno respirare aria pulita, ci aiutano a pensare meglio ad un futuro comune e suggeriscono che il coordinamento fra le parti a livello internazionale e nazionale, di menti pensanti, propositive e pronte al dialogo è atto preventivo e di salvataggio nella deriva della nostra umanità. Tante le domande con le quali gli accademici si sono lasciati: Istruire significa educare? Educare a distanza equivale ad educare nella prossimità? Esiste la tensione verso il bene comune nelle scelte accademiche e politiche? Due certezze sono affiorate. La prima: quella di volersi incontrare di nuovo “on line” ma soprattutto “in presenza”, a Siracusa di certo. La seconda: l’Accademia vuole essere parte attiva nei cambiamenti che aspettano l’umanità colpita e sconvolta dalla Pandemia.
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