During the 2016 Reimagine Education conference, sponsored by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania alongside QS, one of the most prominent university ranking system on an international level, LUISS Guido Carli won the Bronze Award in Ethical Leadership and was shortlisted in Nurturing Employability.
Students' training and development opportunities: a new leadership for the future is the project that LUISS brought to the podium of the world’s best programs to develop soft and transversal skills from over 800 candidates representing the world’s most prestigious and innovative institutions of higher education.
“For us, higher education is a combination of two fundamental aspects: the acquisition of solid academic competencies as well as individual and collective awareness,” declared Professor Roberto Pessi, Vice Rector in Charge of Teaching.
General Manager Giovanni Lo Storto explains, “The continually evolving world needs graduates capable of thinking critically while facing complex problems with creativity and resilience, skills that cannot be guaranteed by pure academic preparation, which is also necessary. Alongside academics, today considered a mere starting point, higher education must instill new elements: curiosity, an ability to learn, systematic thinking, a wide vision, and self-awareness. This is what I call life large learning. Students must learn to think horizontally and enrich their résumés with different experiences. Our victory at Wharton is significant evidence of this.”
Based on a wide educational model, going beyond lectures to include informal, problem- and experience-based learning, LUISS soft skills programs represent a series of innovative activities with strong practical components. These initiatives, from volunteer programs to entrepreneurship workshops, are a part of all LUISS degree programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s level. Furthermore, the university’s ERS – Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability workshops offer students the chance to enrich their professional profiles with skills that allow them to understand the changing world, from critical thought and problem-solving skills to developing community awareness to understand how to play a unique role in creating value for society.
Since 2013, ERS courses have involved 3,000 students every year in activities where adaptation, open-mindedness and creativity are fundamental elements to interacting with diverse contexts. The courses include, but are not limited to: working in a community garden alongside autistic teens, managing social enterprises with incarcerated women, using new technology to launch a new start up, business games, teamwork, digital artisanry, and managing common goods.
Further developing the university’s philosophy of learning by doing, the second project presented at Wharton, based on an formula that integrates different instruments, from the Adoption Lab to the Academic Gym and experiences in the field, LUISS works to reinforce employability, enabling our students to enter the workforce quickly and more efficiently, with an effect on companies’ modernization and digitalization processes through the contribution of our students.
The projects were judged by a jury of 40 experts in higher education, including Gavin Dykes, Program Director at the Education World Forum and Jerry Wind, director of the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at Wharton. Other finalists in the category of Ethical Leadership, were Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the American schools Defiance College and Williamson College of the Trades.
In recent weeks, acclaim for LUISS projects has also arrived from within national borders. The jury for the second edition of the Premio Adriano Olivetti, recognizing excellence in education, also awarded the Training Opportunities and Soft Skills project as the best in the Ethics and Social Responsibility category. Sponsored by AIF, the Italian association of educators, the award goes out to the best projects in the field of education and enhancing human capital.
“This recognition,” declares Executive Vice President Luigi Serra, “is without a doubt further incentive to continue making improvements and compare ourselves with different educational models. Thanks to our volunteer projects and courses on sustainability and problem-solving, we develop personal awareness and a sense of responsibility towards the outside world.”