Anna Maria Bernini


Minister of Research and University Anna Maria Bernini at#Giffoni53

Today the minister of University visited the festival: “The real challenge is to make Italy attractive. A mean is the PNRR, which will bring many resources for the right of an education and for research. We should be proud of our nation; innovation abroad speaks Italian.” Minister Roccella on abortion: “It’s not about my viewpoint. The right to have an abortion is a conquest of civilisation”.


That’s the appeal of Minister of Research and University Anna Maria Bernini at #Giffoni53’s youth: new challenges, goals to achieve, knowledge and education at their finest..

She arrived in the halls of Giffoni – in Sala Truffaut at the Cinema Citadel – shook many hands and did all the ritual shots. “A hug to all of you,” she said addressing the jurors of the Generator +16 section, “I came here to promote. I came to tell you that we are there for you; that there is university, there is higher education in art, music and dance, there are research institutions. We are famous in the world, much more than we think, for the great ability to do research. The great challenge is to have more and more researchers in our country, more and more people enrolled in the university, and have more and more people come here. Ideas flow only horizontally. Vertically you can’t communicate. When you make a community, ideas keep flowing. Keep creating ideas and have fun because this is a place where you can have it.” She says this in front of Claudio Gubitosi, Giffoni’s founder, who greeted her upon her arrival. With him there are the president of the Ente Autonomo Giffoni Experience Pietro Rinaldi, Giffoni’s general manager Jacopo Gubitosi, and the mayor of Giffoni Valle Piana Antonio Giuliano. Following the minister is the general director Marcella Gargano, who has a past as Giffoner.

The theme of #Giffoni53 has many meanings, all of which do not escape Minister Bernini. What is indispensable to be in the world for kids today? She has no doubt: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” she says, “Mistakes are creative. They must not think that a mistake will compromise their lives. The most important things in scientific research have been discovered by mistake. By this assumption: live your mistakes because by making them you learn and do better and better.” And is Giffoni indispensable? Absolutely. “It is,” she said, “not only for the kids but also for us because it gives life lessons. Here there is a community that is not afraid to make mistakes, to put itself on the line, a community in which we learn to take responsibility from an early age.”

Today university is a challenge, since it is used to measure the degree of civilization of a country, an index of the quality of life of a state. Where do we stand? “University with its innovative courses,” she said, ” must succeed in training young people in professions that only exist in part or not yet exists. On this matter, we have taken up the challenge and decided to organize an Italian Erasmus that allows students to rotate among universities, refining their skills and making them more flexible. I say to the students that they should be proud of Italian research because the global strategic sectors speak Italian, the subjects of the future speak Italian.”  But there is a gap between this and our view of the Italian education, that is often seen so far removed from the professional world: “The real challenge is to make Italy attractive. A mean is the PNRR, which will bring many resources for the right of an education and for research. Researchers work where the resources are, and the quality of research is high. Today we can say that we have the structures and the funds to do it. But the great challenge is giving a continuity to all this.”

Why is better to choose an Italian university when such a gap between these two worlds exists? This is the focus of the questions from Giffoni Impact’s members, in a florid meeting between them and the Minister: “The world is changing. I am on leave from teaching at university. Since I left 10 years ago a lot has changed. I found a different world, where universities have understood their role, not as monads but as a net: between national and international universities, with their land and what comes with it. University is changing. And the key word is flexibility”.

The right to an education remains a priority and is divided into two major branches, scholarships, and university housing. “It should be said,” she explained, “that the right to study is not only a word, but a path. In regards of scholarships, I like to emphasize that among the first acts carried out we allowed for an increase in the Isee threshold, and the amount of the scholarships themselves.” Of a greater complexity the theme of housing: “We are starting to select disused or impounded buildings to make university housings out of them. Our challenge is the realisation of 60 thousand accommodations to add to the 40 thousand already existing. On this matter all the interested parties –local institutions of every color – cooperate with each other, united like during a football game of the national team.”

The ministry Roccella talked about social themes. What’s her position on the right to abortion? She was a bit perplexed. And the position of the government? “It’s not about my viewpoint.” She answered. “We should be clear on this matter. The right to have an abortion is a conquest of civilisation and a personal choice not to be judged or questioned. Behind this decision there is much pain, and it should be respected. Period.”

Closing the meeting an appeal to the students: “There is so much of positive happening, without necessarily giving credits to this government. The world is changing, and 99 Italian universities are trying to adapt and keep up. Deans today are managers trying to manage the resources they have for the best. Do not forget that many good things are coming and that you are our challenge. Never lose hope. What keeps from solving problems is often our own negativity. Some of what happens to us is by our own hand; we should never forget to make the most out of it.”

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