The history of UniversitÓ della Svizzera italiana
The Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) was founded in 1996, although the original concept dates back several decades. It was in fact at the beginning of the 19th century when the first proposal for an institution of higher education was mooted, addressing the aspirations of the Italian-speaking culture of Switzerland. In 1803, Ticino acquired sovereign status as a Canton of the Swiss Confederation. Carrying out the project of a university, however, required stronger demographic and economic resources that the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland could afford at the time.
USI was established by a law passed by the Parliament on 3 October, 1995. The first academic year started off on 21 October, 1996 with some 300 full-time undergraduate students and three Faculties: Economics, Communication Sciences and the Academy of Architecture. Besides Ticino residents, the original student body included a remarkable number of students from the rest of Switzerland, Italy, and other countries.
On 9 December, 1996, a Federal Council (Swiss Executive) resolution granted to USI federal subsidies which placed the University on the same level as the two Federal Institutes of Technology and other nine cantonal Universities in the German and French regions. On 1 November, 2000, with the awarding of the first USI degrees, the Federal Council granted Canton Ticino the status of ‘university-canton’. Since then, Ticino actively engaged in policy-making as a full member of the national legislative bodies, on an equal footing with all other cantonal universities.
At present, USI counts 2919 students representing more than 100 nationalities, 795 academic staff and 30 research institutes.
||Ticino Parliament passes the University Act
||The first academic year begins, with three Faculties
||First degrees in Economics and Communication Sciences. USI formally acknowledged as a university by the Federal Council
||USI adopts the new European system of university studies (Bologna Declaration)
||Academic start for the Faculty of Informatics. First bachelor's degrees awarded
|2010||The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB, Bellinzona) has been affiliated to USI
||2919 students, 795 Faculty members, 136 Services staff, 8 doctoral schools, 8 Executive Masters, 30 research institutes