Message by Rector Pouyioutas on the new Academic Year 2022-2023
I would like to warmly welcome you to the University of Nicosia community and to wish you a successful and memorable Academic Year 2022-2023. Let me congratulate each of you on your choice to be a student at our University and a member of our ever-expanding family. Let me also thank you for trusting us to shape your future career, while preparing you to become an active citizen in our society.
I am extremely happy to see you all embarking on your journey to knowledge at our university campus. We were all eagerly awaiting the commencement of the Fall 2022 semester to welcome you face-to-face and for our university campus to once again buzz with activity after the summer break.
Our University is now proudly ranked among the Top 600 universities in the world, according to the 2023 edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Correspondingly, we now rank among the top 250 universities in the European Union, placing fourth in the list of Greek and Cypriot Universities.
This achievement represents a historic milestone in our continuing journey, which has seen us go from strength to strength, while emphatically reinforcing the role of Cyprus as an international hub for high quality, university education. Moreover, we essentially now join the top 2% of universities globally, out of the more than 25,000 universities that operate worldwide.
This latest distinction, by which we have advanced from the Top 601-800 band last year to the Top 501-600 band this year, is a strong endorsement of the high-quality of our University and of the education we offer, as well as our commitment to always strive towards academic excellence.
You should therefore be extremely proud of belonging to the family of a university counted amongst the best of the best. At the same time, however, be prepared that the pursuit of your dream to obtain your degree is going to be a long and demanding journey, full of learning, life experiences and unforgettable memories; a journey with a major milestone on the horizon in a few years, at which time I am sure we will meet at your graduation ceremony. And we will all be exceptionally proud at that time!!!
We are embarking on this journey together, jointly working towards creating knowledge, sharing our thoughts, creative work, and innovative ideas along the way through open dialogue and communication.
During this stimulating journey of learning, you are called upon to face many challenges; to question everything; to think innovatively and disruptively; to ultimately leave your own mark on our academic community and society at large.
You are also called upon to develop skills such as emotional intelligence, team spirit, critical and creative thinking, verbal and written communication, as well as the ability to envision, design, organize, and problem solve. You will undoubtedly use these skills both in your studies and in your future workplaces.
You should employ these skills fully and be innovative in your approach, adjusting to our changing educational environment, while rationally articulating your arguments. In doing so, you will be preparing yourself to thrive in your chosen profession and in society.
In parallel, we are certain you will embrace the values and principles that infuse our University: academic freedom and integrity; meritocracy; transparency; democratic governance; cooperation; teamwork; collective decision-making; acceptance of diversity; and solidarity and collegiality. Principles that should also govern and guide our society in general. This experience, coupled with your degree, will serve as your passport to wider social recognition and professional success.
Your commitment to challenging everything, to introducing new concepts, to reformulating, to creating, to innovating, and to remaining entrepreneurial must surely be your compass as active citizens in society. We expect you to display such commitment throughout your studies, since, being younger than us, you can boast a fresh outlook on things, while you also possess the energy and passion of youth, not yet eroded by routine and repetition.
Let us also not forget that most of you, the Millennials, are the generation to emerge this Millennium, and are aptly dubbed digital citizens. And while this undoubtedly gives you a huge advantage over our generation, it also charges you with a responsibility to achieve far more than we have or ever could, given how the technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution provide tremendous potential for subversive innovation. In that vein, I ask you to meet the challenges of today… and tomorrow; to think out of the box, creatively and innovatively; and to make sure you leave your own indelible mark on our University community and society at large.
We continue to live in turbulent times. The COVID-19 pandemic, has transformed societies around the globe and presented us all with a host of existential, philosophical, ethical, scientific, professional, and societal questions and dilemmas.
At a time in which our values and principles are coming under increasing scrutiny and are being seriously tested, we are called upon to emerge stronger and wiser from the current public health and societal crisis, but, most importantly, we are required to emerge as better human beings.
We have come to realise how insignificant certain material things are in relation to how all-important knowledge, education, civilization, health, individual social progression, and even experiencing new cultures through socializing and travelling are.
The pandemic has also emphasized the importance of technology in maintaining social cohesion. In today’s new normal, in which you embark on your studies, I invite you to develop your digital skills and make the most of the available technology – in order to maintain not only physical but also online proximity and meaningful engagement with your professors, fellow students, administrative staff, and the academic community more broadly. All University administrative services, pertaining to key functions, such as admissions, tuition payments, issuance of confirmation letters and timetables, will operate normally both face-to-face and online. We strongly encourage you to use the University’s administrative e-services. In line with that, do use this opportunity to transform yourselves into digital citizens. Get ready for the digital knowledge society. Build the foundations for your professional success in the highly demanding and competitive workplace that requires, among other things, state-of-the art digital skills.
We will be together at each step of the way during your studies, co-creators of knowledge. At the end of this particular chapter with us, which will be marked by your graduation ceremony, we will proudly celebrate your accomplishments and the new path that lays before you!
I know you will be filled with happiness and pride when that day comes, conscious also of the fact that you will be receiving your degree from one of the Top 800 universities in the world.
Until then, let me wish us all an intriguing, productive, and unforgettable journey, full of wondrous insights, memorable experiences, and personal and professional growth!
Welcome on board!
Professor Philippos Pouyioutas