The European Universities Association (EUA) In memory of Prof. Carmine Alfredo Romanzi First signatory of the Magna Charta Universitatum
On 18 September 2004. the anniversary day of the signing of the Magna Charta Universitatum in 1988 on the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, the Vice-President of the European University Association (EUA) and a founding member of the Observatory Collegium, Prof. Lucy Smith, awarded the Carmine Romanzi prize to a young Australian historian, Stephen Lay, from Monash University, Melbourne.
The essay competition - dedicated to the first signatory of the Magna Charta, Prof. Carmine Romanzi, the then President of the association of European universities (CRE) - had been announced in 2003. The competition called for an analysis of the universities' present role and social function - at a time when its fundamental values and rights are often questioned or set aside. It was open to doctoral students and young researchers, the future leaders of tomorrow's universities. Some twenty essays were received from all over the world, from Columbia to South Africa, from the Philippines to Portugal, from Indonesia to Poland and the Czech Republic...
The laureate's full analysis of higher education institutions through the ages is a clear statement of the strengths and weaknesses of today's universities in a knowledge society they no longer control. In the present situation of uncertainty, should the fundamental values and rights of universities be questioned, reaffirmed and how?
For the awarding ceremony, the wining entry has been published by the Observatory. To stress the wealth of structured opinions that found the debate on the universitiy's identity, two other entries that had been shortlisted by the jury can be consulted on the same site too but exist only in a numerical form: one by Henrik Enroth, from Stockholm University - who looks at university autonomy from the point of view of the State - and the other by Diego Lucci from Frederic II University in Naples - who contrasts the autonomy enjoyed by European and American academic institutions.