Dear students, researchers, teachers, and all employees of the University of Rijeka,
With the beginning of a new academic year, allow me to wish you all successful work and results that will bring both professional and personal satisfaction. Our home, the University of Rijeka, will grow exactly the way and as much as we grow as individuals and as we are truly devoted to our duty of caring for the growth of everyone who stands next to us. I invite you to one again give your best, so that the University of Rijeka continues to be exceptional in its openness, authentic quality, and transparency.
I extend a warm welcome to our first-year students, our new colleagues. This is the first step on the path to realizing your wishes and plans, and the University becomes your second home. I assure you we will do everything to provide you with the best education and the necessary support to achieve your goals. We will listen carefully and support you when you ask for more – more knowledge, more innovation, more creativity, more fairness, and more opportunities. The most we can hope for is that you are proud to be a student of the University of Rijeka.
The year ahead will be challenging in many ways. We live in a time where the rights to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are questioned every day. Europe and the world are witnessing the growth of authoritarian regimes, threats to the fundamental democratic values of pluralism, mutual respect and solidarity, but also a crisis of enlightenment. Economic challenges and falling standards radicalize socially vulnerable groups who are offered comfort in the alleged strengthening of their identity, but in fact in exclusivity and denial of freedom to others. The war in the immediate vicinity, the energy crisis, the consequences of climate change, and the weakening of trust in institutions and systems make the year ahead even more challenging.
Past and future generations had and will have their own challenges. There has never been a time when there were no challenges, but there will never be a time when we will not be able to solve them. It is no consolation that each generation thinks its challenges are greater than those that preceded them. It is also no consolation to refer to objectively particularly difficult circumstances. Comfort should be sought in the understanding that we are capable of everything that is not humanly impossible. The solution lies in understanding that the formula for our well-being includes the well-being of others. Human capacities for altruism are enormous, especially when we understand that egoism is neither a natural given nor the key to social success.
This academic year is special for all of us, as we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the University of Rijeka. I invite you to join us at conventions, conferences, discussions and other events where we will discuss new topics with friends and colleagues from Europe and the world and celebrate the achievements of our people. Our celebratory message is our way of life and work – openness to ideas, people, community, the world, and the constant expansion of the space of freedom, cooperation, and solidarity.
Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D.