Publish Date: 05.12.2017

Category: News from the University

At today's solemn session of the Senate, the Rector of the University of Ljubljana, Prof. Dr. Igor Papič, presented the highest awards. The title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Ljubljana was presented to professor James I. Prosser and Hans-Uwe Simon, while the title of senator honoris causa of the University of Ljubljana went to professors Günter Borchardt and Danny Pieters. The Rector also awarded the Pro universitate labacensi plaques, the Golden Plaques and the Commendations for University Lecturers and Staff under 35. The presentation of the highest awards concluded the most important day within the traditional University of Ljubljana Week, which commemorates 98 years of the University’s activity.  

“Scientific research work is at the centre of every first-rate global university, while simultaneously recognising that the work with students should not be disregarded either. This is exactly why we must establish a system for proper and correct valuation of the work of educators. The University must place quality before quantity in the area of scientific research activity. Even though, in global terms, we are exposed to various classifications of universities, primarily we must devote our attention to achieving our goals and not unconditionally strive to see our name among the top universities in the world,” said the Rector of the University of Ljubljana, Prof. Dr. Igor Papič, in his introduction, when he also pointed out some fundamental guidelines for the functioning of the new management. He further added that integration with institutes is strategically important, primarily in the areas of natural science and engineering, and that the University must, in general, strengthen the interdisciplinary integration of all fields. In his speech, he also expressed dissatisfaction over the harmonisation of the amending Higher Education Act and the new Research and Development Act. “Both drafts are uncoordinated, and various interest groups want to enforce partial solutions. In view of the situation, the University of Ljubljana, as the largest scientific research institution, yet again highlights the need for a single act, the University Act,” the Rector added.  

This year, the title doctor honoris causa of the University of Ljubljana was awarded to outstanding professors from United Kingdom and Switzerland. James I. Prosser from the University of Aberdeen received the title for his exceptional contribution to the development of science in the world in the area of environmental microbiology and for important scientific and teaching cooperation with the University of Ljubljana; Hans-Uwe Simon from the University of Bern received the title for his pioneering work in the area of biomedicine, support to researchers and students, as well as for successful cooperation with the University of Ljubljana. 

In his speech Professor James I. Prosser, expressed his concern about fundamental changes in education and research and the approaches adopted that resulted from the age of enlightenment. “The enlightenment concepts of independent development, rational thought, logic and critical assessment of empirical data are therefore of central importance and have relevance beyond degree courses. For example, although it has a long history, fake news is currently highly topical, and the degree to which it can spread and gain credence through social media has increased the need for all of us to assess critically what we see and hear and read, and to make rational decisions. To someone living in a country that recently made a decision to leave the European Union, in the complete absence of an exit plan, the need for rational thinking has never been more apparent. If only Thomas Reid’s School of Common Sense were still in existence. These concerns apply obviously in all the countries as well and, in general, the empathy that arose during the enlightenment period also seems sometimes to be in decline.” 

The title of senator honoris causa of the University of Ljubljana went to Prof. Dr. Günter Borchardt from the Clausthal University of Technology (Germany) for his significant and lasting contribution to fostering cooperation and human attitudes, development of the University of Ljubljana and its visibility in the world, and to Prof. Dr. Danny Pieters s KU Leuven (Belgium) for his significant and lasting contribution to fostering cooperation and human attitudes, development of the University of Ljubljana and its visibility in the world. 

The pro universitate labacensi plaque, which is awarded by the University of Ljubljana to individuals and organisations whose resources or work have made significant contributions to the advancement of the University’s material capabilities or the training of its staff, was received by the Roman Catholic parish of Horgen from Switzerland and akad. Prof. Dr. Alojz Kralj.  

The Golden Plaque, which is awarded by the University of Ljubljana for outstanding merit in the development of scientific, pedagogical, and artistic work and for strengthening the university's reputation, this year went to 16 professors of the University of Ljubljana, while eight certificates for outstanding pedagogical and research achievements were awarded to young university teachers and associates.

You can read the speech of the keynote speaker, Prof. Dr. James I. Prosser, here: Prof. Dr. James I. Prosser 

You can watch the video of the event here.  

List of all receipients of the highest awards, which were granted at this year’s solemn session of the Senate of the University of Ljubljana:

Doctor honoris causa:
prof. James I. Prosser
prof. Hans-Uwe Simon 

Senator honoris causa:
Prof. Dr. Günter Borchardt
Prof. Dr. Danny Pieters 

Recipients of the pro universitate labacensi plaque:
akad. Prof. Dr. Alojz Kralj
Roman-Catholic parish Horgen (Switzerland) 

Recipients of the Golden Plaque:
prof. Stanko Arnold, Academy of Music of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Mojca Narat, Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Tom Turk, Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Irena Vida, Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Anton Grizold, Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Marko Topič, Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana
izr. Prof. Dr. Anja Podlesek, Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Danijel Kikelj, Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Boštjan Golob, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Janez Demšar, Faculty of Computer and Information Science of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Tadej Battelino, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana
akad. Prof. Dr. Robert Zorec, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana
izr. Prof. Dr. Franci Sluga, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana
senior lecturer, dr. Gorazd Golob, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. Zlatko Pavlica, Veterinary Faculty of the University of Ljubljana
Prof. Dr. France Sevšek, Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Ljubljana

Recipients of the Commendation for University Lecturers and Staff under 35:
doc. Dr. Žiga Laznik, Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana
doc. Dr. Alenka Slavec Gomezel, Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana
doc. Dr. Marko Lovec, Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana
doc. Dr. Izidor Sosič, Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana
doc. Dr. Uroš Kuzman, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana
doc. Dr. Lovro Šubelj, Faculty of Computer and Information Science of the University of Ljubljana
doc. Dr. Jernej Buzeti, Faculty of Administration of the University of Ljubljana
doc. Dr. Samo Skralovnik, Faculty of Theology of the University of Ljubljana
 

Photos by Foto studio NORA, d. o. o.

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