Twenty Eight Million to Nurture Human CapitalTHAT IS THE LEVEL OF FUNDING FOR STUDENTS PUT IN PLACE BY BOCCONI UNIVERSITY, INCLUDING SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS, PARTIAL AND TOTAL EXEMPTIONS. AN INVESTMENT IN PEOPLE THAT GOES BEYOND NUMBERS
One of any university's tasks is to develop the potential inherent in every student who comes through its doors. It happens every day in many ways, starting from the quality of teaching, services and facilities available. But two other elements help get it done: removing the economic sword of Damocles for those who are committed to their studies, and recognition of merit. Two key factors to which Bocconi University has increased its commitment from year to year. A figure says it all: the total investment for financial aid and scholarships that the university has allocated for 2017-2018 amounts to about 28 million euros and has grown by 1 million compared to last year and 3 million compared to 2015-2016.
That figure is distributed every year across many types of assistance, ranging for example from the scholarships of ISU Bocconi (Center for the right to university study), partial exemptions (60%) from university fees, to the even wider coverage of the Una scelta possibile project, which involves University investment and the donations of individuals and foundations. There are also exemptions for disabled students, Bocconi Merit Awards for particularly brilliant students, and assistance to promote international mobility.
Above all, this investment translates into more projects realized for students of all social backgrounds. In the case of Pierfrancesco Mei, second-year student in the MSc program in Economics and Social Sciences, the support of the Vittorio Bertazzoni Scholarship within the Bocconi Graduate Merit Award program is expressed in two ways. On one level, there is great satisfaction in seeing the qualities of a student and an aspiring researcher in economics acknowledged, "It is gratifying to realize that the commitment here in Bocconi is recognized"; on another level, "It gives a helping hand to my family who invested a lot in my education", says the young man. "I have always enjoyed studying, but above all, my father has transmitted to me the importance of an outstanding education since childhood".
What emerges from the words of Pierfrancesco, and can also be found in those of Francesca Lisi, is the University’s investment in human capital. Francesca, in the first year of International Management and beneficiary of a BAA partial exemption, tells what it means for her to be able to count on a scholarship: "I hate weighing on the shoulders of others, and the exemption allows me to be more serene with respect to my family ". But she stresses that having the scholarship also represents something more: the freedom to embark on a new path, that of a young startupper, demonstrating through her academic achievements and her commitment, "that what has been invested in me is put to profitable use ".
"We are constantly working to enable capable and deserving young people to attend Bocconi regardless of the economic conditions they start from", explains Bocconi's Rector, Gianmario Verona. "We do this through a system of assistance and scholarships which, over the last few years, has seen a significant increase in the resources we invest. We are convinced that the quality of human capital at our University derives from the quality of the students, who are the heart and soul of our campus ".
The commitment of the University and that, in return, of the student ("because economic support pushes you to always do better", as Francesca says), produce a further result: a sense of gratitude that leads, over time, to want to give back something back. "It's like volunteering," says Giulia Bono, a student in the first year of Marketing Management who is benefiting from a BAA scholarship: "The principle is that if you are helped you are encouraged to commit and maybe to give something back ". Also for her, having obtained a scholarship is a way "to thank my parents for all they have done for me".
Twenty eight million, in conclusion, is a number that says a lot, but not everything. It does not tell of the enthusiasm it produces, of the desire to go further, of the sense of responsibility and, consequently, of the attachment to a community that, as Giulia concludes, "takes care of you and stimulates you, so as to bring out the best in you".
by Andrea Celauro
Translated by Richard Greenslade