Firstly, I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have made this meeting possible. Specifically, I would like to mention Professor Cesare Kaneklin who, several years ago, first came up with this idea of a common, shared reflection on the quality of learning. I must also underline the contribution of my colleague, Michele Faldi, who coordinated all those involved in the process – teaching staff, tutors and outside bodies – and who helped me develop and implement this idea. Finally, recognition goes to all those individuals, both inside and outside the University who, with great dedication, have put their professional skills and experience at the service of this project.
The path we have chosen is an innovative one; our research focuses on how the functions of a tutor may be fulfilled with an area characterized by the dearth of accepted norms, that of the “Specializing University Master”.
There are many different types of Master. Each is related to a particular market and has its own specific teaching needs and organizational characteristics. Over the years, our University has met, and continues to meet, a considerable number of students through these Masters.
What does the Università Cattolica transmit through these Masters? What methods and tools does it use to communicate? This has been the focus of our research, and is what we have attempted to present here. What emerges is that the University possesses what we might call a certain “House Style”, – a feature which, over time, has become a sort of claim.
Specializing Masters are titles conferred by the University and have, therefore, their own type of organizational framework of learning paths. At a certain point, and within this framework, a new function, that of the tutor, came to light, which gradually took shape and grew in importance. It is seen as a function, rather than a profession, as it implies a much more interactive channel of communication than we might imagine. These new connections between the student and the organizational framework of the Master represent an interesting and worthwhile research area.
It is satisfying to see the development of an idea which forms an integral part of our University, an aspect which our postgraduate students will have learnt, almost by osmosis.
Excerpt from Introduction