Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society


Institutional Communication Service

9 December 2019

The Parliament of the Canton Ticino (Grand Council) has approved during its plenary session on Monday, 9 December 2019, the amendment to the law dating 3 October 1995 on Università della Svizzera italiana and on the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland, which brought about a change in the name of what has until now been the "Faculty of Communication Sciences". It was USI that proposed the new name, which best responds to the current challenges of society, highlights the strengths developed over the years by the Faculty, and is more in line with its current educational offer.

"USI is very well satisfied that its proposal has been accepted by the Grand Council, which has understood the reasons, the added value and the potential for the development of the Faculty" - underlines the Rector of USI Boas Erez. "The new name is the result of a process of reflection within the Faculty of Communication Sciences that began in 2017" - explains Dean Andrea Rocci - "aimed at defining its new positioning, also in view of the full integration of the Institute of Italian Studies, ten years from its foundation. This change will allow us to seize new opportunities, and also to continue pursuing the Faculty's traditional strengths”.


An increasingly relevant and expanding sector

Communication is transforming various fields and shaping new social settings, including the world of work, culture, relations between companies and institutions, and the private lives of billions of people. It is also at the centre of a series of dramatic economic and cultural transformations that need to be studied and understood. When the Faculty of Communication Sciences, founded by USI in 1996, was established, it was an absolute novelty in the Swiss academic landscape and at the beginning, 25 years ago, its name coincided with that of the only degree it offered: the four-year degree in Communication Sciences. In the meantime, the Faculty has expanded its field of study from the original subject and is now adapting its name to its current offer.

This evolution allows the Faculty to address the three major challenges that society will have to face in the near future:

  1. the global interconnection of digital technologies, with its combination of artificial intelligence and large masses of data, which represents a change that requires to be understood not only technologically, but also in its consequences for society and politics, for work and the private life;
  2. the convergence of different cultures, languages, ideologies and religions - fostered by global digital communications, but also by migratory movements and, more generally, by the mobility of people - which poses new challenges in terms of communication, cultures and identities, living together in society;
  3. the significance and the methods of developing and transferring culture, which has consequences for education, as well as for the conservation, interpretation and enhancement of cultural heritage.


Educations at the frontiers of innovation

The Faculty in the last 10 years has counted a high and steady number of students, with an average of about 800 enrolled between Bachelor, Master, Continuing Education and PhD. For over twenty years, the Faculty has been able to train professionals, who are now well regarded by the labour market, by designing innovative training courses capable of anticipating the demands of society. Two recent examples are the new Master's program in Digital Fashion Communication, which explores the transformations in the fashion industry, between digitisation and sustainability, and the renewed Master in Marketing and Transformative Economy, which trains marketers with a new perspective that goes beyond customer satisfaction, to address the issue of individual and collective well-being. A completely renewed Bachelor programme in Communication will be launched starting next academic year (https://www.usi.ch/it/formazione/bachelor/comunicazione). In the humanities, the Faculty's current offer includes, in addition to a complete course of study in Italian language, literature and civilisation, an innovative Master's program in philosophy, open to confrontation with science and artificial intelligence. 



According to the normal procedure for a change in the law, publication in the Bollettino Ufficiale occurs after the 60 days provided for the right of referendum. Once the change in the law is published in the Bollettino Ufficiale, the change takes effect. USI is committed to completing the relevant changes in its official documents by the beginning of the next academic year, September 14, 2020. The change in the Faculty's name does not affect the name of the Bachelor, Master, PhD and Executive degrees awarded and has no retroactive effect.


For further information on the practical implications of the amendment, students who are currently enrolled, alumni or other members of the academic community are free to contact [email protected] 

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