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Exclusion is a threat, education minister tells University G7

Valeria Fedeli calls for 'strong educational themes'

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UDINE - Education Minister Valeria Fedeli has sounded the alarm on educational exclusion in a message to the University of Trieste for the third edition of the Italian 'Conoscenza in Festa' knowledge festival.

The festival on knowledge and higher education is organized by the university in the north-eastern city on June 29-July 1 and will include this year the G7 university event to be attended by some 150 university rectors, professors and students.

"Today, data regarding educational exclusion at all levels, including higher education, still represents an extremely serious problem for G7 countries and more in general the whole world, as well as a serious threat for the fundamental values of democracy and a responsible participation in civil and political life", Fedeli said in a message read out Wednesday at the presentation of the festival by the university's deputy rector, Roberto Pinton.
"Fair, inclusive and sustainable growth is possible only with strong, modern educational themes able to give new generations profound awareness of the importance of their knowledge and of the connection that exists between what they will do for society thanks to their knowledge and the social and economic wellbeing of the community".

The minister also said in her message that the G7 university event scheduled in Udine on June 29-30 is organized under the sponsorship of Italy's presidency of the G7 and will have an important role in preparing for the G7 meeting of ministers of science and technology to be held in Turin on September 27-29.

Ministers and the European commissioner for research, science and innovation, Carlos Moedas, will discuss in Turin "themes of huge importance for the future of universities, like researchers' training and their role in society, research funding and large global infrastructures for research", Fedeli noted.

"For this reason, it is particularly meaningful for me that world-renowned researchers and professors will gather in Udine at the end of June to discuss the role of education in society and culture in confronting the great challenges linked to social changes and global citizenship", she added.