“Take every opportunity. Actively participate in academic life, engage in cultural activities, attend conferences, play sports, volunteer, participate in movements. And never give up. In the coming years, the University of the Algarve will be your home”. These were the words that Paulo Águas, dean of the Algarve University, used to welcome this year’s new students.
The session completely filled the Teatro das Figuras in Faro. Hundreds of new students attended the reception session which also marked the beginning of the school year.
With a relaxed speech – where he even recalled episodes of his personal life as a student – Paulo Águas recalled how this “is a new cycle” in the lives of the 1231 new students at UAlg.
“Many have come to a new reality, some of you moving away from your families for the first time. For our part, we will strive to integrate them as soon as possible. It will be a privilege for us to participate in your growth and contribute to your formation,” he said.
For some, these will really be “the best years of their lives,” he said. But the UAlg has expectations of these new students as well. “What do we expect from you? Express the talent they have, do work, take responsibility, have capacity for suffering, whenever necessary, and a lot of determination, ” he said. This year, the traditional reception session was attended by João Sobrinho Teixeira, Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education.
The Government official made a point of seizing the opportunity to focus on UAlg’s role as an institution. João Sobrinho Teixeira argued that the University of the Algarve has affirmed itself over the last 40 years as “one of the pillars of Higher Education» in Portugal”.
“The University of Algarve has contributed decisively to the region and to the economic sectors of the country itself. These new students come to a region that they can feel welcomed by, where students will not feel that they are individuals, but are a part of a community, growing as people, ” he told reporters.
Returning to the welcoming session, Pedro Ornelas, president of the Academic Association of the University of Algarve, revealed a certainty to the new students: “here they will be welcomed like nowhere else in the world”.
“This is a crucial phase of your lives and this is where the best memories will come from. I hope you enjoy the best that the University of Algarve has to offer. You chose the best region of the country to enrich yourselves as people, ” he concluded.