The Days of the “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi – organized on the occasion of the celebration of the 200 years from the establishment of the School of Engineering and Land Registration by Gheorghe Asachi and 75 years from the opening of the Polytechnic School of Iasi (TUIASI 200) – were crowned by the festive meeting on Friday, the 15th of November 2013. The meeting started at 10.00, at the the “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi Hall, and it was presided by Ph. D. Prof. Eng. Ion Giurma, the Rector of TUIASI and by Ph.D. Prof. Eng Anghel Stanciu, the President of the University Senate. They held speeches highlighting the double anniversary.
The event brought together numerous personalities from the academic world, as well as authorities and the Church representatives. Among these, there were Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Ecaterina Andronescu, the former minister of education, currently the president of the education committee in the Senate, His Eminence Teofan, the Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bucovina, His Eminence Petru Gherghel, Bishop of Romano-Catholic Diocese of Iasi, Gheorghe Nichita, the Mayor of Iasi, Cristian Adomnitei, the President of the Iasi County Council, as well as rectors and senate presidents from universities of Iasi and Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, together with the representatives from Galati, Suceava and Bacau. They granted TUIASI congratulation messages, diplomas and anniversary plates. From the Ministry, TUIASI received the highest distinction available for a university – “Spiru Haret” – that was established last year by Ecaterina Andronescu.
The management of the higher education institution presented a brief history of the technical education in Iasi and a clip with messages from students from all 11 faculties of the University. Furthermore, they gave a coin set issued by the National Bank of Romania in honour of Gheorghe Asachi to the guests as well as an album with the 200 years history.
From the “class of engineering”, to 6% of PIB for Education
In his opening speech, Ph.D. Prof. Eng Anghel Stanciu voiced the message from the Senate of TUIASI. He declared himself to be moved by the emotional charge of the event and transmitted a message to the representatives of the Ministry of National Education underlining the importance of financing the higher education. “In order for the education to evolve, we must also produce money, as you have well said before, mister Costoiu. However, in order to achieve this we need financing; we need those 6% that we propose alongside misses Andronescu”, explained the President of the Senate.
Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Ion Giurma, the Rector of TUIASI, opened the event by thanking the guests of honour and holding a presentation highlighting the historical steps tread by the Technical University to become what it is today. He underlined the contribution of Gheorghe Asachi who had passed the bill from 15th of November 1813 and who established a “class of engineering and land registration in Romanian” in the Royal (Greek) Academy of Iasi. He furthermore fostered the evolution and development of technical education in Iasi. The Rector also noted that,from 1991 until 2013 the Technical University kept and tutored over 14.000 students, regardless of the historical changes.
In 1813, Gheorghe Asachi founded the first class of engineering and land register in Iasi, with courses in Romanian. This class was supposed to teach “the theoretic and practical science of the art of being an engineer”. He thus revolutionized the public higher education by including the engineer in the “literate” category. This school may be considered the nucleus of technical higher education in Moldavia. The school was later integrated into the Michaelian Academy (1835) and afterwards into the University of Iasi, established in 1860. In 1912, as the new regulations for the University’s Faculty of Sciences were issued, the higher education in the fields of electrotechnics, applied chemistry and agronomy is founded. The event represents in fact the true establishment act of the Polytechnic Institute of Iasi. On the occasion of the education reform in 1948, the “Gheorghe Asachi” Polytechnic Institute of Iasi was founded. It will operate as such until 1993, when, by means of another reform in the Romanian higher education, it became the „Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi in 17th of May, 1993.
The 200 years, a guarantee of prestige
At his turn, Mihnea Costoiu – the delegated minister for Higher Education – mentioned that TUIASI is an example of a University achieving numerous performances over time, “the 200 years alone are a guaranty of quality, and the prestige of a real performance indicator.” He told the audience that “the presented history and the fact that your institution endured during the Second World War – being exiled at Deveselu – proved that here everything lasted and developed over the years. I congratulate you for everything you’ve accomplished and I wish to pass the most sincere congratulations from the ministry I represent. All this history showed the resolve of the University which, regardless of the times and the people that led it, managed to achieve outstanding results through its 11 faculties. These are obvious indicators of your efforts towards performance.” He also noticed the involvement of the University in the local community projects and its contribution to its effervescence and positive spirit. “It is about fulfilled promises with direct impact on economy”, added the Minister.
The contribution of Gheorghe Asachi was also highlighted by Ph.D. Prof. Eng Ecaterina Andronescu, who made the connection with current history, mentioning that “Gheorghe Asachi enlightened the nation by establishing schools. It was his main concern. Any authority in any city, any country, has the obligation to look back to history in order to see that the development of society is permanently linked by the developments of schools. I do not believe anybody can imagine a developed country without developed schools. This is the fact that Gheorghe Asachi fully understood”
His Eminence Teofan, the Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bucovina, and His Eminence Petru Gherghel, bishop of the Romano-Catholic Diocese of Iasi spoke to both the university management and to the present students, reminding them that the future of education lays on their shoulders and that a way of preserving the quality of education may be “for you to find the courage to identify yourselves with the personality of Asachi, to be true to your origins. In your hands lays both good and evil, and thus you must find restraint and have heart and then the harmony of Asachi may be fulfilled.”
The highest distinction granted to a University
Ecaterina Andronescu granted – together with the interim Rector of the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Ph.D. Prof. George Darie and Mihnea Costoiu, – diplomas of excellence to the higher education institution from Iasi. From the ministry, TUIASI received the highest distinction granted to a University – “Spiru Haret” – established last year by Ecaterina Andronescu. “Our school has evolved immensely and it is difficult to find an analogy for a school that has progressed such a great deal. This was possible, however, due to the generations of students and teachers that have done all they could to climb the stair of knowledge,” added Ecaterina Andronescu.
The university was also congratulated by local authorities and the minister Mihnea Costoiu, who further noted that TUIASI was a pioneer of establishing relationships with the academic environment from abroad in a time when “many universities were reluctant to do so. Thus a spirit of culture was created in Iasi, a way for our nation, and these are not just empty words. The history is providing us a beautiful example for the force of the university, while the present proves that the actions undertaken by our forbearers were made for a greater purpose. ”
Cristian Adomnitei, the President of the Iasi County Council, and a graduate of the Faculty of Civil Engineering from TUIASI, was overwhelmed by the solemnity of the event, especially because “my life was marked by this Hall, This Hall where Romania was forged in.” In his turn, the Mayor of Iasi, Gheorghe Nichita, a graduate of the Faculty of Hidrotechnics, Geodesy and Environmental Engineering from TUIASI, noted that “this is a celebration of the entire academic centre, of the community of Iasi” and added that “I am glad I have been there, that I was a student of TUIASI. This school made me what I am today and I expect that those studying here nowadays to become true men and to take over from where we left.”
The engineers, the community’s doctors
Each in their turn, Ph.D. Prof. Vasile Isan, the Rector of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Ph.D. Prof. Vasile Vintu, the rector of “Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Ph.D. Prof. Atena Elena Simionescu, the Rector of the “George Enescu” University of Arts, and Ph.D. Lecturer Ileana Cornelia Cojocaru, Vice-Rector for Academic Studies at the “Gr. T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Iasi have addressed their anniversary messages to the management of TUIASI and granted various distinctions (medals and plates). Ph.D. Prof. Vasile Isan pointed out that “engineers have the power to shape and develop a world inexistent before”, as he gave his praise to the “mechanical arts”. The idea was also approached by Ph.D. Prof. Atena Elena Simionescu, who noted that the event proves the “one can raise any profession to the level of art”. Ph.D. Prof. Vasile Vintu highlighted the fact that the institution he represents broke off the same nucleus as TUIASI and expressed his “sentiments of respect doubled by gratitude”. Ph.D. Lecturer Ileana Cornelia Cojocaru said that “without all the technical issues the engineers resolve nowadays, we would strive in vain to address the population health problems. The basis is laid by TUIASI, while we support it with all our strength.”
In the end of the event, the representatives of the academic centres of Bucharest, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca and Brasov, as well as of various counties in Moldavia, highlighted the importance of the event, while they congratulated and granted awards to the Technical University of Iasi. Thus, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Aurel Vlaicu, the Rector of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Iohan Neuer, the Rector of the Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Viorel Aurel Şerban, the Rector of the “Polytechnic” University of Timisoara, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Valentin Popa, the Rector of the “Ştefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Valentin Nedeff, the Rector of the „Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Ioan Vasile Abrudan, the Rector of the „Transilvania” University of Brasov, and Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Lucian Georgescu, the President of the Senate at the “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galati were all present to the event. The manager of Delphi Iasi was also invited to the event and he noted that “Delphi Iasi exists because TUIASI exists. Out of 160 employed engineers, the majority have graduated TUIASI.”
The event was concluded by Ph.D. Prof. Eng. Irina Lungu, Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Academic Public Relations at TUIASI, who expressed her wish that this event when “the university came towards her members and the local community to remain a mark in the collective memory of this University. We are proud of our accomplishments and we desire to shape history in our turn.”