UNIV Congress is an annual international university congress that takes place in Rome during Holy Week. Each year a relevant aspect of our culture is chosen as the theme of the congress. Young people have the opportunity to study and reflect upon the theme of UNIV, with the purpose of suggesting forward-thinking solutions that are shared with the rest of the participants. The UNIV Congress is part of a workshop that includes other activities such as: an audience with the Pope, international get-togethers, social projects, cultural and historical tours of the Eternal City.
Youthful and international, each year UNIV draws thousands of university students from the five continents to Rome. They come to expand their horizons, exchange ideas and constructively reflect on the most important issues for today’s youth and society. UNIV began in 1968 with this objective: to annually offer a profound experience to roughly 3000 young people, where their ideas can come to life and grow, all in the context of Rome’s cultural, spiritual and artistic heritage. Year after year, our students have met and listened to the protagonists of diverse areas of culture as well as those who can testify to and explain the challenges facing our society.
Study, reflection, dialogue, inquiry and debate: all these activities are at the heart of university life. One of the challenges for any university – in addition to providing adequate technical formation in the various disciplines – is to help students develop solid habits of intellectual rigor, rendering them capable of facing the great questions of life, of scientific and cultural progress, religion, economy and many other areas.
UNIV places itself at the service of the university, which occupies an irreplaceable role in the progress of society. As a meeting point for university communication and debate, UNIV fosters dialogue on the principle questions affecting the person and culture of our time.
Not limiting itself to theoretical reflection, UNIV promotes new projects that have a real impact on society.
By various kinds of work session – conferences, workshops, social projects, film contests, etc. – UNIV constitutes a flexible platform for fostering the creativity and initiative of professors and students coming from cultures rich in diversity.
Stepping into the workforce on the right foot requires a lot more than technical preparation. Today’s world needs competent professionals who are also humanly well rounded. A formation of this kind ought to mature over the years, like a good wine. It consists in dispositions that cannot be improvised: a spirit of initiative, humility, order, empathy and many others.
From the beginning, UNIV has placed work at the center of its interests. We emphasize that work is an occasion for growth and personal realization and, above all, that it is an instrument to serve others and society by making one’s irreplaceable contribution.
Starting in 1968, the Univ gatherings arose as initiatives encouraged by St. Josemária, the founder of Opus Dei. Since then the tens of thousands of students and university professors who have participated in this international meeting have been exposed to the lives and ideas of the great men and women who have lived in Rome, past and present. Univ is an chance for them to expand their horizons, to be close to the heart of the Church, and to listen to and grow in affection for the Holy Father.