Didier Burkhalter

The mark of the University

Berlin, Paris, Rome ? What city should you choose to take up university studies? How to fully enjoy continental openness and cross-fertilization of ideas? Why not Neuchâtel ? Neuchâtel is not a large city. However, nestled in the centre of Europe and close from everything, it has certain qualities of large cities, while avoiding their quirks. One of Neuchâtel’s main strengths is unquestionably the University. Once again, even a small size is no limit to ambitions.

About a good half of my life separates me from my university memories. Nevertheless, they remain engraved deep inside me, reminding their presence powerfully and silently at every stage, along the path of decisions. In my day, Masters or Bachelors did not exist. However, the thirst for studies was the same, composed both of a magnetic attraction to knowledge and the latent awareness that your future largely depends on your acts. I had the chance to study at the faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Neuchâtel, and also to work there as an assistant. I then choose to study economic policy, vaguely sensing that I could use the theory as a reference for cultivating the practice.

The waves and the currents of the years have gone by. Today, I simply feel grateful to a very small University which gave me my one and only conviction: that you constantly have to learn by yourself to be able to understand – even in some small way – the world and other people.