Putting Things into Perspective

Yesterday I delivered a commencement speech to graduates of faculty of computer and information science of University of Ljubljana. The text of my speech is available here, but it's in Slovene only. I don't think it makes a lot of sense to translate it to English since it addresses a topic that is very specific to Slovenia, namely, the complete lack of reference in some matters given our low population count and particularities of our history. In particular I've address the issue of graduates of University of Ljubljana taking for granted the high quality of education they've received and not being particularly proud of their Alma mater.

Up to quite recently there existed just a single university in Slovenia, i.e. University of Ljubljana. Consequently almost everybody graduated there. There's some rivalry between different faculties within University of Ljubljana, but there never existed rivalry between the University of Ljubljana and any other college. In Slovenia, there's no Cambridge to compete with Oxford and without such college rivalry that almost every other country knows the identify of being a graduate of University of Ljubljana is not firmly established and students identify themselves much more with their particular faculty than with the university proper.

My advice to the freshly-minted graduates was to spend at least some time abroad to gain realistic perspective of their role in our increasingly global world. Doing so they'll be able to recognize not just the real worth of being University of Ljubljana's graduate but they'll start appreciating the many other great things that we enjoy in Slovenia without fully understanding how fortunate we really are to have them.