"Preferential option for the poor" has impelled us in all our educative interventions at the school and college levels. The same choice now calls us to enter a new field to provide university studies to so many youth, disadvantaged because of poor economic and social conditions.
We are called to accompany the young in the crucial moments of their life. University study is a time in their life in which they make the more important decisions for their future. Vocational orientation in the fundamental choices of their life or profession is required most at this stage.
There is a need for a presence of the Salesian Congregation in those environments in which social change, especially in relation to youth is being promoted. We spend so much of our time, energy and means in reacting, counteracting and correcting negative youth culture. Preventive System calls us to be present in the very places where such culture is created.
A University, together with the Colleges we already run (32 in India), can contribute to the qualified formation of youth for entry into the world of work and for their responsible involvement in society in such as way that their involvement goes beyond the demands and needs of the market and produce changes and new developments in society itself.
Don Bosco University is engaged in a scientific reflection on the Salesian educative system, both in theory and in practice, and its interface with the world of science and culture, as an attempt to make a specifically Salesian contribution in the field of education. Additionally, research and outreach services from the University for other educational institutions, businesses, NGOs and the society at large could be qualitatively enhanced.
The international nature of Don Bosco Educational Society and the increased coordination and networking of its universities and other institutes of higher education under IUS (Istituzioni Universitarie Salesiane now known as Instituzioni Salesiane di Educazione Superiore) could help to foster exchange programmes for students and staff and bring about international collaboration. In addition to its Catholic identity, the Salesian identity of the University is expressed more concretely in the following characteristics:
- A preferential option for young people, especially those coming from the lower strata of society. Special efforts made to facilitate access to the university for young people who come from the world of work and the lower social classes.
- A close attention to the relationship between culture, science, technology, education, professionalism and integrity of life and religion (reason and religion). Close attention to building a moral conscience based on values, with special emphasis on a culture of solidarity, through a model of sustainable human development, of equality and reciprocity in relationships, and of human life in its highest dignity.
- Research, teaching, study and cultural services aimed at knowing better the situation of youth, especially the most disadvantaged and bring about their positive transformation.
- A spirit of family characterized by the presence of teachers and administrators among and for the students. Presence of a generous willingness to serve and an atmosphere rich in human values.
- An academic and educative style of relationship founded on love, manifested to and perceived as such by the students (loving kindness).
Efforts to promote in society formative programmes that impact on educative processes as well as on strategies and policies for youth. Special attention to the field of education, the formation of educators, the field of technology and work, and the world of communication.