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Universities: new internationalisation strategies

02 February 2011

Cultural exchanges between Italy and China got a boost from the signing of a convention by the MFA and Uni-Italia that will make it possible to increase the number of Chinese students studying at Italian universities. The convention was signed today at the foreign ministry in Rome by Director General for Promotion of the Country System Amb. Maurizio Melani and President of the Associazione Uni-Italia Cesare Romiti.

The Association, the result of a 3-year Uni-Italia project begun in 2008, is sponsored and administered by the Fondazione Italia-Cina, co-financed by the Fondazione Cariplo and realized in collaboration with the MFA, the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, the Embassy of Italy in Beijing and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Italy; its aim is the qualitative and quantitative increase of Chinese students studying at Italian universities.

In the project’s first 3 years, the Chinese students enrolled in Italian universities went from 1448 in the 2006-2007 academic year to 4642 in 2009-2010—an increase of 220%. From this positive experience of public-private partnership, the Associazione Uni-Italia was created in July 2010, whose partners include the Fondazione Italia-Cina and the Italian foreign and education ministries.

The Associazione Uni-Italia’s goal is to encourage university cooperation and cultural exchanges between Italy and other countries, particularly in terms of attracting foreign students and researchers to Italian universities, forging a solid relationship of exchange between knowledge centres (universities) and production centres (cultural, economic and scientific). Its operators have, for some time now, been concerned with universities, not only with a view to recruiting qualified human resources, but also to satisfying the need for innovation, especially on the level of SMEs. The aim is to launch a new phase in the internationalization of universities and country system, based on the transfer of technologies and on a network consisting of institutions, universities and associations, not least in order to respond to the growing demand from emerging countries to study and do research in Italy.

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