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Internationalisation of the Italian academic system

The internationalisation of the Italian higher education system is a priority public and cultural diplomacy objective of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It is in fact a lever for Italy’s cultural and economic development and an effective foreign policy instrument.

Attracting international students to our higher education institutions is a goal on which the Foreign Ministry is working, together with MUR, CRUI and other key players in the academic sector. With a view to facilitating student mobility, the Foreign Ministry annually grants scholarships for foreign students (borse di studio per studenti stranieri) and, through its diplomatic-consular network, it issues study visas, legalisations for diplomas and qualifications (visti per studiolegalizzazioni).

Through its diplomatic-consular network and Office IV of the Directorate General for Public and Cultural Diplomacy (Ufficio IV della Direzione Generale per la Diplomazia), the Foreign Ministry supports Italian higher education institutions in their internationalisation activities, facilitating collaborations and agreements with foreign universities. As proof of the dynamism of Italy’s higher education institutions, the CINECA platform dedicated to inter-university collaborations records over 15,000 agreements between Italian and foreign universities.

Uni-Italia Association

MAECI is a founding member of the Uni-Italia Association, which has been working since 2010 to promote the Italian academic system abroad and to encourage inter-university cooperation. Among its activities, Uni-Italia assists students interested in pursuing their studies in Italy, providing information on the Italian educational offer and support in pre-enrolment procedures. It also assists foreign universities in establishing collaborations with Italian universities.

Since the start of its activities, Uni-Italia has recorded significant results, thus contributing to the growth in the number of foreign students enrolled in our universities and academies and supporting Italian participation in the most important international fairs in the sector, such as the US NAFSA. The Association has also established important partnerships with foreign university promotion agencies, such as the German DAAD, the US IIE, the French Campus France, and the Dutch Nuffic.

Following the statutory change adopted in 2022, Uni-Italia is made up of MAECI, MUR and the Interior Ministry, as well as CRUI and ICE-Agenzia. The strengthening of Uni-Italia’s governance and international relevance reaffirms the will to invest ever more systematically in the promotion of Italy’s higher education system abroad.