The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the University of Bologna, the UNHCR and the Italian Caritas signed in Rome a Memorandum of Understanding setting up “university corridors” with the aim of developing courses for and promoting the integration in Italy of refugee students in Ethiopia. The Goal of the MoU is to enable five students from the Mekelle University to attend a two-year master course at Bologna University.
The role of the Foreign Ministry will be to manage the selected students’ visa applications, by making it easier for them to make an appointment with the Embassy. Visa applications will then be processed as is customary for student visa/university enrolment applications and will have to meet the relevant legal requirements. Once in Italy, the five students selected will file an application for a ‘study residence’ permit.
The UNICORE (University Corridors for Refugees) project targets students that see Italy as their Country of cultural reference, and is just one piece of a much wider-reaching action that Italy has been promoting for some time with a view to developing regular immigration channels for refugees and vulnerable migrants, also involving civil society organisations for reception and integration intitiatives.