University Corridors: a new program for student refugees in Italy

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Palazzo Poggi © Università di Bologna

ROME, FEBRUARY 9 – The “University Corridors” project was recently announced for student refugees in Ethiopia. The project will create study and integration programs in Italy for young refugees in the East African nation. The joint protocol was signed by members from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The University of Bologna, UNCHR, and Caritas Italy. The program’s objective is to sustain the commitment of five students from the University of Mekelle, in Ethiopia, in completing a two-year specialization degree at the University of Bologna.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will handle the visa applications for the selected students and host interviews at Italian embassies. The visa procedures will then follow the normal measures of granting university student visas and will have to adhere to the respective legal requirements. Once in Italy, the five selected students will apply for a study permit. The application deadline for the special program is February 22.

The UNICORE project (University Corridors for Refugees) is targeted to students that look at Italy as a cultural reference point. The project is just one example of the vast array of actions Italy has undertaken – with the involvement of civil society – in developing channels of regular migration for refugees and vulnerable migrants. Other organizations contributing to this specific initiative include ER.GO – Azienda Regionale per il Diritto agli Studi Superiori dell’Emilia-Romagna, Federmanager Bologna in Ravenna, Gandhi Charity, Manageritalia Emilia Romagna, and Next Generation Italy.

The UNICORE project will be test-piloted through the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic years. The five refugee students will be selected in a special announcement.