Internationalisation has always been a pillar of the Università degli Studi Internazionali di Roma (UNINT). That is why, over the years, it has created a network of more than 100 partner universities, enabling UNINT students to spend part of their undergraduate years abroad at prestigious academic institutions. At the same time, students can take advantage of the highly multicultural climate that animates the University due to the presence of students and teaching staff from all over the world.
In light of this ever-increasing, close-knit network of agreements, 37.2% of master's degree graduates have had an experience of study abroad, recognised by their course of study, both at bachelor's and master's levels (XXIV AlmaLaurea Survey 2022 - Graduates' Profile).
Internationalisation is also recognised as a value of human and professional growth for teaching and technical-administrative staff, whose mobility is guaranteed and made use of by the University.
Erasmus Policy Statement (EPS)
UNINT strongly supports the internationalisation of the university experience for students as well as for teaching and technical-administrative staff. In compliance with the Erasmus+ Programme Guide 2021 - 2027 and in line with the principles of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (CEIS or ECHE in its English acronym), it ensures equal treatment in access and opportunities for current and potential participants from all backgrounds. It also establishes internal selection procedures that take into account the values of fairness, equal opportunity and inclusion.
Also in line with the principles of the ECHE, UNINT is committed to promoting environmentally friendly practices in all activities related to the Erasmus+ Programme, promoting the use of sustainable means of transportation for mobility, taking concrete and environmentally sustainable measures in the delivery of events, conferences and meetings related to Erasmus+ mobility, and replacing administrative procedures that employ paper documentation with digital processes.
The participation in the Erasmus+ Programme is a cornerstone of UNINT's mission, which is based on 3 main guidelines, one of them being its strong international vocation. UNINT is committed to an internationalisation process addressed to cultural integration and knowledge advancement. To date, over 100 cooperation agreements signed with foreign HEIs worldwide - supported by European, Governmental Funds and by funds offered by the University itself - allow students and teaching/admin staff exchanges and to foster joint research activities. UNINT is committed to continuously widening its network of partners worldwide to value and enrich its educational offer and research areas with a focus on quality and transnational dimension. The external collaboration actions carried out to present rely on a consolidated network of universities, research organizations in other countries with the aim to: (a) promote the opportunity to study abroad in order to develop key competences (e.g. linguistic) and contribute to strengthening the sense of European identity; (b) offer international career opportunities to students by both consolidating and widening the University's partner network; (c) create an intercultural and multi-linguistic environment for the development of scientific activities and of the competencies of the teaching staff with a view to enhancing the quality of education; (d) gain visibility and international support/development for national and European/international initiatives promoting multiculturalism; (e) continue fostering the inclusiveness of the higher education system in Europe and overseas. Over the last seven years UNINT, through its International Relations and Mobility Office (IRMO), has taken part in both Key Action 1 and 2 activities.
UNINT firmly believes that mobility positively affects the growth of every single person and thus of the tertiary education system as a whole, having a tangible impact on both individuals and communities at local, national and international level. For this reason, UNINT has made mobility activities one focal point in its general internationalisation strategy. The implementation of KA103 and KA107 proved to be an invaluable asset in reaching some of the objectives set in the 2019/2021 "piano strategico triennale" (three year strategic plan) and of the previous EPS, such as: f) increasing mobility opportunities for students and teaching and administrative staff, (g) improving the international profile of the University at home and of mobility participants worldwide, (h) strengthening the network of the university with companies and institutions worldwide through the implementation of mobility programmes (i) promoting inclusion and non-discrimination values.
The participation in KA 2 projects has offered further opportunities for UNINT staff, namely teachers, researchers administrative and technical staff to be involved in transnational cooperation projects which represents a relevant asset to foster high quality education through exchange of good practices and innovative approaches. UNINT intends to intensify its participation, in the upcoming seven years, in KA 2 projects, in order to further encourage the institution's modernisation and internationalisation as well. This active participation is expected to bring positive and long-lasting effects on UNINT and to contribute to the following strategic objectives: (l) improve transnational cooperation by developing and implementing innovative practices as well as joint initiatives promoting cooperation and exchanges of experience at European level, (m) strengthen the link between UNINT and the business sector in order to develop new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, contributing to fill the gap between the skills required by the market and those provided by the university (n) Strengthen, improve and enlarge collaboration with Partner Countries in order to support them in the modernisation and internationalization process, promoting also intercultural awareness and understanding.
Participation in the Erasmus+ Programme is a cornerstone of UNINT modernisation and internationalisation strategies, as explicitly mentioned in its latest three-year strategic plan. Coherently, UNINT intends, alongside other relevant actions in this direction, to intensify the university's participation in Erasmus+ projects (in particular KAs 1 and 2), which will be a priority since it contributes greatly to reaching the above-listed internationalisation objectives.
UNINT will continue intensifying its participation in KAs 103 and 107. UNINT is committed to continue promoting the Programme to allow more students and staff to experience study/teaching/training period abroad. In order to make the latter more efficient and to ensure the fulfilment of the ECHE principles, UNINT will manage each mobility in 3 phases, as summarised below:
(I) Preparation Phase - update/exchange of information between the involved institutions on the nomination and application processes and requirements and course catalogue, creation of informative and dissemination materials (digital and hard copy) and organisation of presentation events regarding the project(s), participant selection according to ECHE transparency and equality principles, academic and administrative support to participants in organising their mobility through distribution of informative materials and meeting/QAs sessions and in defining their programme of activities abroad, payment of the foreseen scholarships/bursaries;
(II) Implementation Phase - welcoming of participants, organisation of language courses and social activities with the purpose of facilitating the participants integration, academic and administrative monitoring of the mobility and administrative/academic support (enrolment process, changes to learning agreements, timetables, etc.), payment of the balance of the foreseen scholarships/bursaries;
(III) Follow-up Phase - formal recognition of the activities carried out abroad according to the ECHE principles and ECTS system for student mobilities, evaluation of the impact of the implemented mobility project and, depending on the results, planning of corrective measures to improve and refine the mobility process.
In the upcoming period the university is expected to confirm and consolidate its participation in KA 2 projects with a focus on Strategic Partnerships, Knowledge Alliances, Capacity building projects and Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's Degree. The aim is to concretely contribute to:
- innovative initiatives concerning teaching & learning approaches;
- strengthening the link between UNINT and business environment (e.g. enterprises) thus fostering innovation, creativity and employment;
- supporting modernisation and internationalization process in Partner Countries through capacity building actions promoting multicultural awareness and understanding;
- providing students with the opportunity to enjoy an international study programme jointly delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions, thus contributing to boost the attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and support the EU's external action in the field of higher education. In the perspective to increase the number of submitted applications as well as to ensure a good and efficient management of awarded projects, UNINT has designed a process ensuring an efficient management of the projects.
This process, inspired by the principle of continuous improvement, will be monitored and when/if needed will be further enhanced.
The participation in the Programme, in line with the latest three-year strategic plan, is expected to produce the following impacts:
- Impact I - Increased visibility of UNINT and the European Tertiary Education System worldwide;
- Impact II - Increased mobility opportunities for students and staff;
- Impact III - Increased internationalisation at home;
- Impact IV - increased number and quality of mobility agreements;
- Impact V - improved support for international students.
UNINT acts as a promoter of the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and social inclusion of staff and students. The UNINT vision on these principles emerges from the Institution's regulations and Ethic Code which not only strongly encourage to abide by the current legislation but also to undertake any actions and initiatives that may positively affect the application of such principles.
The aforementioned principles find concrete application through the following bodies and actions: (a) Equal Opportunities Committee (non-discrimination); (b) Adoption of the "Organisation, Management and Control Model" (Transparency); (c) Yearly allocation of funds to be made accessible to students with fewer opportunities in the form of Scholarships/Additional funds for such as tuition fee reductions, merit loans, mobility scholarships, etc. (Inclusion).
The University is committed to the fair treatment of the people, be they staff or students, or those applying for employment or study, regardless of age, disability, sex, race, religion or belief etc. In order to successfully implement it, all members of the university community are expected to adhere to these principles.
UNINT is committed to an internationalisation process addressed to cultural integration and knowledge advancement. To present date, about 60 cooperation agreements have been signed with foreign universities supported by Erasmus and Governamental Funds and by funds offered by the University itself for the extra-European areas allowing students and teacher staff exchanges and fostering joint research activities. UNINT turns towards European and extra-European Countries, in particular to those able to valorize its educational offer and to enrich its research areas with quality and a transnational dimension. UNINT international strategy is addressed to the strengthening of the external collaboration actions carried out to present and to their further development relying on a consolidated network of universities, research organizations in other countries with the aim to:
- offer international career opportunities to students;
- create the appropriate environment for the development of scientific activity and of the competencies of the teaching staff;
- gain visibility and international support/development for national initiatives.
In order to reach such objectives, the University will collaborate with internal research centres, the Placement Office (to stimulate the access of students to the foreign labour market) and of the Erasmus Office (to gain international visibility for the University).
Partners are chosen through top down and bottom up approaches and educational requirements, student needs and the development address of the University are taken into account.
The consolidation of international collaborations is addressed to Countries able to ensure continuity to the University's teaching courses, coherence with the studied languages and with the research areas and thematic and provide access to European funding.
In addition to the Countries of the ERASMUS area, the international collaboration activities are also concentrated in the following areas:
- Mediterranean and Middle East - the aim is to establish a network with the universities and organizations belonging to the Mare Nostrum costal Countries creating joint educational paths in tourism economy and event management. In this context, in the short term, the UNINT intends to reach bilateral cooperation agreements with Maghreb and Middle East universities and aims to launch a gradual collaboration process starting from teachers' and students' exchanges in the Arabic language study field;
- Eastern Europe and Russian Federation - in order to strengthen the educational offer related to the Russian Language and to the development of the regional small and medium enterprises. In this context, the aim is to develop a structured programme for student and teaching staff exchanges and foster the joint preparation of proposals within the Erasmus for All framework. At present exchanges between students and teachers with the Universities of Saint Petersburg and Moscow are active;
- China - UNINT has a consolidated experience in the teaching of the Chinese language and culture and enjoys the collaboration of two important universities - Fujen University (Taiwan) and Qingdao University of Science and Technology (China) - for student and teaching staff exchange activities. The aim is to raise the number of cooperation agreements, in order to guarantee Chinese language and culture lectures held by mother tongue teachers and offer universities and study stays in China to an increased number of students;
- Central and South America - the cooperation with Countries in this area is addressed to the strengthening of the knowledge of the Spanish language and to the understanding of the political systems and economic changes involving the area. The aim is to stimulate mobility actions for students and researchers offering study stays and "on the field" research activities through thesis abroad programmes;
- Canada - a several year lasting collaboration relationship exists between UNINT and the University of Laval, offering students and professors the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and foster research of the French language in particular the specificities of the French language in Quebec. The aim for the next years is to increase the number of cooperation agreements and increase mobility exchanges.
Through careful consideration of the opportunities of the Erasmus for All programme and the participation to ad hoc working groups in CRUI, UNINT aims to develop double/multiple/joint degrees. The process for the program definition will be based on the concept of topic related cooperation, it will be addressed to the enforcement of already existent cooperation relations and it will involve a set of meetings with involved partners.
Those described above, together with other mobility programmes to be fulfilled in the next future, are addressed to firstcycle university students (starting from the second year), to second-cycle university students and to researchers.
UNINT will carry out actions which aim at increasing the social dimension of its educational mission widening access to higher education for underrepresented groups as well as for non-traditional learners by reinforcing the access to guidance and counseling for students in difficulty or disadvantage and through the creation of flexible learning paths.
UNINT will also promote the gender balance in relevant disciplines and roles. Moreover, the university will periodically collect students’ opinions about the quality of the social environment and integration within the university and improvement actions.
UNINT will support activities that help adaptation of curricula to current and emerging labour market demands and offer employability and transversal skills. The Placement Office will be in charge of the organization and collection of feedback from students, at the end of traineeship, to individuate gaps between curricular education activities and business and employment needs.
UNINT will support activities to develop innovative strategies to boost mobility or ways to remove obstacles to mobility in higher education. Priority will be given to strategies for the full recognition of the period students have spent abroad through the set up of standardized recognition procedure tailored for different international educational systems. Moreover, academic years will entail several "mobility windows" for teachers, educational leaders / managers, trainers and students in order to spread a mobility culture and attitude. In order to develop its innovation potential, UNINT will carry out a comprehensive set of joint activities, involving new learning and teaching methods, the design and delivery of new multidisciplinary curricula and innovative courses in partnership and co-operation with business, entailing experiences on the field for students and teacher, in the national as well as in the international context.
In order to increase the access to external funding opportunity for the academic research, UNINT organizes twice per year a research summit (conferenza di ateneo sulla ricerca) addressed to academic researchers and professors, in order to update each other on their research topics and explore the opportunity to develop synergies and innovative and interdisciplinary projects. Teachers and researchers will entertain a periodical communication flow with the office responsible for the identification of funding opportunities at European level, which will have the task of identifying funding opportunities for each of the issues reported by the teachers.
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