INSTITUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE
Università degli studi di Brescia
- Financial support for refugee students
- Help desk and supporting services for refugee students
- Housing for refugee students
- Social Events
- Newly arrived refugees
- University staff (academic and administrative)
DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES
The project aims at offering scholarships (5.750 euros each fees exempted) and accomodation to holders of international protection in order to encourage them accessing higher education.
At the beginning of the project, administrative staff attended webinar and in presence courses to improve skills concerning evaluation of foreign qualifications and refugees status documents.
The International students office (included in Students’ information service unit) gives information during application and enrollment process. Moreover upon registration the office informs refugees about tutoring services available.
The University campus offers senior students support for academic and non-academic needs. Sport and leisure facilities together with canteen service offer opportunities of sharing time with all guests.
New enrolled refugees meet registered International students and Rector’s delegates for cooperation and internationalization during a specific event usually held in October.
RESULTS AND IMPACT
The project started three years ago and awarded 5 scholarships in a.y. 2017/2018, 1 in a.y. 2018/2019, 1 in a.y. 2019/2020, and 2 for a.y. 2020/2021. All winners can live in university campus and pay yearly fees on the basis of their ISEE declaration.
The decreasing number of winners relates to the drop of applications. We used to inform enrolled international students about the issuance of the new call, but we are now planning to extend information through direct contact with relevant associations working in the area.
Only one refugee graduated while two are still enrolled and two should enroll in September 2020.
The Commission in charge for the process has considered the results and shared experience with other Italian and foreign universities members of SAR Italy group. Both professors and employees involved are now aware that refugee students need peer to peer continuous tutorship and advanced Italian language courses together with initiatives fostering social inclusion. Our university is taking into consideration agreements with local associations working with refugees in order to support new enrolled students in their administrative, linguistic and social needs. Moreover the University Research center U4P is planning to train those carrying on civil service as tutors for refugee students.
Experience improved awareness of needs and failures and fostered new provisions in response.