University: opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees

In Italy, there are various university programs that are designed for foreign students, especially refugees and asylum seekers. Some of these programs are free and can be followed remotely. There are also special programs for refugees. Find out which universities are doing these courses.

In Italy, the right to education is guaranteed by law to everyone legally residing in the country. Therefore, the university is also open to Italian and foreign students.

On this page, we would like to point out the study opportunities aimed in particular at migrant and refugee students. These are opportunities designed for people who now live and work in a European context, but who come from a very different cultural, social, and educational reality.

To study in Italy, the foreign student must be able to regularize the legal situation by obtaining a study visa if abroad, and then a residence permit for study reasons.

University for refugees – education without boundaries” is a project of the Uninettuno telematic university which, through 50 scholarships, gives the opportunity to attend free professional courses and university courses online.

Students who can participate are:

  • Foreign students regularly present in Italy
  • Students with refugee status
  • Students seeking asylum

What does the university offer?

The website is available in many languages: English, French, Italian, and Arabic. It offers various services:

  • Validation of foreign qualifications
    including students with incomplete or missing documentation 
  • Recognition of professional skills
  • Free enrollment in Uninettuno degree and master courses
  • Free enrollment in Uninettuno professional courses
  • Health services
  • Online language courses:
    Italian, Arabic, English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Greek, Croatian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Finnish, Swedish

The international university Uninettuno is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Education, and the academic qualifications issued are legally recognized in Italy and Europe.

Unibo for Refugees is a project promoted by the University of Bologna that allows refugee students to learn more about the Italian university system, in the period in which they are waiting to receive legal recognition and refugee status.

The wait for documents can in fact last many months because asylum applications require many steps that are examined by different Italian institutions, such as territorial commissions and Questure.

Through the Unibo project, interested students can use this period to learn more about life within the University of Bologna and decide whether to enroll at the university once they have obtained refugee status or maybe wait and enroll later.

What does Unibo offer?

The Unibo project offers support to students who have applied for political asylum through:

  • orientation to students who are thinking of enrolling at university
  • reviewing and preparing the school documentation necessary for enrollment
  • free enrollment for single courses
  • free enrollment in Italian language courses

Students thus have the opportunity to learn about the rhythms of the university, the study methods, available services, and meet other students and teachers.

Once international protection has been obtained, students can enroll in the courses of their choice. Unibo offers scholarships to refugee students who most deserve it.

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