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University in Italy

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If you have all the requirements you may want to enroll in a university degree program in Italy. You can use this article to learn more on:

Eligibility

If you have humanitarian protection, subsidiary protection or refugee status, you are eligible to attend public university in Italy. To attend, you must be able to speak, read and write in Italian. Some private universities in Italy offer degrees in English, but they are very expensive — between €5,000 and €11,000 per year.

To attend university in Italy, you must show you have finished secondary school, by either:

Sitting for the Italian secondary school state exams, called the maturità. Learn more:

Finishing secondary school in Italy

Or

Having your secondary school or university diploma recognized as equivalent to an Italian degree. Learn more:

Getting a foreign degree recognized in Italy

A very good place to get help understanding your eligibility for university, and with the documents you need to apply, is the the “Servizio immigrazione” desk at the "comune" office of the town/city in which you live. To find the closest one to you, you can ask us on Facebook.

You can also find more information on legal eligibility requirements for university in Italy here on a website that helps inform foreign students on studying in Italy.

Costs

Most Italian universities are public. But although the government funds them, you will have to pay fees. Your fees could be between €500 to €3,000. How much you pay depends on:

  • Your income level
  • The university you attend
  • The degree you chose

Click here, or here for more information on university fees in Italy. Both websites explain fees and other administrative issues for university students in Italy.

Scholarships

The Refugee.info Facebook page posts updates on scholarship opportunities for refugees in Italy as soon as they are available.

For example, every year the Ministry of Interior issues a tender to assign 100 scholarships to holders of refugee status and subsidiary protection holders. This happens around June or July. You can check on this website for more info.

You can also contact the university you wish to attend and ask them if there are scholarships available that you can apply for.

Applying for university in Italy

You can contact the admissions office of the university you want to go to, and they will tell you which forms to fill in. In all cases, you’ll also need the following documents (always be sure to check, and re-check with the ufficio scolastico territoriale before contacting the university you have in mind):

  • The record of your maturità exams or a “dichiarazione di valore” that validates your foreign high school degree (Learn how to get this document here.)
  • Your translated diploma and academic records (If you get your foreign degree validated, you will get information on how to get your diploma and records translated.)
  • Your original identity documents, such as Permesso di Soggiorno or Carta d’identità (if you have one)

Once you have all of these documents, you can apply for admission.

If you have a dichiarazione di valore, the Italian university will probably also check that your past studies qualify you to enroll. The university will request any additional documents they need from you.

Online options

Some online schools offer full undergraduate and masters degrees:

Kiron aims to help refugees and asylum-seekers begin or continue studying at the university level for free. You need to speak intermediate-level English and have regular access to the internet. Learn more about applying here. Open University is a university based in the UK that offers both full degrees and online courses. It’s quite expensive though, with undergraduate degrees costing more than €8,000 per year. UNINETTUNO is a private online university based in Italy and offers courses on a wide range of topics and, in many cases, both in Italian and English. However, it’s the most expensive of the online university options offered in Italy, costing more than €2,000 per year.

Others offer classes in academic subjects, but no degree:

Coursera is an online learning platform with courses ranging from math, physics, and computer science to social science and language learning. Most courses are free, but to get a certificate of completion you may need to pay. Coursera offers financial assistance for refugees EdX Future learn Alison Academic Earth Lynda, which focuses on education videos Khan Academy, which some say is especially useful for math and coding

You can also search for courses on MOOC.

For more information

The website Universitaly is the Italian Ministry of Education's university portal, and provides information on universities in Italy. It can’t hurt to take a look.

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