Italy launches bilingual higher education website
July 16, 2012
As part of a drive to attract more international students, Italy’s Ministry of Education has introduced a bilingual web portal listing all university courses available in the country.
Education Minister Francesco Profumo (right) signs an agreement with CEO of Cambridge Esol, Mike Milanovic
UniversItaly has listings of all courses offered by Italian universities, colleges, academies, conservatories and technical schools in both Italian and English. Further information for international students includes advice on fees and potential scholarships.
A section of the website is dedicated to the increasing number of programmes in Italy that are now delivered in English. The Politecnico di Milano, one of the country’s leading institutions, recently announced that most of its degree courses would be taught and assessed entirely in English from 2014. The university’s rector, Giovanni Azzone, said, “We strongly believe our classes should be international classes and the only way to have international classes is to use the English language.”
Italy’s Education Minister, Francesco Profumo, said that the transparency of the website could force schools to improve their services for international students. “Just by announcing that this picture of Italian universities will be made public, courses in English grew by 28 per cent,” he told reporters.
The website will also allow students to register for the International Medical Admissions Test (Imat), the English language version of the Italian admissions test. A number of Italian universities offer medicine and surgery master’s degrees in English. The Imat initiative is part of a previously reported agreement between the Ministry of Education and University of Cambridge Esol Examinations that will see the exam board provide admissions tests for Italian and international students planning to study English-based courses in Italy.
According to OECD data, the number of non-domestic students in Italy has been steadily increasing, with 65,873 in 2009. However, this was still significantly less than European competitors such as France, Germany and the UK.