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 International RelationsStudents with international protection

Access and support for students seeking asylum and with international protection

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In January 2020, the University of Florence joined the Manifesto of the Inclusive University promoted by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, with the aim of "fostering refugee access to university education and research, and promoting social integration and their active participation in academic life".

In order to fulfil these objectives, the University is committed to promoting access to education for foreign students, with three lines of action aimed at beneficiaries of international protection and is committed to ensuring the academic freedom of researchers and teachers.

The University of Florence is also the coordinator of the "Being an inclusive university for refugee students: concepts, methods and tools" project, funded by the European University Consortium EUniWell (more info).

University corridors

The University of Florence is a partner of the University Corridors for Refugees project - Unicore, promoted by UNHCR, in order to allow young refugees to complete their education, in a regular and safe way, by attending a master's degree course in English at the University of Florence.

From the a.y. 2019/2020 the University of Florence has funded two scholarships each year (read the dedicated webpage and the call for application).

Evaluation of the qualifications of students receiving international protection

In 2020, the University of Florence joined the National coordination for the Evaluation of Refugee Qualifications (CNVQR) at the Academic Mobility Information Centre (CIMEA).

Under the CNVQR, the teaching staff and officials of the University of Florence are responsible for identifying practices evaluating the qualifications held by beneficiaries of  international protection (individuals with refugee status or subsidiary protection) who already live in Italy and want to resume their studies. The evaluation of qualifications is possible even if the students' documentation is absent or incomplete due to the difficulty of finding it in the countries of origin from which they fled. The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • Free of charge issue of the comparability certificate (subject to evidence of status)
  • Issue of the “European Refugee Qualification Passport” 

The certificates allow beneficiaries of international protection, who have previously completed a useful study path for access to the university in the country of origin or in a country along the migration route to Italy, to enrol in universities in Italy.

Thanks to the agreement with CIMEA, the University of Florence has developed specific procedures for enrolment which consist of: 

  • Request for CIMEA comparability certificate (issued free of charge) in place of the declaration of value
  • abolition of proof of authenticity
  • Activation of a preferential route to apply for a scholarship from the Regional Board for the Right to University Education – DSU Toscana (with a single self-declaration instead of the need to submit the ISEE certification - call a.y 2021/2022 (pdf) or a CRUI-Ministry of the Interior scholarship (Call for 100 scholarships to students with international protection -a.y. 2021/2022 (pdf) - deadline 30 July 2021
  • CIMEA Documentation ((the service is suspended until early 2024, read more in the CIMEA website).

From the a.y. 2021-2022, for enrolment purposes, also the following category of residence permit may submit the CIMEA comparability certificate in place of the declaration of value: Victims of disasters; domestic violence; particular work exploitation; acts of particular civil value; special protection (art. 32 para. 3 of Legislative Decree n. 25 of 28 January 2008). In addition, the application for a declaration of authenticity is no longer required.

Support for students waiting for international protection

Starting from 2021, thanks to the collaboration with the Giorgio La Pira International Students Centre, the University has made available scholarships for students waiting for recognition of international protection (asylum seekers) and willing to start a university study path. The scholarships include monthly financial support and accommodation at one of the facilities of the La Pira Centre. Call for 2022/2023 - deadline 15 July 2022 (Italian webpage)

Academic tutoring activities

The University of Florence has prepared an administrative support and a specific tutoring activity for the newly enrolled students who are beneficiaries of international protection in order to orient and facilitate the participation in the educational system as well as in society.

The aim is to expand the information and access to the services of the university (such as the use of the services of the Right to Education Board, the Library System, the University Language Centre, the University IT Service), as well as the resolution of administrative and bureaucratic issues.

Scholars at Risk (SAR) network

The University of Florence has joined the Scholars at Risk (SAR) network, which consists of 530 universities in 41 countries (including 28 Italian universities) which share the concerns about the limits placed on academic and research freedom in some countries of the world, governed by illiberal regimes.

The main aim of the network is to provide temporary shelter for teachers and researchers “at risk” from countries where academic freedom is not guaranteed and where their personal safety is threatened. The SAR – scholars at risk network also promotes advocacy activities through the organization of seminars and the production of specific reports on issues related to the violation of freedom of thought and the dissemination of critical knowledge, also through the involvement of scholars at risk hosted in the various Italian and foreign universities participating in the SAR network (go to the SAR Italia website).

Scholarships and initiatives for international students

  • In order to protect the right to study of students fleeing from war in Ukraine, Palestine and other Countries in a state of war, the University of Florence awards 4 scholarships annually amounting to EUR 15.000 (before taxes to be paid by the receiver) with the aim of ensuring enrollment to one of the University non-restricted access degree programs for the selected students. Notice (Italian | English)

  • 4 scholarships for students from Myanmar  who enrol for the academic year 2022/2023 in one of the open-access master's degree courses taught in English - deadline 23 December 2022, 1 p.m. (Rome time). Notice (Italian | English) - application form (pdf) - approval (pdf)

  • 5 scholarships for students with Afghan citizenship who enrol for the academic year 2022/2023 in one of the open-access master's degree courses taught in English. The selection is intended for applicants who have applied for pre-registration for the University of Florence through the Universitaly platform and obtained the required Type "D" national entry visa for "study/university admission"and who have been cleared to enrol for the academic year 2022/2023 in one of the master's degree programs in the notice. Deadline 25 November 2022, 1 p.m. (Rome time). Notice (Italian | English) - application form (pdf) - approval (pdf)


Administrative contact

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