Progetto Mediterraneo: Enhancing refugee self-reliance through access to tertiary education
Submitted by: Prof. Andrea Prencipe, Rector of Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome, Italy), Luiss Guido Carli University
Email: [email protected]
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Introduction to the project
Italy and Jordan
2017 - 2020
The program will be completed with the graduation of the students in Jordan (completion of their Bachelor’s Degree) and it will be followed by the offer of the Master’s Degree courses in 2020-2022.
The Mediterranean Project, or Progetto Mediterraneo, aims to educate refugee students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds in order to promote their self-reliance and future personal emancipation. At the completion of their academic course they will receive an international degree which will facilitate their inclusion in the national and international job-market. Their acquired competences will contribute not only to their personal growth but also to the development of their communities and regions.
Moreover, the project offers full scholarships to the refugee students in order to facilitate their academic career and guarantee the correct completion of the degree. Education costs for each refugee are covered by the project.
In addition to the excellent academic education offered to the selected students, the project aims to share the values of global engagement, inclusion and respect for diversity. The 17 selected students in Jordan (10 Jordanians and seven refugee students) include nine women and eight men. During events, as well as in the daily development of the project, the Luiss team is committed in the transmission of the mentioned values.
Presently, Progetto Mediterraneo involves 20 students: 17 students (10 Jordanian citizens and seven Palestinian/Syrian refugees, living in Jordan) have been selected with the University of Petra (Amman, Jordan) and three students have been selected by the University of Malta.
During the academic year (a.y.) 2017-2018 the 17 students attended courses in Amman with Luiss visiting professors who temporarily moved to Jordan.
During the a.y. 2018-2019 the 10 Jordanian students came to Rome to attend the courses in Luiss. The seven refugee students continued to attend courses in Amman with Luiss professors as their refugee status prevented them to travel to Italy.
The two groups of students will be together again in Amman to attend their a.y. 2019-2020 with Luiss visiting professors.
One student from Malta started her career in Luiss in September 2017 while two other Maltese students will start their studies in Luiss in September 2019.
After the completion of their Bachelor’s Degrees, the project will offer another 20 scholarships to disadvantaged and refugee students to be selected for the Master’s Degrees in Luiss (a.y. 2020-2021; a.y. 2021-2022).
“Progetto Mediterraneo” aims to educate disadvantaged and refugee students from Mediterranean countries, by giving them access to Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree courses provided in English by Luiss University. After the completion of their courses, students shall be prepared to contribute to the development of the region and of their communities.
Progetto Mediterraneo is co-sponsored by Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale.
The project covers the costs of travel of the Luiss visiting professors who temporarily move to Jordan. The selected students receive a personal scholarship that covers University fees, costs of stay, didactical materials, laptops and cost of language courses.
Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, an Italian Foundation that operates in the fields of Health, Scientific Research, Aid to the Underprivileged, Education, Art and Culture and acts as a trait d’union between Mediterranean cultures.
Challenges and how they were overcome
Selection of the candidates in the region: The selection of the students was developed in cooperation with the University of Petra based in Amman, Jordan, a partner of the Progetto Mediterraneo. The Jordanian University facilitated the selection of the most appropriate candidates for the program. Moreover, Luiss structured the project as a double degree program in cooperation with the University of Petra in order to facilitate the mobility of the disadvantaged Jordanian students and the training of the refugees in Amman.
Critical mobility of the refugee students to Italy: The legal status of the refugee students (Palestinians and Syrians) did not allow them to travel from Jordan to Italy as the other selected students of the project did. In this case, Luiss developed a Double Degree Program with the University of Petra which facilitated the mobility of the Luiss visiting professors from Italy to Jordan.
Management of the cultural differences: All the Luiss visiting professors have been trained about the aims of the project and the possible cultural differences that may emerge in the encounter with the refugee students. The Luiss community is always in contact with the refugee students with interactive activities by Skype.
Results of the Good Practice
Seven refugees (based in Amman, Jordan) have been offered the possibility to access Bachelor’s Degree courses provided in English by Luiss University. After the completion of their courses in 2020, students will have the skills needed to help them contribute to the development of the region and of their host communities.
As one of the selected refugee students underlined during the launch event of the program in 2017, this program allows refugees to fully focus their attention on their studies since the project covers all their study needs.
The high and international standard of Luiss education offered to refugee students represents their chance to access to better job positions in Jordan or wherever they are interested in settling.
Completion of the Bachelor’s Degree and graduation in 2020.