Politecnico for refugees and refugee-like

The Strategic Plan "PoliTo4Impact" aims to create conditions for inclusion, equity and hospitality in order to allow:

  • foreign students, who are already part of the University community but are at risk of withdrawing because of objective difficulties (loss of residence permit, visa, status, residence, poverty), to be supported to start/ resume their studies and life in our city;
  • the most promising human resources residing in developing Countries and/ or with refugee status, asylum seekers and migrants to access and study/ work at PoliTo (metropolitan headquarters or future hubs in other Countries) and to express their potential as part of an academic and territorial community that offers them organized and easily accessible services in terms of cost and clarity of procedures

To achieve this goal, Politecnico has signed - together with more than 35 Italian universities including the Università di Torino, the Università del Piemonte Orientale and the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche - the Manifesto of the Inclusive University promoted by UNHCR to ensure better living conditions to refugees and asylum seekers who have been welcomed in Piemonte.

 

PIU-AEI - Piemonte Università Accoglienti Eque Inclusive

In 2022 the four Piedmontese Universities have launched the PIU-AEI - Piemonte Università Accoglienti Eque Inclusive project in order to create an active network of institutional actors and the Civic Sector of Piedmont - City of Turin, City of Vercelli, City of Bra, Piedmont Region, EDISU, IRES Piedmont, Turin Prefecture, Turin Police Headquarters, Vercelli Prefecture, Vercelli Police Headquarters, Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, Ufficio Pio Foundation, CRT Foundation, CRC Foundation, UPM-Migrant Pastoral Office.

 

Other initiatives for refugees and refugee-like

The project aims to develop policies and shared strategies and initiatives that can strengthen what already exists and give coordinated feedback to what has not been adressed yet. The project aims to create conditions that at least partially mitigate the drama of refugees, asylum-seekers and people from Countries and territories with fragile economic and political situations or individuals who are not well protected in Italy in terms of support and assistance. Particular attention is paid to refugee women, asylum seekers or "refugee-like" subjects, because their rights are most in danger.

There are many projects and actions that Politecnico has implemented for welcoming people with refugee status or seeking asylum - students, PhD candidates, researchers and professors - who temporarily wish to continue studying or carrying out research activities at our University:

The UNICORE project - University Corridors for Refugees project, promoted by UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was created to give refugee students in African territories the opportunity to continue their academic career at Italian universities. Now in its fourth edition - and for this reason defined UNICORE 4.0 - the project offers young refugees, often unable to continue their studies in the country where they found protection, the opportunity to obtain visas for study purposes in third countries.

The initiative, born in 2019 to allow refugee students in Ethiopia to arrive in Italy with a regular and safe path to continue their studies, has experienced the increasing participation of Italian universities over the years.

The Politecnico di Torino joins UNICORE for the first time as part of the broader objective stated declared its strategic plan “PoliTO4Impact” to create the conditions for inclusion, equity and hospitality that allow:

• to female students and foreign students already part of the University community but at risk of leaving to be supported in starting or regaining the conditions of face studies and life;

•  to the most promising human resources residing in developing countries refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to access at PoliTo and express their potential as part of an academic and territorial community that offers them organized and easily accessible services.

UNICORE 4.0 stands out for its inclusive dimension and involves a wide network of national ad local partners who will work together to help students in becoming part of academic life and integrating into the local context: Caritas, Diaconia Valdese and Ente Regionale per il Diritto allo studio del Piemonte (EDISU).

UNICORE 4.0 offers to students a wide range of benefits as a monthly scholarship provided by Politecnico di Torino, mentors, free local transport and accommodation, teaching material, computers, legal assistance, listening spaces.

The call for applications for 3 study grants for refugee students enrolling in a Master of Science degree (programme taught in English) for the A.Y. 2022-2023 is open from 3 to 31 May 2022 (12:00-noon Italian time). 

The Call for application is reserved to holders of the Refugee Status, certified by UNHCR, living in Cameroon, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

IMPORTANT WARNING: presenting any fraudulent school certificates or university diplomas is a crime. All the documents that you submit will be carefully checked by experts. Should you present fraudulent documents there will be serious consequences including your disqualification from this and other opportunities. UNHCR may also report the incident to the police authorities. 

CONTACT: unicore@polito.it

The call for application for admission to the XXXVIII cycle PhD programmes is online: 

Call for application for admission to the PhD programmes of Politecnico di Torino (38th Cycle) 

The call for application provides information related to PhD programmes, positions and scholarships available for the upcoming PhD cycle and modalities for taking part to the selection and mandatory deadlines. In particular, 2 positions are reserved for refugees and refugees-like. More details are available at the following link

Refugee and asylum seeker students at Politecnico di Torino 

Whilst equating refugees to EU citizens, hence reducing the regulatory burden for their enrolment to University, Italian legislation nevertheless leaves Universities very little space for manoeuvre and discretion regarding the necessary documentation for the purpose: documentation that a citizen benefiting from international protection undoubtedly obtains with great difficulty.

However, once the status of "political refugee" in the broadest sense of the term has been attained, Universities can loosen up the timing constrictions for submission of the documentation, allowing students to conditionally begin their university education and helping them in their gradual integration in the city with dedicated cultural, mediation, and housing support.

Politecnico di Torino's "RE-HOME 4 STUDENTS" project operates on two areas of action: the first is dedicated to students waiting for acknowledgement of their refugee status or subsidiary protection (asylum seekers); the second is aimed at supporting students already holding valid permits (refugees) in their enrolment in University and in the administrative procedures to claim benefits from Right to Education interventions.

Re-Home 4 Asylum Seeker Students

Asylum seekers are in a rather particular condition because, after completing secondary or, in some cases, university level studies, they have to regularise their status in the country with procedures that are often difficult to understand, almost always in Italian and with long waiting times (witnesses have reported lapses of at least 12 months between submission of the application for international protection, the Commission's decision to award it and the release of a residency permit).

It is therefore easy to understand how the delays in timing, accompanied by situations of psychological difficulty and inconvenient logistic arrangements can cause a progressive decline of the skills acquired in their own country and a reduction of the students' chances of recovering their University education in case of a favourable decision granting international protection.

Politecnico, thanks to this project, will implement the following actions in favour of asylum seeker students:

  • Registration to Politecnico

Students, after setting up a personal appointment, may submit to the Internationalization Area counters the documentation in their possession and receive feedback on its completeness/regularity for enrolment. Simultaneously, they will receive credentials for access to a dedicated area on the Politecnico portal - Apply @ Polito, with which they will be registered in the University database, and will be able to start a reception and accompanying process towards enrolment;

  •  On-line Italian course

Through the personal Apply @ Polito page, students will follow an on-line Italian course prepared by the CLA - Centro Linguistico di Ateneo (University Language Centre); 

  • Admission test simulations

On the personal page of Apply @ Polito, students may try a few technical-scientific tests, to make a self-assessment of their knowledge and to prepare for the admissions tests that, as already mentioned, are mandatory and set up - for content and conduct - at a national level for the degree in Architecture, while they are compulsory but managed directly by Politecnico for all undergraduate degrees in Engineering, and for some others related to Architecture; 

  • Access to video-recorded lessons

At the time of registration, students will have to indicate a Degree Program of interest based on their own personal inclinations, on the possible curriculum built in the country of origin, on individual capabilities and inclinations, and on their language skills. Based on this information, students will be provided video-recorded lessons typical of the Degree Program in order to continue their learning; 

  • Welcome and cultural mediation services

Students in the project will benefit from a personalised service of cultural mediation and support in interactions with the specific bodies (State Police, Police Commission, ...) and they will also be introduced to the University's foreign student associations in order to meet with their peers to increase their contact opportunities and share common experiences;

  • Access to dedicated sections of TIL (Test in Laib)

Participation in the project will allow asylum seeker students to take part in the TIL - Test in Laib sections that Politecnico organizes starting from Spring up to the last session prior to each academic year's course commencement. Once they get their residence permits, students can therefore enrol without any other additional administrative requirements and, if they have not already done so, they will only need to obtain the required documentation (secondary school titles, DV-Dichiarazione di Valore, etc…) from their country of origin.

After assessing the opportunity case by case, Politecnico may organize TIL sessions dedicated to specific cohorts of students seeking asylum.

Re-Home 4 Refugee Students

Once they have been acknowledged international protection, refugee students can obtain a regular residence permit with different characteristics depending on the type of granted status (as described in paragraphs 1.3,1.4,1.5).

Refugee students can then:

  • Proceed with regular enrolment

Refugee students can enrol in one of the University's degree programs following the deadlines set in the academic calendar. In particular, if they are interested in a BSc in Engineering, they may sit for the admission test on the first available session and, if successful, proceed with the enrolment, even under condition if the documents required by the regulations are still not available  (secondary school titles, DV- dichiarazione di valore, etc ....); if interested in an MSc, they must make and appropriate online application submitting their prior curriculum for academic evaluation regardless of compliance of the submitted administrative documentation with the rules ;

  •  Benefit from the exemption of the enrolment fee payment

Refugee students will be granted immediate exemption from paying the enrolment fee and will only be required to pay the premium for accident insurance that Politecnico stipulates for all its students (3.53 Euro); the flat fee for royalties, payable by each student to SIAE (Società Italiana Autori ed Editori/Italian Society of Authors and Publishers), as required by Politecnico's accession to the CRUI-SIAE agreement for the duplication of texts protected by copyright (1.33 Euro); the enrolment stamp duty (16.00 €); 

  • Housing services

Refugee students involved in the project will benefit from a personalized support service to find accommodation in affiliated facilities or in other housing facilities affiliated with the "sportello Casa" (House desk) of the Ente Regionale per il Diritto allo Studio (Regional Authority for the Right to Education); 

  • Welcome and residence services

Refugee students will be provided a targeted service of cultural mediation and support in the management of the additional administrative requirements to maintaining their status and for more personal needs such as family reunification, obtaining citizenship, extension of refugee status to minor children, and enrolment in the National Health Service.

CRUI, the Conference of Italian University Rectors, in cooperation with ANDISU (Italian Association of Right to Education Organizations) and with the Italian Ministry of Interior offers yearly 100 scholarships to refugee students or with international protection:

100 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR REFUGEE STUDENTS