(ANSAmed) - ROME, DEC 15 - The international standing of
Italian universities was on display on Wednesday at the Italian
pavilion of Expo2020 Dubai thanks to the forum "The World within
our borders - International programs at Italian universities".
The event was promoted by the ministry of university and research to mark the week dedicated to knowledge and learning at the universal exposition.
"We have a university system which can initially appear as hard to read, because it includes about 100 different public universities" , said the Minister of University and Research Maria Cristina Messa, speaking remotely from Italy.
However, "they are very well connected through a network" in which "universities compete to get more state funding, but also cooperate to improve the type of courses offered to students".
"In Italy, we have about 1.8 million students in these universities and about 100,000 people who work in colleges, including over half who are professors and researchers", said the minister, stressing how colleges are also key for research and innovation.
Public and private universities work hard "to be attractive and inclusive", Messa also said, adding that English-language courses have grown over the last 10 years.
"The State offers support" to universities, "in particular in attracting people from abroad", the minister noted.
"Expo Dubai is a great window for our countries and an important opportunity to create partnerships and look at the future", said Ferruccio Resta, the dean of Milan's Polytechnic and president of the Conference of deans of Italian universities (Crui).
Foreign students in Italian universities have grown from 63,000 to over 101,000 over the past 10 years while English-language university programs have risen from 245 to 539 over the last five years, participants said. (ANSAmed).