Since 2009, the number of Chinese students taking part in the Marco Polo and Turandot programs has doubled from 1,099 to 2,178. This is what emerged at the Conference at Farnesina palace on Dec 15th. Organized by Uni-Italia with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and addressed to university institutions, AFAM (Higher Artistic and Musical Training) and to linguistic training institutions, it was an opportunity to take stock of critical issues, best practices and the margins for improvement.

The General Director for the Promotion of the Country System Vincenzo De Luca complimented the work carried out by Uni-Italia in promoting the internationalization of the Italian higher education system, recalling that China is one of the countries of primary importance for the Italian system. The Ministry of Education and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, who participated for the first time with Professor Junhong Hu of the education office, have agreed on the importance of this conference as a moment of confrontation between the players involved.

According to the Secretary-General of Uni-Italia Alberto Ortolani these programs have contributed decisively to the internationalization of the Italian training system. The main problem unanimously highlighted by the conference is an inadequate language training of students. In a message, the Ambassador of Italy to Beijing Sequi stressed the importance of the Marco Polo and Turandot programs as a tool for attracting Chinese students to Italy. Among the other participants, Paola Castellucci, for the Directorate General for Student, Development, and Internationalization of the Ministry of Education, and Cinthia Petralito, for the Central Directorate of Immigration and of the Border Police of the Ministry of the Interior. More than 100 representatives of universities, AFAM, and language schools were at the conference.

Source: MAECI