Advising and guidance

Orientation refers to all activities aimed at enabling the future student or current student to plan and manage their learning in a manner consistent with personal life goals and making full use of individual skills and interests in order to achieve personal fulfilment.
Depending on the moment in the university course when these activities are implemented, a distinction is made between: guidance on entrance: carried out before choosing a course of study, it is aimed at prospective freshmen and offers support in identifying the course to be undertaken on the basis of individual interests, expectations and aptitudes. In this phase, the various possible scenarios are presented to the future student and the alternatives of the university pathway are illustrated; orientation in progress: carried out during the university career, this is aimed at enrolled students and is designed to guide them within the courses of study already undertaken, enabling them to establish a better interaction with the structures and the university context; career guidance: carried out close to or after graduation, it is aimed at graduates or undergraduates and aims to facilitate their introduction into the working environment.


Guidance actions play a decisive role in the complex and articulated process of higher education of the new generations. The choice of a university study path is indeed a very delicate moment in the life of the student who has to make a conscious choice in order to build his or her own life project; shortcomings in guidance actions contribute to an increase in the number of study drop-outs, as well as to slowing down student careers by disproportionately increasing the time it takes to obtain a degree.
The University of Parma pays particular attention to orientation projects aimed at high school students, in order to promote an accurate and in-depth knowledge of the University's course catalogue and, at the same time, to stimulate conscious choices of their university career also through appropriate preparatory activities aimed at verifying the possession of the knowledge and/or skills or the adjustment of personal preparation necessary for access to study courses.
At the same time, orientation activities, in addition to focusing on investigations into the motivations and expectations of incoming students, contemplate the use of innovative teaching experiences, as a function of orientation itself, in order to achieve career regularity. With this in mind, the service is aimed at enhancing the tools for assessing students' incoming skills, particularly for those courses of study with a high drop-out rate.
The procedures for enrolling, admitting students and managing their careers are set out in the Prospectus and the University's Academic Regulations and communicated through specific sections of the University website; a specific section of the University portal is dedicated to freshmen:
University of Parma the world that awaits you. 
In order to facilitate students in their studies and to develop their soft skills, the university has adopted a number of special regulations such as, for instance, the Regulations for the registration of part-time students, the Regulations for free participation activities and the Regulations for the activation and management of an alias career for subjects in gender transition. The university pays special attention to the problems of students with disabilities, so much so that it has already established support for vulnerable groups and students with disabilities, D.S.A. and B.E.S. since 2000.
Recently implemented is the establishment of the Prison University Pole with the aim of fostering the right to study for those in a state of restricted personal liberty.
A specific mentoring activity is planned for high-level student athletes.
The actions implemented by the University are reported annually in the Performance Report document and are monitored annually in a report by the Rector's delegates.
For the reception of foreign students, a number of activities have been launched that can be consulted on the English version of the university website. 
In general, the orientation service consists of guaranteeing all the activities related to the guidance processes for students, supporting future students and their families in making informed choices of the university pathway, and welcoming students, including foreign students, into the university environment.
The main activities of the O.U. Guidance and Orientation are carried out in support of and in close collaboration with the teachers delegated for orientation, appointed for each course of study, and range from the organization of and participation in orientation meetings held at upper secondary schools to the organization of educational visits to Departments, aimed at helping students in the final years of upper secondary schools choose their course of study, from participation in national orientation fairs, organised in various locations throughout Italy, to collaboration in the organization of the "Studiare a Parma" (Study in Parma) open days held annually at the University in the spring, and the "From Maturity to University" (Info Day) held annually at the University in the summer, to coincide with the opening of enrolment.
It is also worth mentioning the dissemination of information to future matriculants on how to access courses of study, the care of projects in collaboration with upper secondary schools as part of guidance activities, support for the structures involved in 'Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro' courses and the holding of information and orientation interviews for students and families; finally, the service handles the management of reorientation processes for enrolled students, in collaboration with the teaching staff and the psychological counselling service.
In connection with high schools, the university has launched a series of specific projects involving school teachers in coordination with UNIPR teachers with a view to supporting the preparation of school students for university enrolment.
These projects specifically are:
- Plan for Scientific Degrees (PLS), created in 2004 with the aim of combating the growing disaffection of young people towards scientific disciplines. At UNIPR, PLS is divided into different subject areas:
- Biology and Biotechnology; - Chemistry; - Geology; - Physics; - Mathematics.
The reception of foreign students and refugees deserves a separate discourse, which over the years has become increasingly important within the objectives that the University has set itself, also from an administrative point of view, especially with regard to the evaluation of foreign qualifications that students submit upon enrolment and which, in some cases, they send before arriving in Italy for prior evaluation for admission to master's degree courses. With regard to the delicate and current context of the refugee situation, the university recently joined the National Coordination on the Evaluation of Refugee Qualifications (CNVQR) with which the MIUR, with the support of the CIMEA, has set itself the objective of providing universities with useful tools to proceed with the recognition of the qualifications of refugees with little or no documentation. The University of Parma, within the framework of this project, which is also part of the University Plan for Refugees, has been able to transpose precise notions on the procedure to be followed in cases of poor or absent documentation, establishing important contacts with other universities and with CIMEA staff, for fruitful cooperation. Based on this protocol, the O.U. Careers and Student Services provides accommodation for refugees with confirmed status, as well as asylum seekers. For everyone, i.e. both those with recognised refugee status and those with a status that is not yet final and with partial or deficient documentation, the qualifications submitted are assessed. In this context, numerous discussions are scheduled, both with students and with the mediators of the associations, as well as with the Presidents of the Course Councils to which the students approach, and with ERGO for possible benefits.
In addition to all these centrally coordinated activities, there are other actions implemented on the direct initiative of individual departments, courses of study and their delegates. 
Lastly, it seems appropriate, in this context, to mention the Customer Satisfaction project undertaken by the University of Parma, capable of allowing, among other things, the assessment of the effectiveness of orientation actions, an open issue and not entirely resolved in the national panorama, in order to allow a more conscious and targeted choice by students and, in particular, to verify that orientation actions are productive, not so much in terms of attractiveness to the University, but in terms of improving the performance of students who then matriculate at the University of Parma.
The CoS organises orientation activities aimed at secondary school students in the province of Parma and surrounding areas, such as seminars, visits to laboratories and traineeships. The CSD guidance delegates act in a coordinated manner with the other CSD delegates incardinated in the SCVSA Department in order to participate in the initiatives organised by the University concerning guidance and information for students interested in enrolling at the University of Parma ( The CoS orientation delegates also carry out direct contact with users when contacted by e-mail or telephone, possibly setting up appointments for visits or interviews.
Since 2016, the CoS has been participating in the Piano Lauree Scientifiche (PLS), a project that aims to implement specific actions to improve young people's interest in studying science subjects, provide better preparation in basic science subjects, reduce the drop-out rate between the first and second year of university studies and acquire scientific skills that meet the expectations of the world of work. The Biology department organises laboratory activities aimed at introducing students to biological subjects and refresher days for teachers.
As part of the Alternating School-Work Study Programme, the School organises courses in the field of biology with application aspects designed to actively involve secondary school students and on topical scientific research topics carried out within the SCVSA Department.
The initiatives at CoS level can therefore be summarised as follows:
-presentations in secondary schools in Parma and neighbouring cities - organization of 'Open Day' and 'Info Day' events - organization of practical summer traineeships for students in the fourth year - organization of Alternative School-Working Programme activities - organization of activities under the Scientific Degrees Plan (PLS) - preparation of texts describing the degree course for the University brochures - preparation and conduct of the Self-Assessment Test.

Guidance and tutoring in itinere

The service is intended to support the proper integration of students into the course of study through, in particular, specific tutoring activities aimed at students enrolled in the first year of the course, as well as to encourage effective career progression by students through, in particular, assistance in the compilation of individual study plans, ongoing guidance activities aimed at encouraging students to choose the course of study most suited to their characteristics, as well as remedial activities for students experiencing difficulties.
In parallel with strengthening the tools for assessing students' incoming skills, particularly for those with a high dropout rate, the university provides remedial teaching actions and ensures adequate tutoring services throughout the university course, calibrated taking into account the assessment mechanisms of the courses of study, with the aim of pursuing the result of improving their quality, by providing tutors for each individual course of study.
Orientation and in itinere tutoring, therefore, take on particular significance in view of the growing importance of the improvement and success, from an educational point of view, of regularly enrolled students, an aspect that cannot, however, disregard the initial level of basic skills of incoming students, which contributes significantly to the underperformance of matriculated students. In order to improve specific performance, the university has set out to develop a series of actions aimed at integrating and strengthening the core subject areas, as well as implementing supplementary preparatory and preparatory courses for examinations. In this sense, didactic tutoring can facilitate the completion of studies on time and, in particular, reduce first-year drop-outs.
The in itinere guidance and tutoring service, therefore, takes the form of support and assistance to students enrolled in courses of study, diversified according to the needs of the users and adapted to changing needs.
More specifically, the activities carried out include advising on the drawing up of study plans and on issues relating to propaedeuticity, how to attend courses, tutorials and laboratory activities, the cultural and professional orientation of students, the promotion of their participation in national and international exchange or mobility programmes, as well as the referral to appropriate support structures in the event of any difficulties or situations of psychological distress.
In this context, services to students that contribute to their cultural and scientific education and facilitate their entry into the world of work are favoured and strengthened, with the aim of offering students the opportunity to acquire certified supplementary skills during their chosen training pathway.
In connection with high schools, the University of Parma has launched a specific project involving school professors in coordination with university teaching staff with a view to supporting the preparation of students enrolled in the first or second year who need disciplinary reinforcement. The IDEA Project, aimed at Didactic Integration through Assisted Exercises, is in fact an initiative that aims at the realisation of an operational link between high school and university, for a fruitful connection between secondary school didactics and university didactics, as an effective means of reducing student difficulties and drop-out phenomena, and is operational in various mathematical, scientific and humanistic fields.
In addition, it was intended to design the mentoring also in the light of the choice of a master's degree, so as to orientate it, fostering vocation and talent, through more intensive contacts with students, school managers and the career guidance delegates of upper secondary schools.
The CoS chooses one or more tutors each year from among PhD or related degree students by means of a call for applications. The student tutor is available to help students if needed, providing information on teaching, and help with any bureaucratic procedures. His name and contact details are published on the CoS website. The tutor also supports the activities of the CoS, interacting in particular with the QAM, the President, the Deputy President of the CoS and the Manager of Guidance and Internships, in order to report any shortcomings and educational-organizational needs reported by students.
In addition to this, the CoS engages in dialogue with the elected student representatives on the CoS and with the representatives on the Department Council, in order to take on board the students' demands.
Erasmus project delegates offer mentoring for students intending to spend a period abroad, just as the internship delegate assists them in choosing their final practical experience. In addition, the disability delegate is available for tutoring and guidance of students with difficulties.
In addition, the university provides a service that deals with orientation at all levels, both pre- and post-graduate.