Advising and guidance

Orientation means all the activities aimed at making the future freshman or student able to plan and manage their own learning with personal life goals and making full use of individual skills and interests in order to achieve a full personal satisfaction.

A distinction is made between:

  • entrance orientation: it is carried out before choosing the course of study, directed to future freshmen and offers support in identifying the course to be undertaken based on individual interests, expectations and aptitudes. In this phase, the different possible scenarios are presented to the future freshman and the alternatives of the university path are illustrated;
  • ongoing orientation: it is carried out during the University career for male and female students and has the purpose of guiding them within the courses of study already undertaken, allowing them to establish better interaction with the structures and with the University context;
  • outgoing orientation: it is carried out around or after graduation, for graduates or undergraduates. Its aim is to facilitate their introduction into the working environment


Entrance orientation

Incoming orientation actions have a decisive role in the complex and articulated higher education process of the new generations. Indeed, the choice of University study path represents a very delicate moment in the life of all students who must make a conscious choice in order to build their own life projects; deficiencies in the orientation actions at entry contribute to increase the number of dropouts from studies, as well as to slow down students’ careers by dramatically increasing the time required to obtain the qualification.

The first access to the University is therefore an extremely delicate phase of the student's educational path, as demonstrated by the fact that most of the dropouts occur during the first year of enrolment.

Therefore it is extremely important that the University organizes, in this phase, activities capable of supporting one of the most delicate phases of a young person's educational career, through assistance and information services aimed at mitigating perplexities and uncertainties related to the impact with the University world.

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 educational offer and, at the same time, stimulate informed choices of their university careers also through suitable preparatory activities for the access to courses of study so as to to verify the possession of the knowledge and/or skills or the adequacy of the personal preparation necessary for access.

Meanwhile, the orientation activity, in addition to focusing on investigations on the motivations and expectations of the incoming students, contemplates the use of innovative teaching experiences, according to the orientation itself, in order to achieve regular careers.

From this point of view, the service is aimed at enhancing the tools for assessing students' incoming skills, in particular for the courses of study that show a high dropout rate.

The procedures for enrolment, admission of students and management of their careers are set out in the Prospectus and in the University Regulations and communicated through the appropriate sections of the University website. There is also a specific section of the University portal dedicated to freshmen: University of Parma, the world that awaits you.

An important network of activities and services, described in the document University Policy for Student Services and coordinated by the Delegate for Orientation, is constantly updated and optimized to guide the student throughout the University career, from initial orientation to tutoring, internships up to job placement in consideration of the dynamic needs of students, of University strategies and the opportunities offered by national or regional calls for guidance.

To help students in their studies and to develop their soft skills, the University has adopted a series of specific regulations such as, for example, the Regulations for the enrollment of part-time students, the Regulations for free-to-participate activities and the Regulation for the activation and management of an alias career for subjects in transition of type. The University pays particular attention to the problems of students with disabilities, so much so that since 2000 it has set up support for weaker groups and students with disabilities, D.S.A. and B.E.S., known as Le Eli Che.


Recently implemented, the establishment of the Penitentiary University Pole in order to promote the right to study of those who find themselves in a state of restriction of personal freedom.

A specific tutoring activity planned for high-level student athletes.

The actions implemented by the University are reported each year in the Performance Report document and are monitored annually with a report by the Rector's delegates.

Numerous activities, which can be consulted on the English version of the University website, have been launched to welcome foreign students. To promote the recruitment of foreign students, the University has strengthened its reception activities and it is supporting them in finding accommodation and lodgings and it is verifying the feasibility of setting up a Foundation Year, preparatory training for foreign students with less than 12 years of schooling.

In general, the guidance service consists in guaranteeing all the activities connected to the orientation processes on entry of students, in supporting prospective students and their families to make informed choices about their University careers, in welcoming students, including foreign students, in the University context.

The main activities of the U.O. Reception and Orientation take place in support of and in close collaboration with the teachers orientation delegates, appointed for each course of study, and range from the organization and participation in meetings orientation courses that take place at upper secondary schools. The organization of educational visits to the Departments, aimed at choosing the course of study for students in the last years of upper secondary schools, takes place by participating to national orientation fairs in different locations throughout the country.

The Open Days 'Studiare a Parma' , are held annually at the University in spring, while the Info Day 'From Maturity to University' are held annually at the University in summer. The latter coincides with the opening of registrations.

It is also appropriate to mention the activity of spreading information to future freshmen regarding the methods of accessing the courses of study and the care of projects in collaboration with secondary schools in the field of orientation activities in entrance, supporting the structures involved in the 'School-Work Alternation' courses and the development, dedicated to students and families, information and orientation interviews. Finally, the service deals with the management of reorientation processes for enrolled students, in collaboration with the teaching staff and with the psychological counseling service.

In association with the high schools, the University has launched a series of specific projects that involve teachers of schools in coordination with UNIPR teachers with a view to supporting the preparation of school students in view of their enrollment at the University.


Specifically, these projects are:

- CORDA Project, born in 2001 as an orientation initiative for final year students of some High Schools who intended to undertake studies at the Faculty of Engineering of Parma, now extended to all scientific Study Programs of the University;

- Piano Lauree Scientifiche (PLS), created in 2004 with the aim of reducing the disaffection of young people towards scientific disciplines.

At UNIPR, the PLS is divided into various disciplinary areas:

- Biology and Biotechnology;

- Chemistry ;

- Geology ;

- Physics ;

- Mathematics .


The activity of welcoming foreign and refugee students which over the years has acquired a growing importance within the objectives that the University has set itself, deserves a separate mention. From an administrative point of view students are supported especially for the assessment of foreign qualifications that students present at the time of enrollment and which, in some cases, they send before arriving in Italy for a preventive assessment for admission to master's degree courses.

As to the delicate and current context of the reality regarding refugees, the University has recently joined the National Coordination on the Evaluation of Refugee Qualifications (CNVQR) with which the MIUR, with the contribution of CIMEA, has set itself the objective of providing Universities with the useful tools to proceed with the recognition of the qualifications of refugees with little or no documentation. The University of Parma, as part of this project including the University Plan for Refugees was able to incorporate precise notions on the procedure to follow in cases of scarce or absent documentation, establishing important contacts with other Universities and with CIMEA staff, for a worthwhile collaboration. Based on this protocol, the U.O. Careers and Student Services welcomes refugees with confirmed status, as well as asylum seekers. For everyone, i.e. both for those with recognized refugee status and for those with a status that is not yet definitive and in possession of partial or lacking documentation, the qualifications presented are assessed. Thus, numerous interviews are scheduled, both with students and with the mediators of the associations, as well as with the Presidents of the Degree Course Councils to which the students approach, as well as with ERGO for any benefits.

Besides all these centrally coordinated activities, there are other actions implemented on the direct initiative of the individual departments, courses of study and related delegates. These initiatives take the form of internships activated in the individual Departments of the delegates for the orientation of the various study courses and are divided into one or more days.

The related information is collected in a digital brochure published annually on the website; the same brochure is sent via email, through direct contact with the Directors, to all the schools in the area (Parma and neighboring provinces as well as other provinces in which guidance meetings are organized in schools or in orientation salons).

In addition to the internships, it is worth mentioning the more specific initiatives organized directly by the teachers (not necessarily delegates).

Furthermore, entry orientation is also conceived to help the choice of master's degree, in order to orient it, favoring vocation and talent, through more intense contacts with students enrolled in first level degrees.

Finally, it seems appropriate, in this context, to mention the Customer Satisfaction project undertaken by the University of Parma, capable of allowing, among other things, to evaluate the effectiveness of orientation actions, an open and not fully resolved issue on the national scene, in order to allow a more conscious and targeted choice on the part of the student and, in particular, by verifying that the orientation actions are productive, not so much in terms of attractiveness towards the University, but in terms of improving the performance of the students who then enroll at the University of Parma.


Orientation and ongoing tutoring

The service aimed at supporting a suitable inclusion of students in the educational path of the course of study through, in particular, specific tutoring activities aimed at students enrolled in the first year of the course, as well as promoting effective career advancement by students through, in particular, assistance in drawing up the plans of individual study, ongoing orientation activities, aimed at facilitating students' choice of the educational path most suited to their characteristics, as well as remedial activities for students in difficulty.

In parallel with the enhancement of the tools for assessing students' entry skills, in particular for those who show a high dropout rate, the University plans educational recovery actions and ensures adequate tutoring services throughout the University course, calibrated taking into account the course evaluation mechanisms study, in order to pursue the result of an improvement in the quality of the same, providing tutors for each individual course of study.

Orientation and ongoing tutoring, therefore, take on particular value by virtue of the growing importance of the improvement and success, from an educational point of view, of regularly enrolled students, an aspect which however cannot disregard the initial level of the basic skills of the incoming students which contributes significantly to the underperformance of enrolled students. In order to improve specific performances, the University intended to develop a series of actions aimed at integrating and strengthening the basic disciplinary areas, as well as the implementation of supplementary preparatory and preparatory courses for the exams. In this sense, tutoring can facilitate the completion of the course of study on time and, in particular, reduce dropouts in the first year.

The aim is to guide and assist students throughout their studies, making them actively participate in the process training, remove the obstacles to a worthwhile attendance of the teachings, also through initiatives related to the needs, attitudes and needs of individuals. The ongoing guidance and tutoring service therefore takes the form of support and assistance to students enrolled in study courses, diversified according to the needs of users and adapted to the changing needs expressed. In particular, the activities put in place, carried out by teachers involved in the study programmes, they are about disseminating information, welcoming, supporting and mentoring to help students along the way formative. More specifically, the activity carried out is carried out through consultancy for the elaboration of study plans and for problems concerning the preparatory courses, the methods of attendance at courses, exercises and laboratory activities, the cultural and professional orientation of the students, the promotion of their participation in national and international exchange or mobility programs, as well as reporting to appropriate support structures in the event of any difficulties or situations of psychological distress.

In this context, services to students which contribute to their cultural and scientific education and which facilitate entry into the world of work are privileged and strengthened, with the aim of offering students the opportunity to acquire certified integrative skills during the chosen educational path.

In conjunction with the high schools, the Parma University has launched a specific project that sees the involvement of school teachers in coordination with the University teaching staff with a view to supporting the preparation of students enrolled in the first or second year who need reinforcement disciplinary. The IDEA Project

( and, aimed at Educational Integration for Assisted Practice, in fact an initiative that aims at creation of an operational connection between the high school and the University, for a profitable link between upper secondary school teaching and University teaching, such as effective means to reduce the difficulties of students and the phenomena of abandonment and operational in various mathematical, scientific and humanistic fields.

The tutoring and the exercises also allow to support both the process aimed at increasing the number of students who enroll in the second year of the same degree class or single-cycle master's degree having acquired an adequate number of university credits in relation to the cohort of matriculated in the previous academic year, both the process aimed at increasing the number of graduates who obtain their final qualification within the normal duration of the study programme.

Furthermore, it was intended to conceive tutoring also as a function of the choice of master's degree, in order to orientate it, favoring vocation and talent, through more intense contacts with students, school administrators and guidance counselors leaving upper secondary schools.