It is also worth mentioning the dissemination of information to future students on how to access degree courses, the running of projects in collaboration with upper secondary schools as part of incoming guidance activities, support for the structures involved in 'Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro' (study-work alternation) courses and the holding of information and guidance 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 secondary 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 are:
- The CORDA Project, established in 2001 as a guidance initiative for students in their last year of some secondary schools who intended to undertake studies at the Faculty of Engineering in Parma, and now extended to all the University's scientific courses;
- Piano Lauree Scientifiche (PLS), established 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;
The reception of foreign students and refugees deserves particular consideration, and has over the years become increasingly important within the University’s objectives, including 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 second-cycle degree courses. With regard to the delicate and current context of the refugee situation, the university recently joined the Coordinamento Nazionale sulla Valutazione delle Qualifiche dei Rifugiati (‘National Coordination on the Evaluation of Refugee Qualifications’) or CNVQR, through which the MIUR, with the support of the CIMEA, aims to provide universities with tools for recognising 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, was able to receive detailed information on the procedure to follow 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 Careers and Services for Students division 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. These initiatives take the form of traineeships within individual departments by the guidance delegates of the various courses of study and taking place over one or more days; the relevant information is collected in a digital brochure published annually on the website; the same brochure is sent by email, through direct contact with school guidance directors and teachers, to all schools in the catchment area (Parma and neighbouring provinces as well as other provinces in which guidance meetings are organised in schools or where guidance fairs are held).
In addition to traineeships, it is worth mentioning the more specific initiatives organised directly by teaching staff (not necessarily the guidance delegates). These actions are thematic and are once again aimed at high school students in order to provide them with further information on curricula leading to what are generally considered ‘traditional’ professional profiles.
In addition, incoming guidance is also adapted to suit the choice of a second-cycle degree, so as to offer guidance, encouraging vocation and talent, through more intensive contact with students enrolled on first-level degrees.
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 guidance actions are productive, not so much in terms of attracting students to the University, but in terms of improving the performance of students who then enrol at the University of Parma.
In the specific case of the Master's Degree Course in Medicine and Surgery, guidance is carried out by the relevant teaching staff through seminars at high schools in Parma and its Province and neighbouring Provinces. The schedule of meetings is agreed by the schools with the University's ‘Welcome and Guidance’ unit http://www.unipr.it/orientamento_in_ingresso
The Degree Course is also presented at the 'OpenDay' (three consecutive days in April) and 'InfoDay' (one day in July) events, organised each year by the University.