Other international activities

The International Relations and Study Abroad service promotes and raises awareness within USI academic community on the issues of migration and integration by facilitating access to the academic path to talented threatened scholars and academics, and refugee students, recognizing that they are part of generally more vulnerable social groups. 

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  • Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network

    Academic freedom and institutional autonomy are considered essential rights for higher education institutions to fulfil their mission. They are the pillars of quality education and fundamental attributes for conducting internationally relevant scientific research, thus contributing to the development of society by enabling knowledge transfer, innovation, entrepreneurship and cultural and scientific debate through researchers and scholars. 

    Academics must be allowed to convey their ideas and opinions, to contribute to open discussions and choose, according to the higher institutions' values, what to put forward in their teaching, research, or publications. 

    Nevertheless, academic freedom is not a granted right: in many countries, what scholars do, say or think may put them and their dear ones at serious risk, be it in terms of their liberty or well-being. 

    The mission of the SAR, an international network of institutions and individuals, is to protect threatened scholars and promote academic freedom by, for instance, arranging temporary academic positions at member universities and colleges. In this way, scholars can keep working on their ideas and research until conditions improve and are able to return to their home countries.

    USI has been a member of the SAR Network since 2016 sharing those values and principles. The International Relations and Study Abroad service will provide administrative assistance and support to USI academics who may be interested in welcoming a SAR candidate within their areas of academic interest and competencies. SAR candidates may be eligible for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) scholarships within the scope of its Scientific Exchanges funding scheme; they can also be supported by personal academic funds and work on research projects too.

    Academics interested in learning more about USI’s SAR membership may contact the International Relations and Study Abroad service.

     

    SAR Representative at USI: Maurizia Ruinelli

    Collaborations:

    The SAR Swiss Section (SAR Switzerland) promotes the values, mission and activities of Scholars at Risk by hosting scholars at threat, lobbying, sharing information on good practice and initiating joint activities.

    The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) finances SAR’s activities within the scope of its Scientific Exchanges funding scheme.

    The Research and Transfer Service supports researchers of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI). Its main objective is to provide support to researchers with regard to the acquisition and management of research grants.

  • Access to USI and equal opportunities for refugee students

    The project aims at promoting and raising awareness within USI academic community on the issues of migration and integration by facilitating access to the academic path to talented refugee students recognizing that they are part of generally more vulnerable social groups. 
    USI is operating in collaboration with Swiss higher education institutions, Swissuniversities and the federal and cantonal authorities.    
    Furthermore, by supporting the Swiss integration process into the labour market, USI facilitates access with auditing status to academic courses to job-seeking graduates.   
    USI collaborates with the SOS Ticino’s In-Lav service, the cantonal body in charge of implementing the cantonal integration measures and services for the Swiss Integration Agenda.  

    Futur students:    

    • Support and tutoring;
    • Pre-enrollment access to Italian and/or English language courses;
    • ​Auditing access to courses with reduced registration fee  

    Students:   

    • Support and tutoring;   
    • reduced registration fee   

    Lifelong learning and further education for job-seeking graduates  

    • Auditing access to courses with reduced registration fee 

     

    Collaborations: 

    Swissuniversities
    In the frame of the project “adapted access to tertiary education for refugees, swissuniversities and the Swiss universities are operating within the scope of their possibilities to address the difficulties and obstacles faced by refugee academics and researchers. This entails the dossier "adapted access to tertiary education for refugees", as well as membership of the network "Scholars at Risk".
    The Swiss institutions of higher education are aware of their social responsibility and have reacted to this development, establishing various programmes to promote the professional and intellectual skills of refugees and enable them to continue their academic careers. At the same time, there remain obstacles to successful enrollment at a university, namely the recognition of documents, language level, cultural differences, economic restrictions and uncertainty of residence status for asylum seekers and temporarily admitted persons. swissuniversities plays an advisory and coordinating role in these issues and is committed to enabling closer exchange between institutions.

    Perspectives-studies
    "Perspectives - Studies" is a project of the Swiss Student Union (VSS). The project provides refugees interested in studying with an overview of the Swiss higher education landscape, the various programmes and their requirements. It provides information for refugees, who wish to study and people who support them along their way.

    SOS Ticino Servizio In-Lav
    the service Servizio In-Lav del SOS Ticino is the cantonal body in charge of implementing the cantonal integration measures and services for the Swiss Integration Agenda. Contact: Rebecca Simona, rsimona@sos-ti.ch.