L’Orientale University has, since its origins, been characterized by a clear scientific and cultural vocation with a strong international perspective, which opens up to a work-market not only local, but also and especially European and non-European. In coherence with its age-old “orientalist” connotation, and cultivating a modern international vocation of knowledge, L’Orientale promotes cooperation and integration between cultures, ensuring a balanced development for all its scientific components.
The primary goal of the University is the elaboration and critical transmission of the cultures of Asia and Africa, and of those of Europe and the Americas, also in their mutual interactions.
The structure of the University's educational offer is an expression of choices aimed at safeguarding this specificity and UNO aims to strengthen it, also through the constant increase in student mobility, both within the Erasmus Program (EU and extra-EU ), and international scientific agreements.
Research also benefits from numerous aspects related to University internationalization which are a valid support to it, such as: - the large number and global articulation of national and international scientific agreements; - the presence of many culture centers that promote international exchanges and initiatives; - the quality of the recruitment policy, also aimed at attracting scholars from abroad; - the numerous project initiatives that have achieved and are financed by regional, national and European external funds.
In 2018, UNO’s Department of Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies received by the Italian Ministry for University and Research funds for the “Department of Excellence” for the period 2018-2022. The project aims to promote Research and Didactics following the natural vocation, consolidated by a deep-rooted tradition, of the study of Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean context, identifying some representative macro-sectors of the multiple subjects always taught in the Orientaat L’Orientalel: African studies; Studies on ancient Near and Middle East; Islam; Central Asia; Indology, Tibetology and Indonesian Studies; Sinology; Japanese and Korean Studies; Classical studies.
In the field of European and international cooperation, the University boasts consolidated experience, with agreements with over 500 universities and research centers both through the Erasmus network (EU and extra-EU), and through specific bilateral agreements with African, Asian, American and Oceanian universities. Thanks to the wide network of international agreements, L'Orientale promotes activities and projects focused on multicultural cooperation and dialogue, social integration, diversity and the protection of human rights, and the fight against all sort of discrimination. In recent years, the University has also been increasingly committed to enhancing Third Mission activities, which include international cooperation and exchange of good practice projects, partnerships for innovation, support actions for the development of cooperation policies, collaborative projects with schools. In the field of archaeology, the University has excavation sites in Italy and abroad; for those abroad, it also works in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The specific skills in the languages and cultures of Asia and Africa are also a reason for collaboration with police, military and penitentiary systems to contribute to the linguistic and cultural training of the units operating in missions abroad or dealing with migrants. Training on political and religious issues in African and Asian countries is also required by the world of school education and by media, to which L’Orientale offers ongoing training courses with the participation of researchers specialized in these sectors.
The University recognizes the value of mobility as a tool for enriching the curriculum and students' skills, therefore it is constantly committed to disseminating information and promoting international mobility, aiming to increase activities within the framework of the rules set by European authorities. The absolute data and percentages of outgoing mobility of its students always place the University among the top places in the national rankings. The number of Erasmus and international agreements is constantly growing and participation in European projects is encouraged in order to increase funds for this type of activity. At the same time, the University takes every possible initiative to create the best conditions to facilitate staff research stays abroad, both to encourage a comparative approach to research, methodologies and teaching with colleagues working in different realities, and to allow constant contact with the countries whose cultures are researched. For almost all UNO’s professors and researchers, engaged in projects concerning different aspects of foreign countries (languages, politics, art, history, archaeology, etc.) or in studies that aim at fostering the comparison with the language, culture and history of Italy, mobility is a primary necessity.
The University is also committed to increasing the presence of foreigners in the classroom, emphasizing how exchange and dialogue with them can enrich students. For the same reason, the University has activated a master degree course in Italian language and culture for foreigners, with the double purpose of training Italian native teachers to teach Italian as a foreign language and as a second language, and offer a second-level curriculum to foreigners studying Italian and interested in deepening its linguistic structures and learning about the culture of our country. In order to promote internationalization in the third level of training, the PhD, the University promotes co-tutorship courses with teachers active in foreign universities thus giving the possibility of achieving a double degree, often with countries outside the European Union.
In addition, in order to encourage international participation in the public selection of our PhD courses, the University dedicates scholarships to students who graduated abroad. L’Orientale recognizes the importance of providing students not only with solid knowledge in the linguistic and cultural fields, but also with modern and innovative skills useful for entering the work-market. For this reason:
- it pays particular attention to the development of Digital Humanities;
- constantly updates its educational offer with changes to the curricular paths that best meet the needs of contemporary society, the geopolitical realities emerging in the international context, the demands of the world of school education and training that increasingly have to deal with multicultural and multilingual groups;
- in order to encourage inclusiveness and make courses accessible to users with economic, family and logistical difficulties, it aims to increase the opportunities offered by new technologies, making available a greater number of courses and educational activities online which, among other things, are also useful to support students outside the regular study path.
The University therefore intends to continue to support and enlarge its internationalization strategy through training and internship activities, scientific research, international cooperation and mobility, participation in European and international projects.