The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, established in April, 15th 2005 by the Italian Minister of Education, University and Research, is born from NETTUNO – Network for the University Everywhere, a Consortium of 43 Italian and foreign universities, which since 1992 provided distance university courses to thousands of students using Satellite Television (through its own Sat TV Channel, Uninettunouniversity.tv) and Internet technologies applied to distance education, and from the internationally successful Med Net’U (Mediterranean Network of Universities) Project funded by EC EUMEDIS Programm. MedNet'U project, coordinated by NETTUNO, involved 31 partners (universities, technological enterprises and HE Ministries) coming from 11 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Area (Algeria, Egypt, France, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey).
The development of Med Net’U experience from a project to an International Telematic University system was supported by the Governments of the Partner Countries: in the Joint declaration undersigned at the Third Catania Conference (for the Creation of Euro-Mediterranean Area for Higher Education) by 14 Ministers of Higher Education of several Countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Area, they affirmed the willingness to “strengthen a distance learning system, by expanding the results attained through the “Med Net’U” Project, in order to encourage the widest possible access to education and training in a perspective of lifelong learning through the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO” (Declaration of Catania, point 6). Today UNINETTUNO is structured in six Faculties (Engineering, Economics, Cultural Heritage, Psychology, Communication Sciences and Law) and counts around 23000 enrolled students, coming from 164 different countries. UNINETTUNO provides courses in 5 languages (Italian, English, French, Arabic, Greek) through the UNINETTUNO e-learning platform (http://www.uninettunouniversity.net), based on the Rector Prof. Maria Amata Garito research activities and pedagogical model and developed by UNINETTUNO researchers and developers. UNINETTUNO structure is based on an International Centre, Faculties, Degree Courses and Technological Poles.
The Technological Poles, more than 60 located both in Italy and in many Mediterranean and International Universities, are technological structures at the students’ disposal, supplied with all the technologies required to attend distance teaching courses, to participate in training activities in Interactive Classes and are a physical place of face-to-face encounter to host final exams, meetings and seminars with professors and tutors. The technological network has fuelled the creation of a people network able to connect and share their knowledge, and, along with many professors, firstly from the Euro-Mediterranean Area and then from Universities from North and South Americas and the Middle and Far East, have been developing a global digital space for Higher Education and the dissemination of knowledge. Thanks to this international experience, UNINETTUNO exploited its internationalization activities as an active instrument for cooperation.
The most recent initiative on this scientific diplomacy action line has been focused on the creation of University for Refugees initiative (www.universitaperrifugiati.it), aiming at providing to refugees and immigrants access to University programs from any part of the world, skill recognition for enabling access to the labor market, language courses, information and training about mutual rights and duties, support for the access to health services through online medical datasheets and a database of volunteer doctors. In 2017 the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO was acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the universities working and orienting its action towards the achievement of the United Nations 17 “Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)”, namely the globally-shared objectives fixed to end poverty, to protect the planet, promote gender equality, protect and support cultures and grant wellbeing for all.
Because of its projects, having a powerful social impact and of its missions aiming at a truly democratizing the access to knowledge through the new technologies, actually, UNINETTUNO was included in the HESD (Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development) initiative61, supplying a global mapping of the universities and higher education and research institutions that are the best performing in the achievement of the sustainable development goals, described by the United Nations sustainable development goals, illustrated in the UN 2030 Agenda.
On 28 September 2017, UNINETTUNO received the honorable mention at the International Elearning Award 2017 for its portal "University for Refugees", assigned by IELA - International e-Learning Association, based in Columbia University (NY) and counting members from every continent and from all sectors (industry, enterprise, governments, and universities). The aim of IELA is to promote knowledge and practice of elearning in schools, universities and the workplace. Finally, in December 2017 eLearning Inside, world reference magazine in the e-learning sector, listed UNINETTUNO’s University for Refugees initiative among the 5 Top Stories in Higher Education Elearning for 2017, among corporate and University giants as Amazon, Arizona State University e Purdue University.
Role in the Project
UNINETTUNO will bring to the Consortium its experience in social inclusion and innovation initiative addressing migrants and refugees and, more in general, its experience and network in the Euro-Mediterranean Area. Within REBUILD, UNINETTUNO will coordinate the user requirement analysis and the co-creation activities in the first Phase of the project, leading WP2, and participating in addressing ethical and crossculturality issues in relevant tasks. It will actively contribute to testing, piloting and validating of the REBUILD system during the development and pilot phases. Furthermore, UNINETTUNO will contribute to impact assessment and to the involvement of external stakeholders for promoting and exploiting project results beyond the project lifetime and geography. As a University, UNINETTUNO will participate to the scientific dissemination of REBUILD and will be in charge of leading the overall project management (WP10).