Franco - Italian University

The Franco-Italian University (U.F.I.) was born out of an inter-governmental agreement signed between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Ministries responsible for higher education in the two countries during the Franco-Italian summit in Florence on 6 October 1998, an agreement ratified by the Italian parliament on 11 May 2000.

The creation of the U.F.I. aims to reinforce co-operation between France and Italy in the field of higher education, continuing education and research by:

  • promoting exchanges of students and teachers with the goal of making up a network of establishments with the objective of integrated education
  • supporting initiatives of common interest in terms of basic and continuing education, research and education of young researchers

With a deliberately lightweight structure, the university has a scientific council set up during the Turin summit (29 January 2001). It is made up of an equal number of French and Italian figures and two general secretaries (Michel Duclot for France, Professor at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, and Alfio Mastropaolo for Italy, professor at the University of Turin). With an “intangible” structure the university has two seats, one in Turin, the other in Grenoble.

It already has several actions to its credit, for example :

  • the realisation of a web site ( (only in French and Italian)) containing all the information on university collaboration between France and Italy as well as a detailed guide for students interested in going to the two countries for studies and training courses.
  • The publication of two calls for applications (Bando Vinci) to financially support integrated course initiatives, double diplomas and common diplomas (with a preference for the joint European master’s degree with the Erasmus or World Community programme in mind), doctoral schools, summer schools, exchanges of teachers, researchers, publications.
  • The management of a programme, initiated a few years ago, for jointly tutored doctoral theses. Financial aid was given to 25 Italian students and 25 French students to conduct research in the two countries.
  • The attribution of doctorate grants in Italy and 5 in France with the goal of helping to set up ”joint excellence networks”

The future activities provide for transforming the web site into a gateway, monitoring programmes to evaluate their efficacy, making up a database, publishing an electronic newsletter, an initiative for work experience placements in companies and in public administrations and their integration in training courses.

Setting up the Franco-Italian University contributes to the construction of the European knowledge area, which is gradually being created thanks to the harmonisation of diplomas, the introduction of integrated courses, the mobility of students and teachers and the emergence of a network of establishments.

For more information (only in French or Italian) :