In a small ceremony held in the Mappamondi Hall of the Rectorate, the University of Pisa awarded final diplomas to the first students who successfully completed for the academic year 2017/2018 the Foundation Course, an educational programme for international students who need to fill the gap of a year's education in order to enrol in Italian Universities. Professor Leonardo Bertini, delegate for the promotion of spin-off initiatives, start-ups and patents, was there on behalf of the rector to greet the students. The Programme Directors for the two FC curriculums – Professor Chiara Roda, director for the Foundation Course Science, and Arturo Marzano, director for the Foundation Course Humanities, were also present, along with the staff from the International Cooperation Unit, coordinated by Paola Cappellini.
The students awarded with the diploma were Sahil Singh (India), Razan Hijazi (Israel), and Amanda Sanchez (Venezuela). Two more students, Emily Apostolidou (Cyprus) and Anastasia Kormschikova (Russia), were not present, as they have already returned to their home country. A second round of awards will take place next September.
The Foundation Course is a one-year programme, to bridge the education gap of international students (as the Russians, the Americans and the South Americans) who cannot directly enrol in an undergraduate degree programme at Italian universities. The University of Pisa was the first in Italy to have run this important course, already launched for several years in the most important universities in Europe. By attending the Foundation Course and passing its exams, students will be able to continue their academic career in an undergraduate degree programme.
The University of Pisa offers two curriculums. One in Humanities (Foundation Course Humanities – FCH) and one in Science (Foundation Course Science –FCS). The curriculum for the science course has been considered carefully, taking into account the preparation required to pass the admission test for Medicine, but also for other scientific degree programmes such as Engineering or Pharmacy.
Alongside the lessons for their curriculum, the FC students are required to take an intensive Italian language course at the University Linguistic Centre, Centro Linguistico di Ateneo (CLI), designed to equip them with the linguistic knowledge to take a degree programme entirely held in Italian.