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More than 13,500 foreign researchers and students chose to work or study at regional scientific institutions in 2010 

The attractiveness of the “knowledge system” in FVG is growing

20.09.2011 -

At a press conference this morning, Roberto Molinaro, Regional Councillor for Education, Universities and Research and Enzo Moi, Managing Director of AREA Science Park, presented the results of the sixth "Mobility of Knowledge", a survey conducted by the Coordination of Research Institutions (CER - Coordinamento degli Enti di Ricerca del Friuli Venezia Giulia).


This 2010 data confirms and consolidates the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region's attractiveness to foreign researchers and students. The study shows that last year 3,453 foreign students and 10,111 foreign researchers studied or worked for varying periods of time in one of the region's scientific institutions. In more detail, 4,123 foreign researchers have permanent positions in regional research bodies and universities (almost half of the 8,301 in all of Italy). Researchers and students come from around the world, with a significant number originating from the European Union (900) and Africa (850), and a growing number arriving from Asia and Central and South America.


With respect to the relevant academic field, the predominant sector for employed researchers (Italians included) is Science, Mathematics and Computing, followed by Health and Welfare and Humanities and Arts. The areas of study that are of greatest interest to enrolled students (Italians included) are Social Science and Business and Law, followed by Humanities and Arts, Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction and finally Health and Welfare.


The survey, conducted for the first time in collaboration with the National Committee for the Evaluation of the University System, which is now part of the National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes, also mapped mobility data relating to the regional universities. During the 2009-10 academic year, foreign students represented 7% of the total number of enrolled students in the region, which is well above the national average of 3.3%.


In addition, for the second consecutive year, CER mapped the gender distribution of all students and researchers, both Italian and foreign, studying or working at the 28 institutions that took part in the survey. Specifically, from the data collected on students enrolled in universities, female students predominate - especially for second level degrees - and account for 55.1% of the total. This distribution changes significantly when looking at employed researchers, where the number of women drops to 30.6% of the total. This figure reflects the general situation in Europe and confirms that women have greater difficulty in accessing professional careers in the sciences.


The scientific and academic institutions that participated in the "Mobility of Knowledge" survey are: The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics - ICTP, Centro Ricerche Plast-Optica S.p.A., CISM - International Centre for Mechanical Sciences, CNR IC - Institute of Crystallography, CNR - IOM Materials Workshop Institute, CNR - DEMOCRITOS Modelling Center, Conservatory of Music "Giuseppe Tartini", Conservatory of Music "Jacopo Tomadini", AREA Science Park, CRO - National Cancer Institute, Centre for the Study of Liver Diseases - Italian Liver Foundation NPO, Niccolò Canussio Foundation, ICGEB - The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, INAF-National Institute for Astrophysics-The Astronomical Observatory of Trieste, INFN - National Institute for Nuclear Physics, ICS-UNIDO-International Centre for Science and High Technology, Institute for Maternal and Child Health - IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Scientific Institute "IRCCS E. Medea", ISIG - International Sociology Institute of Gorizia, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics - OGS, Keymec Mechanics Innovation, Research and Training Centre, Science Centre Immaginario Scientifico, ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Laboratory, SISSA - International School for Advanced Studies, TWAS - The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, University of Trieste and University of Udine.



The achievements of Welcome Office FVG, the regional help desk for incoming international students and researchers, were also presented at the press conference. During the first six months of 2011, Welcome Office FVG responded to 2,833 inquires, primarily for information on study and work opportunities, housing, requirements for entering and staying in Italy, health assistance, family services and courses on Italian language and culture.


During the same period, there was a steady stream of requests for information from national institutions, regional bodies and partners, particularly with respect to entrance procedures (visas, residence permits) and health assistance. The Welcome Office Friuli Venezia Giulia internet portal was accessed 16,360 times since January 2011 by users from 132 countries, particularly the United States, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Turkey, India, Ukraine, Argentina and Costa Rica.