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The Project

In October 2020, the University of Tuscia joined the Manifesto on an Inclusive University a project promoted and developed by UNHCR, to facilitate refugee access to higher education and research, as well as promote social integration and active participation in academic life. To achieve these goals, our university has implemented two projects to facilitate access to education and socio-cultural integration for refugee students in Viterbo:

  • The University of Tuscia became a partner in the UNHCR-led UNICORE project – University Corridors for Refugees. This project, now in its sixth edition, offers young refugee students from countries such as Eritrea and Sudan the opportunity to safely and regularly come to Italy to complete their education by enrolling in a master’s degree programme taught in English.
  • Following the war in Ukraine, the University of Tuscia initiated the UNITUS for Ukraine An extraordinary fund of over two hundred thousand euros was allocated to accommodate students, researchers, and technical-administrative staff fleeing Ukraine at the Viterbo campus.

The #UNITUS4Refugees project aims to create and enhance synergies between university initiatives that promote the integration of refugee students and build inclusive pathways. It provides a support network and solidarity that contributes to fully realizing the potential of UNICORE and UNITUS for Ukraine.

#UNITUS4Refugees begins by acknowledging the University of Tuscia’s academic community, student associations, civil society, and local institutions for their remarkable capacity to support and include the most vulnerable students during the pandemic. Refugees face unique challenges, including high costs of higher education and daily living expenses, especially during the critical phase of initial reception before scholarships are awarded. Additionally, refugees often lack family support networks and struggle to rebuild lost relationships and identities after fleeing their home countries. This situation poses a risk of students dropping out of their studies, resulting in the loss of valuable human and social capital for both the university community and the Viterbo area.

#UNITUS4Refugees addresses the need for the initial reception and integration of refugees studying at the university. Born with the collaboration of the Alumni Association (WeUnitus), #UNITUS4Refugees is a crowdfunding tool hosted on the association’s website allowing anyone to donate to refugee students in the UNICORE and UNITUS for Ukraine projects.


The project aims to extend its scope to interdisciplinary initiatives and third/fourth mission activities, becoming an incubator of best practices that can be replicated in other Italian and European universities that have joined the Manifesto on an Inclusive University”, thanks to the solid infrastructure of the Alumni network. In this regard, #UNITUS4Refugees is in line with the European University Strategy (COM(2022) 16 final), which aims to establish “excellent and inclusive universities” as a basis for open, democratic, fair, and sustainable societies, as well as sustained growth, entrepreneurship, and employment.

The initiative was launched during the HAVE YOUR SAY! workshop held on June 20, 2022, on World Refugee Day.

For information on the #UNITUS4Refugees, please contact the initiative’s promoters via institutional email:

  • Gilda Nicolai, Rector’s Representative for the Alumni (WeUnitus) nicolai@unitus.it
  • Mario Savino, Coordinator of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Migrant Integration in Europe (IntoME) and Rector’s Delegate for the UNICORE Project mario.savino@unitus.it
  • Daniela Vitiello, Founder and Co-director of #UNITUS4Refugees daniela.vitiello@unitus.it

Join the #UNITUS4Refugees Project by emailing us at: info@cosmeproject.eu


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