The University of Calabria, situated in Southern Italy, is a public institution established in 1972. Even though the idea of a university in Calabria dates back to the fifties, almost twenty years elapsed before the idea became a reality with a Parliamentary law in 1968. In that year the university founding charter was granted, while its statutes were passed in 1971. The very first steps towards the development of the university campus started in 1972 and since then a continuing and visible expansion of new buildings on campus has been taking place. Its particular architecture is due to the cooperation between two architects: the Italian Gregotti and the Danish Martensson. The University of Calabria is a medium-sized university with about 36,000 students.
Since its very beginning the University of Calabria has clearly set out the strategies for the development of its international dimension. In the past twenty years several bilateral agreements were established by the University of Calabria with European and other foreign universities. Such agreements aim at encouraging co¬operation in the fields of research and didactic activities. Emphasis to international relationships among higher education institutions was provided by the launching of European programmes such as ERASMUS, in the 80s, which paved the way to student mobility activities. In particular, double level degrees were created as a relevant didactic offer to students participating in these exchanges. Among these we can mention the conventions established by the Faculty of Economics with the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and with the University of Applied Sciences Fachhochschule Bochum (Germany), and by the Faculty of Political Science with the Universidad de Jaen (Spain).
Apart from the participation in programmes co-financed by the E.U., the University of Calabria has established contacts with international organisations such as FAO, UNESCO of the United Nations, and OECD. Internationalisation will be further implemented through other trans-national research and didactic projects as a form of mission embedded by the University of Calabria. As an interesting outcome to these mobility experiences, international students who live and study on a permanent basis on campus created a small but lively community. Currently a special program for foreign postgraduate students is being implemented.