Under the watch of Professor Raffaele Marchetti, the key word is “internationalization.” Today he is Pro-rector at LUISS Guido Carli University and works tirelessly to build relationships between the Roman university and foreign countries.
He was recently in Latin America and Canada, and now he has arrived in New York. We met with him at the United Nations, the home of international relations, and immediately started talking about the university.
“The power relations are changing. American universities have always monopolized the world rankings, but now we are growing and we are growing fast.” LUISS, according to the latest data, is in fact 1st in Italy, 2nd in the European Union and 14th in the world for Political and International Studies (QS by Subject 2023 ranking), 46th in the world for the “Business and Management” area and 47th for the “Law” area. Numbers that do not lie and reflect the investments made by the leadership in recent years.
Marchetti is in the United States together with Rector Andrea Prencipe because he has found a target he wants to focus on: the Italian diaspora. “It is limiting to say that there are 60 million Italians,” he explains, “because outside the national borders live about another 90 million people who are in some way connected to Italy. And it is the new generations of Italians in the world that we want to address.”
LUISS has in fact made it possible for those who can prove a family connection to Italy to apply for scholarships. “We believe that the idea of coming to study in Rome is inviting for an international student. First of all, our academic level is very high, as the rankings show. Then we’re located in Rome, an extraordinary and beautiful city that has a wealth of cultural offerings. Finally, our tuition, compared to that of American universities, is much lower.” A value for money that leaves no room for doubt.
There’s no problem on the language front either. “It is not essential for an international student to know Italian,” Marchetti stresses. Courses are conducted in English, and all students admitted to LUISS have a level of English that allows them to relate to their foreign colleagues.
The timing is also right. At LUISS they have realized how interested the American market is in Italy and how Italians who have arrived in the United States have often managed to hold prestigious positions. “If you read the surnames of the top positions in public administration, law, business or finance you often notice Italians.”
LUISS also wants to nurture the link between Italy and the United States through its large alumni community. Together with Rector Prencipe, Marchetti met at the consulate with some of the LUISS alumni who now live and work in New York. “You are our best ambassadors,” Prencipe recalled.
Many of the former LUISS students now work in the diplomatic field, and the university itself, over time, has acquired a key role in power brokering.
As in the case of the ACE triple degree in Business Administration, where the Roman university managed to get George Washington University and Renmin University of China to sit at the same table to create a triple degree that combines three different countries, managerial and institutional cultures under the umbrella of diplomacy and education. “Without us, it would have been unthinkable for China and the United States to even contemplate such an agreement,” Marchetti stresses.
LUISS’ role in the academic world is increasingly central: it is already established as a benchmark of excellence in Italy and is now expanding its boundaries by aiming to welcome international students to Rome.
“We started late, because in Italy, for too long we were convinced that classes in English were not necessary in universities and that Italian was sufficient. As a nation we were not attractive to foreigners in academia, but now things have changed. At LUISS we host students from over 80 nationalities and we have 315 partner universities in 64 countries, as well as 58 agreements between double degrees and structured partnerships (LLM Educational Programs, Joint Degree, QTEM Masters Network, Exchange).” In short, a total openness to internationalization that is essential to prepare students for the prestigious positions they often attain even in the United States.
“Our method,” Marchetti concludes, “allows LUISS graduates to be ready to work anywhere in the world. The job market changes from country to country, but there are some universal rules by which you are able to be appreciated anywhere, and our community of 54,000 alumni around the world proves this every day.”