Legally recognised university colleges are institutions of a private legal nature, which perform services of public interest. They contribute to expanding and integrating the educational programmes offered by universities in Italy by implementing educational projects aimed at ensuring that students can grow intellectually, professionally and personally - freely and responsibly.

The legal nature of University Colleges is governed by art. 191 of the Royal Charter. no. 1592 of 31 August 1933 (Consolidated law on higher education) which states that ‘Works and Foundations whose purpose is to increase higher education and assistance in its various forms to studies in Universities and Institutes of Higher Education are subject to the supervision of the Ministry of Education’, but it is with Law no. 240 of 30 December 2010 that the current legal framework of reference was established.

Law no. 240 of 30 December 2010 headed ‘Rules on the organisation of universities, academic staff and recruitment, as well as delegation of powers to the Government to incentivise the quality and efficiency of the university system’. Article 5 defines University Colleges as ‘facilities of residential character, of national importance and of high cultural qualification, which provide students with educational and guidance services and integrate the educational programme of universities’.

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