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Within the framework of higher education in Italy, the legally recognized university colleges, grouped together under the permanent Conference of Colleges (CCU), are committed to the pursuit of quality teaching and personal development of students. These institutions, some with longstanding traditions, are of a private juridical nature and serve the public interest in expanding on and characterizing courses delivered by the various universities, with a wide array of projects that contribute to the studentís academic, professional and personal development.
In addition to providing residential accommodation, the colleges offer students interdisciplinary cultural activities, study guidance and tutoring services which all help to ensure they achieve their degrees within the expected time and train and develop further into independent-minded, responsible human beings, ready to take up their place in the community. Through special agreement with the Conference of Rectors (CRUI), the colleges stipulate conventions with the universities which award credits for the validated teaching programmes and scientific projects the colleges offer.
One of the main goals of the colleges is the prospect of European and international integration, which can only be achieved through an understanding of diverse cultures. To this end, students also have the opportunity to take part in schemes to study abroad and host undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world.
The Italian colleges have drawn up a Charter which was brought before the academic and student world at the Convention of Rome on 18th February 2004. The Charter illustrates the common goals of the 14 College Committees, legally recognized by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), which together manage 45 residential colleges in 14 towns and cities.