Author: Tiziana Lazzarina (Research fellow UNIMONT – Università degli Studi di Milano)
The University of Milan is the only Italian university to have established a Centre of Excellence called “UNIMONT – University of the Mountain” – dedicated exclusively to the development of mountain territories through training, research and third mission activities specific to these areas, carried out and coordinated entirely from the mountains.
For over 20 years, UNIMONT has been the base for the Bachelor’s Degree Course in “Development and Protection of Mountain Environment”, which is attended by students from all over Italy, and for the Research Centre for the Management and Sustainable Development of Mountain Areas – Ge.S.Di.Mont., where numerous young researchers work to innovate and make mountain territories more competitive. This year, the educational offer has been expanded through the activation of a new international Master’s Degree course on “Valorisation and Sustainable Development of Mountain Areas”.
The new Master’s Degree is a multidisciplinary course of study taught in English that aims to train professionals with a specific knowledge of mountain areas, and the ability to promote and manage the transformation, in a sustainable and innovative way. It includes the study of natural and agro-forestry resources peculiar to the mountains, into products and services of economic and social value. The course of studies integrates different disciplines in order to acquire the ability to adopt a systemic and up-to-date approach to the theme of the development of mountain territories and to reconcile the needs of protection with those of promotion of development processes, linking the local dimension with the global dimension. Management and promotion of the territory and protected areas, planning of sustainable development initiatives, new activities for the tourism and for the valorisation of supply chains of traditional and innovative products, represent the main professional possibilities.
The territorial location of the Degree course is Edolo, a mountain municipality in the Upper Camonica Valley in the heart of the Italian Alps. This location, in addition to contributing to the acquisition of a concrete and direct knowledge and awareness of environmental complexity, guarantees that “experiential” aspect of life in the local mountain dimension. From a methodological and operational point of view, the training offer promotes an experience that is anything but “local”, since UNIMONT is an active part of an “ecosystem” that includes the main stakeholders at the regional, national and international levels, with whom it promotes processes of innovation, capacity building and empowerment of human capital, indispensable for these territories to emerge from marginality.
UNIMONT – University of Milan is, today, a real laboratory for testing innovative “formulas” to promote the enhancement and sustainable development of mountain territories, investing primarily in young people who want to live in the mountains, to work and do business in a creative, modern and competitive way. Doing didactics and research in the mountains and for the mountains helps to focus on the needs of modernity and innovation, and the peculiarities that require the identification of specific, unique and original solutions.
Enrolment for the Bachelor and Master Degree programmes are open; more information is available on the UNIMONT website.