Pavia offers students €100 for sustainable travel
The University of Pavia in Italy has announced a new fund for outbound students aiming to reduce the environmental impact of mobility programs by promoting the use of buses and trains.
The TRANSIT initiative – susTainable tRAvels for uNipv International mobiliTy – will offer students a lump sum of €100 to encourage them to opt for more sustainable forms of travel to reach their host institutions.
“We are very proud that the University of Pavia is the first university in Italy and among the first in Europe to carry out an initiative of this kind,” said Antonella Forlino, the institution’s pro-rector for internationalisation.
“As already indicated in the European green deal, international mobility programs are a key tool for the development of awareness, appropriate skills and attitudes with regard to climate change and sustainable development both in the European Union and in the rest of the world.”
The pilot project will support at least 30% of the outgoing students, most of whom are joining the Erasmus program, she added.
The university has a dual responsibility both to train the younger generations and create “transversal professionalism” capable of advancing the objectives of the 2030 agenda, as well as support students “who are committed to carrying on responsible behaviour, aware that certain choices are never cost-free”, Forlino added.
It is the first step in a series of actions developed by the International Relations Service in collaboration with the Office for Sustainable Actions.
Other actions include boosting digitalisation via lessons available online, introducing a guide for international incoming students listing all the university’s sustainable services (ie. nine water dispensers have been installed across the university), as well as creating an “Erasmus wood”, which will feature a new tree for each mobile student.
“We are working on many initiatives that we promised Europe”
“We are working on many initiatives that we promised Europe when we obtained the necessary certification to participate in the Erasmus Program, ECHE,” explained Forlino.
“We are also planning to publish a series of “call for ideas” open to the academic community to help us develop projects that are able to reconcile a desired growth in the number of beneficiaries in mobility abroad with the fight against climate change.”
Additionally, Pavia has introduced the first inter-university PhD course in Italy in Sustainable Development and Climate Change, as well as a bilingual master’s degree in Geosciences for Sustainable Development.