The University of Bari | Photo: Aldo Moro
The University of Bari | Photo: Aldo Moro

Refugee student Afewerki Ghebremichael has successfully finished his studies at the University of Bari Aldo Moro. He is the first refugee who graduated from the university in southern Italy.

Eritrean refugee Afewerki Ghebremichael is "the first political refugee student to graduate from the University of Bari," dean Stefano Bronzini said Tuesday at the graduation ceremony. He added: "It is a moment of great satisfaction for the entire university"

The ceremony was held during the opening session of a seminar on the 'Valorization of degrees and know-how of migrants and refugees', organized by the university's Permanent Learning Center. The center was created in 2016 as part of a project to promote the integration of refugees and migrants. 

Ghebremichael's story 

Ghebremichael received a bachelor's degree in political sciences. "I was welcomed with affection by the great family of Bari's university," he  said. The 35-year-old  left Eritrea in 2010. He was granted asylum in Italy as a political refugee. 

The graduate said he faced a number of challenges when he first arrived in Italy, "especially in learning the Italian language which is so different from mine." 

Now, he is planning to specialize in international law at the University of Bologna, where he was accepted in an English-language two-year course. 

A point of arrival, a point of departure 

The coordinator of the University of Bari's Permanent Learning Center, Fausta Scardigno, said that Ghebremichael's graduation was a "point of arrival as well as a point of departure because this is a result achieved by a team and we have to work so that the other international students at our university get the same result''.

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