Italian Ambassador visits St Andrews

Tuesday 7 October 2008

The Italian Ambassador to the UK gave a public lecture at the University of St Andrews yesterday (Monday 6 October 2008), during a visit to strengthen links with the University which has one of the top departments of Italian in the UK.

His Excellency Giancarlo Aragona was making this second visit to the University as part of a series of political, economic and cultural engagements in Scotland.

During the visit the ambassador met senior University officials, teaching staff and students before delivering the lecture entitled `Italian Foreign Policy: European Security and Transatlantic Relations’, which was chaired by the Principal Dr Brian Lang.

The Ambassador’s visit to St Andrews was hosted by the Department of Italian, part of the School of Modern Languages, and by the School of International Relations.

Both subjects have enjoyed rapid growth in recent years and this year has seen a record number of undergraduates enrol to study both subjects.

“We are delighted that the ambassador has chosen to visit the University. By so doing he is signalling the importance of Italian and of International Relations at St Andrews.

“In barely a decade these two disciplines have grown to be the biggest in Scotland in their respective fields in terms of staff, students and the range and quality of their research interests,” commented Professor Ronnie Ferguson, Head of the School of Modern Languages.

Ambassador Aragona was accompanied by Dr Piergabriele Papadia de Bottini, the Italian Consul-General for Scotland and Northern Ireland, and by Dr Luigino Zecchin, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh.


Note to Editors:

1. The Italian Department at St Andrews is one of the newest in the UK but in just over ten years has gained a high reputation for the quality and range of its teaching, and the calibre of its graduates.

The Complete University Guide 2009 ranks the department third in the UK after Cambridge and Oxford.

2. Over the past 30 years Ambassador Aragona has held many positions of distinction in the Italian diplomatic service at home and abroad including Diplomatic Adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and Chief of Cabinet to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In addition he has been Secretary General of OCSE (the Organisation for European Security and Co-operation in Vienna), Italian Ambassador to Moscow and Political Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Digital pictures of Ambassador Aragona¿s visit to the University of St Andrews are available from the University of St Andrews Press Office, contact 01334 467227 / 462530

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Marion Gibson on 01334 462167
Ref: mg/6/10/08
View the latest University press releases at

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