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Italian-Scots alliance strengthened with visit

The newly appointed Italian ambassador to the UK will meet officials at the University of St Andrews today (Tuesday 26th October) with the aim of strengthening links between Italian and Scottish universities.

In what will be his first official visit to Scotland, His Excellency Giancarlo Aragona will visit the University as part of a week of political, consular, economic and cultural engagements. During his St Andrews visit, the Ambassador will meet University officials, staff and students, before delivering a public lecture on modern Italy.

The Department of Italian at St Andrews is the biggest in Scotland and is partnered with five Italian Universities. Students studying to honours level at St Andrews can spend a year at either the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari, Trento, Padua, Verona or Genoa. In addition, St Andrews is one of four Scottish Universities to benefit from a full time Italian lecturer appointed and paid for by the Italian state.

The Italian Consul General in Edinburgh, Dr Andrea Macchioni, said: “This visit is on the part of the Ambassador a major tribute to Scotland’s academic world aimed at strengthening cultural relations and co-operation amongst Universities.”

Over the past 30 years, Ambassador Aragona has held many positions of distinction in the Italian diplomatic service, both abroad and in Rome, such as Diplomatic Advisor to Secretary of State for Defence, Chief of Cabinet to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Secretary General of OSCE the Organization for European Security and Cooperation (Vienna), Italian Ambassador in Moscow and Political Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Aragona will also be accompanied by Dr Ennio Troili, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh and the Consul General of Italy, Dr Andrea Macchioni.

Professor Ronnie Ferguson, Acting Head of the School of Modern Languages at St Andrews, said:

“We are very pleased that the Ambassador has chosen to visit the University. By so doing he is signalling the importance of Italian at St Andrews. In under a decade the Department of Italian here has grown to be the biggest in Scotland, and one of the most important in the UK, in terms of staff and students and the range of its research interests.”

Ambassador Aragona will deliver a talk entitled ‘Italy in the Modern World -Globalisation and Devolution’ today at 4pm at Lower College Hall, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, North Street, St Andrews. The talk will be followed by a brief question time. ENDS

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:

A JPEG OF AMBASSADOR ARAGONA IS AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACT DETAILS BELOW.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: Italian Ambassador visit 221004 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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