Tor Vergata University of Rome, in alignment with the principles outlined in the Code of Ethical Conduct, strives to provide academic support and full inclusion to students who serve as family caregivers. These students are responsible for caring for a family member with a disability who is unable to independently perform daily activities.
Caregivers often face commitments and challenges that can significantly impact their university careers. These challenges may include having less time available for studying, difficulties in leaving home due to caregiving responsibilities, feelings of concern, anxiety, mental load and psychological manifestations of distress resulting from the burden of caregiving responsibilities.
To support these students, the University collaborates with them to create an educational path that acknowledges their commitment to family care and recognizes the social importance of their caregiving work, ensuring their full inclusion and maximum enjoyment of the university experience.
With Rectoral Decree No. 259/2023, the "Regulation for Study Support and Inclusion of Students Who Act as Family Caregivers – SOIN Project" has been issued, which can be viewed here
Who Can Apply for the Activation of a SOIN Path as a Family Caregiver?
Students enrolled in bachelor's, master's, and single-cycle degree programs, regardless of their income, who fit the definition outlined in Law No. 205 of December 27, 2017, Article 1, Paragraph 255: a Family Caregiver is defined as a person who assists and cares for their spouse, the other party in a same-sex civil union, or a de facto cohabitant as defined by Law No. 76 of May 20, 2016, of a family member or an affinity relationship up to the second degree, or, only in the cases indicated by Article 33, Paragraph 3, of Law No. 104 of February 5, 1992, of a family member up to the third degree who, due to illness, infirmity, or disability, including chronic or degenerative conditions, is not self-sufficient and capable of self-care, is recognized as invalid due to requiring comprehensive and long-term continuous assistance under Article 3, Paragraph 3, of Law No. 104 of February 5, 1992, or is entitled to a care allowance under Law No. 18 of February 11, 1980."
How to Request the Activation of a SOIN Path as a Family Caregiver?
Students wishing to request the activation of a study path as a family caregiver must complete the SOIN form (available in .doc or in .pdf), and send it via email to email@example.com. Applications must be submitted by students enrolled in the current academic year from September 1 to September 30 each year. For first-time enrolled students, the deadlines are September 1 to November 30.
The request will be reviewed by a specific internal committee at the C.U.G. (Comitato Unico di Garanzia per le pari opportunità, la valorizzazione del benessere e contro le discriminazioni dell’Ateneo).
The application must include documentation confirming the family caregiver status, including:
- A declaration, according to Legislative Decree No. 445/2000, of meeting the conditions specified in the law (Article 1, Paragraph 255 of Law No. 205/2017).
- Recognition of disability under Article 3, Paragraph 3 of Law No. 104/2015 for the indicated family member, or recognition of entitlement to a care allowance under Law No. 18 of February 11, 1980, for the indicated family member.
- A declaration, according to Legislative Decree No. 445/2000, confirming the absence of additional household members benefiting from assistance related to the assisted family member.
What the SOIN Path for Students Includes?
The activation of the study path as a family caregiver involves:
- An initial assessment by the CUG based on the documentation received through the SOIN form and an introductory interview aimed at understanding the specific needs of the requesting student.
- An additional interview with the psychological support center at Policlinico Tor Vergata if requested by the applicant.
- Joint signing of a confidential agreement between the applicant and the Head of the Teaching and Student Services Department
- Registration of the student in the Registry of Family Caregiver Students, specially established at the C.U.G.
The individual support and inclusion plan may include one or more of the following services, depending on the outcome of the initial interview and the applicant's needs:
- Psychological counseling.
- Asynchronous online lectures, subject to agreement between the C.U.G. and instructors, involving lecture recording and access through university credentials.
- A partial 30% exemption from university fees, not cumulative with other partial exemptions, or, at the applicant's choice, an extension of the expected duration for completing the university program and adjustment of related contributions according to the terms and conditions already defined for part-time students (see the relevant regulations).
- Remote exams (in exceptional cases, if the requesting person demonstrates the impossibility of being replaced in their caregiving role, and with the agreement of each individual instructor and explicit consent of the Vice Rector for Teaching).
- Adjustment, where possible and by agreement with the instructor, of any laboratory activities based on the specific needs of the student (except for the Medicine and Surgery degree program and degree programs in healthcare professions, and in all degree programs where compulsory attendance is required by regulation).
- Support from the University during placement, involving the participation of the relevant office through events and initiatives aimed at raising awareness among companies about caregiving responsibilities.
The individual agreement signed by the parties takes effect from the date of signing and is renewed at the beginning of each academic year upon the CUG's recommendation to verify the ongoing conditions justifying its continuation.
Following the agreement's signing, the student who has activated the SOIN Path will receive a certificate, valid for one year, confirming their family caregiver status without the need for further information.
Applicants are required to promptly inform the University of any situations that may affect the contents and validity of the individual agreement.
During the agreement signing, the University Data Protection Officer (DPO) will assess the impact of the proposed treatment on personal data protection. Security measures for processed data will be defined, data retention periods established, appropriate information provided to the data subject, and subsequent steps, including the update of the University's data processing registry, will be taken.
Further information is available in the Regulation for Study Support and Inclusion of Students Who Act as Family Caregivers family caregiver