Employers worldwide can take their pick of 30,000 recent graduates of 12 Italian universities by connecting to the AlmaLaurea website at the University of Bologna. Now the site's developers want to enlist graduate talent from further afield.
The project began in Bologna in 1994 and went on the Internet last year. It has grown to include the universities of Bologna, Catania, Chieti, Ferrara, Florence, Messina, Modena, Molise, Parma, Trento, Trieste and Udine. Another six universities are about to join, several intend to do so, and there are plans to involve universities in other countries.
Would-be employers who contact the database at http:// almalaurea.cineca.it can select a faculty or discipline, or search the database for words or phrases. They will then see a list of potentially suitable graduates.
A graduate's curriculum vitae with up to 110 items of information costs 20,000 lire (Pounds 6.60). A shorter, ten-item version costs 10,000 lire (Pounds 3.30).
According to Bologna's rector Fabio Roversi Monaco the database seeks to "facilitate the encounter between the demand and supply of qualified personnel, make access to jobs more democratic, encourage flexibility, and render our graduates competitive in Italy and internationally." There are plans to translate it into several languages.
Andrea Cammelli, the professor of social statistics who pioneered the project and is now its coordinator said: "I do not believe that there is such a rich databank of graduates anywhere in Europe. It has not been easy to harmonise the computer systems of 12 universities. Now we are working on extending it to other Italian universities, and the next step is to extend it to Europe.
"With AlmaLaurea an employer in Japan can pinpoint an Italian literature graduate who wrote a degree thesis on Montale, or a young engineer specialised in a certain sector of, say, synthetic materials."