The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) is the largest private university in Europe and one of the most famous Catholic universities in the world. Today, it has about 40,000 students. It provides education in various fields of science and the Humanities. It does not have a separate theological faculty, but there is a theology department, and all students are entitled to a basic theological education.
Since 2007, STOU and UCSC have been cooperating in various ways through teacher and student exchanges, summer schools, exhibitions and academic conferences in the Humanities, and especially in languages and teacher training. As part of joint research, the STOU Sociology of Religion Laboratory and the UCSC Family Research Center have been conducting joint research into the sociology of religion, in particular on the family, parish life and social ministry.
Over the course of this time period, more than 100 Italian and Russian students have participated in the student exchange programme. About 100 students have been involved in joint summer language schools in Italy and in Russia. Guest lectures are periodically held at both institutions, as well as joint international conferences (offline and online).
Over the last few years we have been developing joint online projects, such as a tandem and schools of Russian language and Russian culture for international students. The tandem project, which entails students from both institutions communicating with each other to complete group assignments, has drawn more than 60 students over the past three years. Since 2021, about 50 students have participated in the online schools.