AGREEMENT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INTER-UNIVERSITY RESEARCH CENTRE “LinE – Language in Education”
Università degli Studi di Trento represented by the Rector Prof. Flavio Deflorian, as signatory;
Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna represented by the Rector Prof. Giovanni Molari, as signatory;
Libera Università di Bolzano represented by the Rector Prof. Paolo Lugli, as signatory;
Universiteit Gent - Ghent University represented by the Rector Prof. Dr. Rik Van de Walle, as signatory;
Universität Innsbruck represented by the Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Tilmann Märk, as signatory;
University of Malta represented by the Rector Prof. Alfred J. Vella, as signatory;
Università degli Studi di Messina represented by the Rector Prof. Salvatore Cuzzocrea, as signatory;
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia represented by the Rector Prof. Carlo Adolfo Porro, as signatory;
Università degli Studi di Padova represented by the Rector Prof.ssa Daniela Mapelli, as signatory;
Università degli Studi di Parma represented by the Rector Prof. Paolo Andrei, as signatory;
Università degli Studi di Torino represented by the Rector Prof. Stefano Geuna, as signatory;
Università degli Studi di Verona represented by the Rector Prof. Pier Francesco Nocini as signatory;
THE FOLLOWING IS DETERMINED AND AGREED UPON
Article 1 (Constitution)
The Inter-University Research Centre “LinE - Language in Education” (henceforth "Centre") is hereby established, according to article 91 of the DPR 382/80 of Italian Law, between the following universities: Università degli Studi di Trento, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Libera Università di Bolzano, Universiteit Gent - Ghent University, Universität Innsbruck, University of Malta, Università degli Studi di Messina, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Università degli Studi di Padova, Università degli Studi di Parma, Università degli Studi di Torino e Università degli Studi di Verona.
The Centre is an organisational entity, which depends on the legislation and regulations of the participating universities, with the aim of collectively pursuing the activities listed hereunder, the functions of which are regulated by the following articles, with the support and participation of the above-mentioned universities.
Article 2 (Aims and functions of the Centre)
The Centre aims to:
a) build an international multidisciplinary scientific network between scholars studying the topic of language in education from a range of perspectives, such as educational linguistics, applied linguistics, language teaching, subject-specific education;
b) promote research on the role of language in education, regardless of the discipline, through the mother tongue or additional languages;
c) study linguistic and communicative components of teaching, among which argumentative construction of academic discourse and of textbooks, academic writing, multimodality, teacher-student and student-student interaction;
d) analyse linguistic models used by teachers across disciplines, including non-linguistic ones, at different educational levels (kindergarten, primary and secondary school, university) and diverse methodological approaches, among which, but not limited to, LAC (Language Across Curricula), ICLHE (Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education), EMI (English Medium Instruction), CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), bi/multilingual education programmes, education through a minority language;
e) raise awareness of school teachers and university academics concerning the role of language in education, in relation to language studies, microlanguages, linguistic and interactional features of in-class exchanges;
f) reflect upon the challenges of the internationalization processes and dynamics (internationalization at home and abroad, and beyond Englishization) and of inclusion on all educational levels and across disciplines;
g) develop resources and share best practices regarding teaching methodology, techniques, strategies, and didactic models across disciplines, languages, and national education systems;
h) provide, on the LinE Centre website, a relevant and regularly updated bibliography, reports, and research materials on language in education;
i) disseminate, among the academic community, the research findings obtained through publications, conferences, thematic panels, workshops, summer schools, meetings among the LinE operational Centres;
j) organize and coordinate outreach and public engagement actions for schools, families, stakeholders, general audience through teacher training courses, seminars, participation in science festivals or social media.
Article 3 (Administrative Seat)
The administrative seat of the Centre is the Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia (henceforth,
“Department”) of the Università di Trento.
The activities of the Centre shall take place at the participating universities making use of the resources and with the participation of personnel of the departments to which members of the Centre are affiliated, based on an agreement with said members or within other universities, if these are developing research plans, teaching initiatives or other activities for which specific agreements will be drawn.
Article 4 (The Centre’s personnel)
Academics affiliated to the participating universities, who carry out research in the scientific areas of the Centre, can become members of the Centre, after making a written request addressed to the Chairperson who will refer this to the Board of Directors to determine acceptance. The eventual collaboration with the Centre of technical and/or administrative personnel, necessary in order to carry out research, teaching or other academic activities, may occur through the consent of the person/s involved in agreement with the Head of Department (or corresponding institutional authority), subject to consent of the relevant institutional authorities and in adherence to the norms and legislation of each university.
To carry out its activities, the Centre avails itself of the personnel of participating universities, in adherence to norms and legislation of each university, and, within the provisions established by law, of external personnel that may be engaged in case it is necessary to carry out specific activities, projects and initiatives, based on recruitment procedures of the administrative seat. The costs for said personnel are to be totally covered by funds at the Centre’s disposal.
Article 5 (Research operational units)
The Centre is composed of operational units. Each participating university is part of the Centre through a single operational unit, which may be composed of members within different faculties and/or departments of the university, coordinated by a lecturer nominated as per procedures of each participating university. The nomination of the coordinator of the operational units is communicated to the university which holds the administrative seat of the Centre via a certified email (Posta Elettronica Certificata), for Italian universities, and by email for universities in other countries.
When the coordinator of the operational unit reaches the end of his/her term, the outgoing coordinator will not continue to form part of the Board of Directors as from the date in which the termination is notified - via a certified email (Posta Elettronica Certificata), for Italian universities, and by email for universities in other countries - to the university which holds the administrative seat of the Centre.
The scientific activities, lecturing and other initiatives of the Centre are carried out within the operational units of the participating universities, or in other locations approved by the Board of Directors.
Article 6 (Organisational Structure of the Centre)
The administrative organs of the centre are:
a) The Board of Directors
b) The Chairperson
The members of the Board of the Directors and the Chairperson accomplish their functions and duties without remuneration.
Article 7 (The Board of Directors)
The Board of Directors is composed of the coordinators of each operational unit within each participating university, nominated as per procedures of these universities. The Board of Directors is nominated through a decree of the Rector of the University of the administrative seat, it remains in office for 5 years with the possibility of each member being confirmed in his/her role. The Board of Directors nominates the Chair among the coordinators.
When the coordinator of the operational unit reaches the end of his/her term, the outgoing coordinator will not continue to form part of the Board of Directors, as from the date in which the termination is notified to the university which holds the administrative seat of the Centre. The new coordinator, nominated by the university concerned, will become a member of the Board of Directors from the day of the notification to the university which holds the administrative seat of the Centre.
The Board of Directors has the following tasks:
a) to identify scientific initiatives, teaching and other activities of the Centre, associating them to specific projects and to approve the programme of activities of the Centre as defined by the Chairperson;
b) to approve the proposed financial and investment budget to be authorised on the basis of existing terms of the financial Administrative Regulations of the University of the administrative seat;
c) to approve, within two months after the due date, financial and activities reports, duly presented by the Chairperson, on the basis of documentation pertaining to identify scientific initiatives, teaching and other activities of the operational units;
d) to decide, within its responsibilities, on matters regarding the administration of the Centre’s funds;
e) to decide, within its responsibilities, on matters regarding collaboration and agreements with other public or private entities;
f) to formulate requests for financing and to determine, within its responsibilities, the use of resources entrusted to the Centre;
g) to evaluate requests of new members of the Centre, and decide accordingly;
h) to decide on matters regarding other issues brought to its attention by the Chairperson or by at least one third of its members.
The Board of Directors is convened through a participation letter, which may also be sent electronically, for the approval of the budget, and, subsequently, for the approval of the financial report, as well as whenever the Chairperson deems it necessary or when this is requested by one-third of its members. The call for the meeting is to be sent at least 20 days in advance.
For the Board of Directors’ meeting to be valid at least half of the members must be present; justified absences are excluded from the count.
Decisions are taken on the basis of the majority of voters. The Chairperson holds the casting vote in case of equal votes between members.
The meetings of the Board of Directors are valid even when held remotely, on condition that participants can follow the discussion and intervene on proceedings during the course of the meeting, and that this is minuted accordingly.
Article 8 (The Chairperson of the Centre)
The Chairperson shall be elected among members of the Board of Directors holding full-time posts, also including those who, if designated as Chair, will opt for full-time employment. The Chairperson remains in office for 5 years and may be nominated again and appointed in this role.
The Chairperson has the following duties:
a) to represent the Centre as per existing regulations;
b) to convene and preside over the Board of Directors;
c) to coordinate and supervise the Centre’s activities and to exercise all functions that are of interest to the Centre;
d) to propose the Centre’s financial and investment budget to the Board of Directors, authorised on the basis of terms of the financial Administrative Regulations of the University to which the Centre is affiliated;
e) to prepare, at the end of the year, financial and activities’ report carried out by the Centre in the past year;
f) to present, annually, an account of activities carried out and of expenses incurred to the Board of Directors. These, together with the scientific report prepared by the Chairperson, will have to be sent to the Rectors of the participating universities by the Chairperson himself/herself;
g) to annually inform participating universities of the activities carried out and of future plans. The Chairperson may nominate a Vice-Chairperson to assist him/her in his/her duties.
Article 9 (Finances and administration)
Participating universities are not obliged to make any financial contribution for the functioning of the Centre, neither directly nor indirectly.
The Centre operates through financing originating from:
a) The Ministry for Universities and Research in Italy and its corresponding institutions of other
b) Possible extraordinary contributions from participating universities;
c) From Italian ministries or those of other countries;
d) From the Italian National Centre for Research (C.N.R.) or corresponding institutions in other
e) From public research entities, or from private and public entities;
f) From international organisations and institutions;
g) From other sectors and/or public funds for dedicated research;
h) From other private entities.
The Centre may participate in national and international projects solely through the University which holds its administrative seat.
Funds assigned to the Centre are directed to the University to which it is affiliated, and are bound to be directed towards the Centre itself.
The Centre may deposit funds obtained, regularly placed within the accounts of the University to which it is affiliated, to specific operational units, after a proposal which receives the consent of the Centre’s Board of Directors and of the Head of Department within the University to which the Centre is affiliated, as determined by the regulations of the fund-giving entities, included in the procedures of the funds’ allocation. In the absence of these regulations, the Chairperson is to ascertain that this funding is used according to the administrative and financial procedures, or any applicable procedure, of the University of the administrative seat. The University to which each operational unit is affiliated will commit to the University of the administrative seat, to ascertain that all regulations regarding the use of these funds will be respected, to produce all the requested accounts and to relieve the latter from all responsibilities related to their use.
The financial and administrative management of the Centre is carried out by the University which holds its administrative seat, more specifically, by the administrative-financial office therein. Dispositions set by the Italian legislative system and regulations in effect within said University are applied for this.
Commitments relative to the Centre’s organisation will be borne on the basis of funds at the Centre’s disposal.
In the case of financial deficit of the Centre, responsibility for refund lies exclusively on the department/s and/or university/ies which would have generated this due.
The assets bought by the Centre through allocated funds are to be placed in an inventory of the administrative seat of the Centre and can be given to the individual participating Universities who can save them or use them through a specific decision of the Board of Directors.
On the dissolution of the Centre the assets will be granted to the participating Universities on the basis of the direction given by the Board of Directors.
Article 10 (Other memberships)
Departments, Faculties, Institutes, Centres, individual academics and/or researchers may form part of the Centre through a formal request to be forwarded to the Board of Directors through the Chairperson of the Centre.
If these new admissions lead to the inclusion of a new operational unit they require the approval of the Board of Directors and of the participating Universities and they will be formally accepted by specific documentation added to the present agreement.
Article 11 (Modifications to the Agreement)
Modifications to the present agreement may be affected through an agreement of participating Universities, after a proposal of the Chairperson, having consulted the Board of Directors, or after a proposal of 2/3rds of the participating Universities.
Article 12 (Length of agreement and dissolution)
The present agreement becomes effective from the date of its stipulation and is valid for 5 years, renewable for the same period of time, on the basis of a written agreement of all parties approved by the competent authorities.
Each University can renounce its participation by means of a request for withdrawal to be sent at least 6 months before the end of the financial year, communicated via registered mail with a receipt or by means of a certified email (Posta Elettronica Certificata) sent to the Chairperson of the Centre.
Each university may recede this agreement with immediate effect if any other university is involved in serious and systematic violations of human rights.
Article 13 (Anticipated dissolution of the Centre)
The Centre may be dissolved anticipatedly on proposal of the Board of Directors, on the decision of the competent authorities of all participating Universities, in the following circumstances:
a) if it becomes impossible for the Centre’s institutional activities to proceed;
b) a lack of interest in research proposed by the Centre;
c) if only one operational unit remains involved;
d) for serious impeding reasons.
Within six months of the causes which will lead to the anticipated dissolution of the Centre all liquidation procedures will have to be terminated by the administrative and financial management.
No commitment or contract can be taken or made once the Board of Directors has forwarded a request for dissolution. The Board of Directors, having proposed that the Centre be dissolved, determines how any remaining assets are to be used. If commitments or contracts with third parties require a termination period of over six months with respect to the termination proposal, the Board of Directors will determine the processes to be adopted to honour outstanding commitments or contracts by recognizing “ultra-activities” to be carried out until the commitments or contracts are completed or by transferring them to other available entities with due caution to any third parties which will then be involved.
Article 14 (Periodic evaluation)
Activities carried out in the Centre by a member affiliated to a University are to be reported, for any evaluation purposes, to the researcher or the Faculty/Department to which s/he is affiliated to, based on existing regulations. The Centre may be subject to a periodic scientific and financial evaluation by the participating Universities, every five years, with the objective of determining its continuation.
Article 15 (Reference language and contentions)
The present agreement is written in Italian and any contention is to be resolved on the basis of it. Any versions of it in other languages are an aid to be used by non-Italian participating Universities.
Applicable disciplinary measures are carried out according to Italian norms and, especially in the case of contentions, jurisdiction pertains to the Italian judge of the location of the Centre’s administrative seat.
Article 16 (Intellectual property rights)
With the exception of the moral copyright that belongs to the author/s, the rights of the works, the productions and the intellectual materials that result (“the results”) from the activities of the Centre will belong to the participating University which has carried out the activity and/or to the author/s, with respect to the laws pertaining of this participating institution.
For the purposes of the present agreement the term “results” includes, as examples, presentations, seminars, conferences, publications, events of scientific divulgation, as well as any other representation of acts, facts or ideas on any initiative carried out by participating Universities within the activities of the Centre.
In the case of results obtained con-jointly by more than one author pertaining to different participating universities, the institutions involved are to establish specific agreements to recognise the rights and contribution of each one of them to achieve these results, irrespective of their nature.
Article 17 (Safety)
1. In order to enact the provisions of the Italian legislation (Testo Unico) on safety at work referred to in Italian legislative decree 9.4.2008, n. 81 e s. m., the legal representative, the Rector or the President of each participating University assumes, as the employer, all the responsibilities regarding the application of regulations related to health and safety at work of the university’s employees, students and collaborators of the Centre who will be hosted by his/her institution.
2. In order to guarantee the health and safety of all the personnel who carry out their work on behalf of their University within external entities, as well as that of entities who carry out their work within participating Universities, for all eventualities not covered by existing regulations, those individuals who are subject to the obligations as per Italian legislative decree 9.4.2008, n. 81 e s.m. are to be covered by an agreement between participating entities and the individual Universities, through specific agreements.
Article 18 (Insurance cover)
1. Each participating University acknowledges, within its competencies, that the university personnel, collaborators and students who carry out activities within the operational units of the Centre, are covered by insurance according to existing regulations.
2. Every participating University, within its competencies, commits to integrate the insurance cover as per article 18 (1) above, with any further cover that may be necessary in relation to the needs of specific activities that will be taken on from time to time.
Article 19 (Confidentiality)
The participating universities commit not to divulge confidential data, news and information which may have been acquired from the members of the Centre and from collaborators as a result of the activities of the Centre itself, to external parties.
More specifically they commit to adopt, according to the relative norms, all the necessary measures to maintain confidentiality also in relation to information and knowledge of a technical and/or commercial nature which, even if extraneous to the Centre, they may have exchanged in order to achieve common objectives.
Participating universities commit to observe confidentiality as described in this article even in relation to subjects who are external to the Centre and who, because of the nature of their work, may have access to reserved information.
Article 20 (Treatment of personal data)
The participating Universities reciprocally commit to treat the data related to the completion of the Centre’s activities according to the measures and obligations imposed by Italian legislative decree 196/2003 Codice in materia di protezione dei dati personali (Code regarding protection of personal data) and by the EU Regulation n. 679/2016 (corresponding to the GDPR).
Article 21 (Registration and stamp duty)
The present agreement is subject to registration only when it comes into use as per article 4, tariff Part II of the D.P.R. 26.04.1986, n. 131. The applicant will pay registration expenses. It is also subject to stamp duty which will be covered virtually by the administrative seat of the Centre, as per authorisation n. 106668/1 of 23/12/2014.
Since the Centre is international and considering existing different legislations in the various countries in relation to subscription to it, the legal representatives of each participating university will write the following declaration in Italian and in English:
« L’Università di … avente sede legale a …, rappresentata da …., si impegna ad aderire al Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca “LinE - Language in Education” e a rispettare quanto previsto nella Convenzione istitutiva del Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca “LinE – Language in Education”. »
« The University of …. established in … represented by … agrees to join the Interuniversity Research Centre “LinE – Language in Education” and to respect all the provisions of the Agreement for the institution of the Interuniversity Research Centre “LinE – Language in Education”. »
These declarations may be signed by means of a handwritten or digital signature; the latter must respect all provisions required by Italian and European legislation.
Original declarations signed by means of a handwritten signature are to be sent to the Università di Trento, via Calepina, 14 - I-38122 Trento, via ordinary post or by being handed to the personnel of this university.
When the declaration is signed digitally, the University of Trento reserves the right to check that all provisions required by Italian and European legislation have been respected. When this is not the case the University of Trento shall inform the University concerned which will have to produce a new declaration, in accordance to said legislation.
Declarations signed digitally may be sent via certified eletronic mail (as per Italian legislative directives) to the following address:
or, by the other Universities, who do not possess this means of communication, via regular electronic mail (email) to the following address:
Having received all the declarations of participating universities, the Rector of the University of Trento, will issue a rectoral decree thereby constituting the Centre.
A copy of this decree, with copies of the said declarations, will be immediately sent to all participating universities.
For the Università degli Studi di Trento
(Prof. Flavio Deflorian)
For the Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna
(Prof. Giovanni Molari)
For the Libera Università di Bolzano
(Prof. Paolo Lugli)
For the Universiteit Gent – Ghent University
(Prof. Dr. Rik Van de Walle)
For the Universität Innsbruck
(Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Tilmann Märk)
For the University of Malta
(Prof. Alfred J. Vella)
For the Università degli Studi di Messina
(Prof. Salvatore Cuzzocrea)
For the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
(Prof. Carlo Adolfo Porro)
For the Università degli Studi di Padova
(Prof.ssa Daniela Mapelli)
For the Università degli Studi di Parma
(Prof. Paolo Andrei)
For the Università degli Studi di Torino
(Prof. Stefano Geuna)
For the Università degli Studi di Verona
(Prof. Pier Francesco Nocini)