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I am clueless as to why the certification of Italian language skills within the E.U. seems to come with a multitude of choices, despite the existence of the Common European Framework of References for Languages. Correct me if I'm wrong; there's CELI, CILS, and PLIDA respectively associated with Perugia, Siena, and Rome to choose from.
Is there a ranking of the above mentioned Universities of some sort that can be used as an indicator? Are we talking about public Universities that have no earth-shattering differences or are they private and enjoy different merit?
Why do the CELI actually constitute a quasi "default" option for the average learner?
My understanding is that these three insitutions started independently to offer their certifications, and then they got some kind of official "backing" from different ministeries.
If you study italian just because you like it, it's irrelevant which certification do you have. I cannot tell you that one is more prestigious than another.
Well, there's also that angle, I guess, which is by no means base either; I was just (silently) reflecting on how the E.U. has been promoting language skills within the Union in the past years in connection to the landscape of higher education in Italy. [As I've experienced it, there doesn't seem to be as much interest/understanding of the "bigger picture" that occupies my thought with a lot of people who pick this language out and even go into the additional trouble of certifying language skills in my surroundings.] It's worse than you made it out, it's practical existentialism... :)