Education Updates for Italy

Education Updates for Italy

Posted on 10 May 2014 Views ( 911 )

Italy's expenditure on higher education has been fairly stagnant. In 1998 the nation spent less than the OECD average on higher education per student. Ten years on, Italy remained roughly at the same position.

Italy has a long tradition of liable regional and local administration, which is standard.

Italy fare very well in terms of International student recruitment. According to OECD data, Italy had just fewer than 66,000 foreign students in 2009. The nation had a global market share of 1.2% in 2000, which increased to 1.8% in 2009.

Italy has been more successful in recruiting Asian students, with 12,750 students in 2009.

The BBC recently reported that the Politècnica di Milano is going to start offering programmes in English from 2014 onwards. This makes Politècnica di Milano, the first Italian University to offer programmes in English.

Italian officials are finalizing major standards and funding strategy for universities. The Ministry of research, University, and Education has developed the plan that will span three years, 2013-15, setting academic standards for both non-state Universities and state Universities as well.

The programme has spent up to €167 million (US$230 million) in 2014 as the overall 2013 higher education funding is well maintained.

The plan has two main objectives. Initially, it facilitates universities to improve the overall quality of their academic offerings by providing financial incentives. Then, it encourages the fusion of smaller universities with bigger ones, resulting in cost savings.

For additional funding, Universities will make applications, which will make extra public money available to universities. This boosts the Universities quality of academic programmes.

The aim of the programme is to make Italian University system more efficient, rationalize the entire university system and promote an international approach to education that better prepares students for the labor market.

Critically, this bypass Italy’s fractious parliament, which could have delayed approval amid political rows.

This allows universities a period of 45 days to make funding applications under the scheme.

The details:

According to the plan, Universities will be awarded with additional public funding annually for academic programmes and projects reflecting the following guidelines:

  • Student-oriented services like orientation programmes for first-year students, as well as services during their studies and encouraging entrance into the workforce after graduation.
  • More internships worldwide
  • Programmes supporting student mobility
  • University administration processes digitalization
  • Offering more modules and courses in the foreign languages
  • Increasing the capacity of each university in order to lure more faculties from outside.
  • Promoting academic associations with Overseas Universities and with staff.
  • Raising academic standards at non-state universities.

However, the key aspect of the plan is to resize the nation’s University system, which is notoriously expensive and less productive through financial incentives: Universities will be encouraged to work with other higher education institutions within the region or in regions nearby by creating ‘federations’ to integrate services and courses, to eliminate unnecessary costs.

In this light, keeping the current 68 state-run Universities in mind, the ministry will propose a restriction on opening new state-run universities.