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Italy:Higher Education

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Overview Italy

Contents

Italy:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Italy:Historical Development

Italy:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Italy:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Italy:Political and Economic Situation

Italy:Organisation and Governance

Italy:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Italy:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Italy:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Italy:Organisation of Private Education

Italy:National Qualifications Framework

Italy:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Italy:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Italy:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Italy:Funding in Education

Italy:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Italy:Higher Education Funding

Italy:Adult Education and Training Funding

Italy:Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Primary Education

Italy:Organisation of Primary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Italy:Assessment in Primary Education

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Italy:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Higher Education

Italy:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Italy:First Cycle Programmes

Italy:Bachelor

Italy:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Italy:Second Cycle Programmes

Italy:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Italy:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Italy:Adult Education and Training

Italy:Distribution of Responsibilities

Italy:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Italy:Main Providers

Italy:Main Types of Provision

Italy:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Italy:Teachers and Education Staff

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Management and Other Education Staff

Italy:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Italy:Management Staff for Higher Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Quality Assurance

Italy:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Educational Support and Guidance

Italy:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Italy:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Italy:Mobility and Internationalisation

Italy:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Mobility in Higher Education

Italy:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Italy:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Italy:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:National Reforms in School Education

Italy:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Italy:National Reforms in Higher Education

Italy:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Italy:European Perspective

Italy:Legislation

Italy:Glossary

The following types of institution offer higher education in Italy:

  • universities (polytechnics included)
  • High level Arts and Music Education institutions (Alta formazione artistica e musicale - Afam)
  • Higher technical institutes (Its)

Universities are autonomous bodies; they adopt their own statutes, establishing their own governing bodies (such as the rector, senate, and board of management) as well as their teaching and research structures.

Universities issue the following qualifications, corresponding to the Bologna Process structure (cycles):

  • Laurea, corresponding to a first-cycle qualification, issued at the end of a three-year course of study (180 credits - CFU);
  • Laurea specialistica/magistrale, corresponding to a second-cycle qualification, issued at the end of a two-year course of study (120 credits - CFU) or to a 5-6-year single course (300-360 credits - CFU);
  • Dottorato di ricerca, corresponding to a third-cycle qualification.

In addition, universities may organise courses leading to the following qualifications:

  • Master universitario di primo livello (first-level University master). Courses are addressed to holders of a laurea and lead to a second-cycle qualification outside the Bachelor and Master structure.
  • Diploma di specializzazione (Specialisation diploma) and Master universitario di secondo livello (Second-level university master). Courses are addressed to holders of a laurea specialistica/magistrale and lead to a third-cycle qualification outside the Bachelor and Master structure.

The Afam institutions are the following: Academies of Fine Arts, the National Academy of Drama, Higher institutes for Artistic Industries (ISIA), Conservatoires, the National Dance Academy and officially recognised music institutes. Afam institutions have legal status and statutory, teaching, scientific, administrative, financial and accounting autonomy.

Afam institutions issue the following qualifications, corresponding to the Bologna Process structure (cycles):

  • Diploma accademico di primo livello (First-level academic diploma), corresponding to a first-cycle qualification, issued at the end of a three-year course of study (180 credits - CFA);
  • Diploma accademico di secondo livello (Second-level academic diploma), corresponding to a second-cycle qualification, issued at the end of a two-year course of study (120 credits - CFA);
  • Diploma accademico di formazione alla ricerca (Research academic diploma), corresponding to a third-cycle qualification;

In addition, Afam institutions may organise courses leading to the acquisition of the following qualifications:

  • Diploma accademico di specializzazione I (Specialisation academic diploma I) and Diploma di perfezionamento o Master I (In-depth diploma or master I). Courses are addressed to holders of a first-level academic diploma and lead to a second-cycle qualification outside the Bachelor and Master structure.
  • Diploma accademico di specializzazione II (Specialisation academic diploma II) and Diploma di perfezionamento o Master II (In-depth diploma or master II).

Courses are addressed to holders of a second-level academic diploma and lead to a third level qualification outside the Bachelor and Master structure.

All qualifications are described in the NQF. Qualifications issued by universities and Afam institutions are also described in the Italian qualification framework of Higher education (QTI).

Each university or Afam institution establishes the organisation of the academic year. In general, the academic year starts on the 1st of November and ends on the 31st of October of the following year. In general, it is organised in two semesters.

Higher technical institutes (ITSs) are highly specialised technical schools established to meet the demand of new and high level competences coming from the labour world, in particular from the technical and technological sectors.

ITSs offer short-cycle non-university higher education, which is part of the education system since 2011/2012. Courses are accessible to holders of an upper secondary education qualification. In general, courses last 4 semesters and lead to the qualification of ‘Higher technician’ (Diploma di tecnico superiore).
Besides universities, Afam institutions and Its, also other specialised institutions offer tertiary education in specific fields. In general, access to courses requires an upper secondary education qualification and an entrance examination. The number of posts available is limited and fixed annually. In some cases, also a previous relevant training is required. These institutes issue qualifications recognised within the education system and refer to national authorities other than the Ministry of education, university and research, therefore, the following articles do not describe the offer into details. Among the specialised institutions offering tertiary education there are: Scuola nazionale di cinema (National School of Cinema), Scuole di archivistica, paleografia e diplomatica (Schools for the archive systems, palaeography and diplomatics), Military academies (Air Academy of Pozzuoli, Revenue Guard Academy, Military Naval Academy of Livorno, Military Academy of the army of Modena), Istituti superiori di scienze religiose (Higher Institutes of Religious Sciences), the Foundation for the preservation and restoration of books.

Legislative references

Ministerial Decree of 8 February 2013, no. 45 (accreditation of doctoral courses)

Decree of the Ministry of education and the Ministry of labour of 7 September 2011 (Its qualifications)

Law of 30 December 2010, no. 240 (organisation of universities)

Financial law of 2007 (Higher technical education and training system)

Decree of the President of the Republic (DPR) of 8 July 2005, no. 212 (organisation of the Afam sector)

Decree of the President of the Republic (DPR) of 28 February 2003, no. 132 (autonomy of Afam institutions)

Ministerial Decree of 22 October 2004, no. 270 (organisation of universities)

Regulation of 3 November 1999, no. 509 (autonomy of universities)

Law of 21 December 1999, no. 508 (Afam)