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Italy:Quality Assurance in 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

Responsible Bodies

The quality assurance system in higher education has been introduced in 2010 with law no. 240.

Law 240 delegated the Government to regulate the quality assurance system in compliance with the main European directives.

In 2012, the Government regulated the procedures for the accreditation and evaluation of university courses and settings through:

  • the introduction of the initial and recurrent evaluation of university settings and courses;
  • the introduction of an evaluation system and a system for assuring quality, efficiency and effectiveness of didactic and research;
  • empowerment of the system of self-evaluation of the quality and efficiency of teaching and research activities.

The National agency for the evaluation of the university and research system (Anvur) is a public body under the surveillance of the Ministry of education, university and research (Miur).

It is committed with the definition of criteria for the accreditation and evaluation. In 2012, in the document ‘Self-evaluation, recurrent evaluation and accreditation of the Italian university system (AVA), the Anvur has defined the Quality assurance model (AQ).

The model defines the following aspects of quality assurance:

  • requirements for the accreditation of universities and courses;
  • quality assurance requirement;
  • reference number of students for accreditation;
  • indicators for the recurrent evaluation of research third mission and teaching activities at universities. 

The Anvur was set in 2006. Anvur has replaced the previous boards for the evaluation of university education and research: the National Committee for the evaluation of the university system – CNVSU and the Guidance Committee for the evaluation of research – CIVR.

Within the Quality assurance system, the Anvur has the following tasks:

  • supervision of the national evaluation system of the quality of universities and research institutes; 
  • external evaluation of the quality of the activities in public and publically subsidised private universities and research bodies; 
  • guidance for internal evaluation activities carried out by the evaluation centres of the universities and of research bodies; 
  • evaluation of the efficiency and efficacy of public financing and programmes for the promotion of innovation and research activities.

The Agency is the national agency for quality assurance as foreseen by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), in compliance with the evaluation practices at international level and according to principles of autonomy, equity, transparency, publicity of documents. 

The results of the evaluation activity carried out by the Anvur are public and are the basis for the allocation od State funds to universities and research institutes. Every two years, the Anvur also draws up a report on the state of the university and research system.

Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance

The Self-evaluation, recurrent evaluation and accreditation of the university system (AVA) is based on the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

Guidelines are drawn up by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).

The Quality assurance system of Anvur aims at the continuing improvement of the quality of universities and it is based on the following elements:

  • a system of initial and recurrent accreditation of courses and settings by Anvur;
  • a system of quality assurance (AQ) of the teaching and research activities of universities, under the responsibilities of quality protection teams;
  • the internal evaluation by joint committees and by the evaluation teams of universities;
  • the external evaluation by Anvur.

The internal Quality assurance system is the requirement for the accreditation of courses and settings. The accreditation is an external evaluation procedure carried out by Anvur and is divided into an initial and a recurrent accreditation.

Initial accreditation is awarded to courses and settings according to minimum quantitative and qualitative requirements. Qualitative requirements are verified by Anvur through the Committee of experts of evaluation (CEV). Then, Anvur gives its opinion on the accreditation of the new course or setting and submits it to the Ministry of education that, finally, authorises the accreditation.

After having obtained the initial accreditation, courses and settings undergo recurrent accreditation that implies a wider assessment activity that includes:

  • checking the possession of the requirements of initial accreditation;
  • checking the possession of requirements for quality assurance;
  • a real improvement of teaching and research activities through indicators and assessment criteria.

Recurrent accreditation is based on visits at universities from the Committees of expert of evaluation. Committees verify the quality assurance system of universities and a sample of courses. In particular, the committee verifies the following requirements:

  • the adoption of policies on teaching quality at university level;
  • the capacity of monitoring the application of quality policies at course level;
  • actions aimed at the continuing improvement of the quality of courses;
  • the decisional and monitoring power of the university aimed at assuring the quality of courses;
  • a real quality assurance system applied in the assessed sample of courses;
  • quality assurance policies in the research area;
  • sustainable teaching based on the number of professors available.

At the end of the visit, the Committee releases a report, published by the Anvur, on the correspondence to the requirements for the recurrent accreditation and evaluation.

The recurrent evaluation is based on criteria and indicators that measure the efficiency and the financial sustainability of activities and the results of single universities in terms of improvement of academic activities.

For carrying out its activities of evaluation of the quality assurance processes, Anvur selects the experts of the Committees from a register of evaluation experts.

Reference legislation

Law 24 November 2006, no. 286 (establishment of the Anvur)

DPR 1st February 2010, no. 76 (structure and organisation of Anvur)

Law 30 December 2010, no. 240 (quality assurance model)