Tuesday, February 5, 2013
A Morte da Inteligência Italiana
Flight From Universities. Equivalent of one university fewer in ten years. Enrolments down from 338,482 in 2003-2004 to 280,144 in 2011-2012. Shrinking teaching staff. Undergraduates, graduates, post-grads, teaching staff and funds are all on the decline as Italy’s universities struggle. The warning comes from the national university council (CUN) in a paper addressed to the current government, Parliament and political parties involved in the upcoming election “but above all to the nation”. The paper, entitled Dichiarazione per l'università e la ricerca, le emergenze del sistema [Declaration for Universities and Research, the System’s Emergencies], points out that since 2009, the ordinary finance fund (FFO) has fallen by 5% a year. In ten years, the number of undergraduates has fallen from 338,482 (2003-2004) to 280,144 (2011-2012), a drop of 58,000 studenti (-17%). The CUN notes that this is the equivalent of losing a higher-education institute the size of the State University in Milan. Falling enrolments affect the entire country and most of its universities. Numbers of 19-year-olds have remained constant over the past five years but youngsters are losing interest in degrees. Enrolments have dropped by 4% in three years from 2007-2008’s 51% to 47% in 2010-2011.