Italy's university system creaking under multiple pressures
Report points to cuts in financing and sliding admissions31 January, 16:44
According to the document, since 2009 national resources available for university funding have decreased by 5% every year.
Student enrollment numbers have also decreased, from some 338,000 in the 2003-2004 academic year to just over 280,000 in the 2011-2012 year - a 17% decrease. "It's as if over 10 years an entire university, like the University of Milan, had disappeared," the CUN wrote. In a country with high youth unemployment and with graduates whose skills are not always in tune with the demands of a globalized economy, the fact that increasing numbers of 19-year-olds are not interested in enrolling in university courses is cause for concern, the CUN report says.
The report also draws attention to the fact that Italy is falling behind its advanced-economy partners.
According to figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Italy ranks 34th, out of the OECD's 36 member countries, in terms of the number of annual college graduates.
Only 19% of 30-34-year-olds in Italy has a college degree compared with a European average of 30%.
Of the causes for the university crisis in Italy, CUN cites decreasing resources available for scholarships as well as a heavy streamlining of courses on offer, initially the result of efficiency-seeking measures but more lately due to a decline in teacher numbers.