Italian higher education system

Italian higher education system

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Why Study in Italy

The modern Italian universities were founded in the eleventh century and are the oldest in the Western world. It is owing to the reorganization of the Italian education system that the new concept of University Institutions originated in the rest of Europe.

Italy is in the vanguard in every field of higher education, and in particular in the fields of design, architecture, applied sciences, and arts.

The Italian government considers Research to be part of its strategy for maintaining high standards in the sphere of world technological development. Basic research continuously feeds technological knowhow and enables progress in international relations. Italian activity in European scientific research is highly appreciated, especially in matters regarding energy, the environment and transport.

The current Italian university order, besides differentiating the education of students on the basis of real market needs, provides them with a more natural route to the world of employment, owing to the obligatory nature of internship, for some Bachelor`s and Master`s Degree Course, during academic studies. Studying in Italy provides many opportunities for growth and success, in academic life as well as in the world of employment.


The Italian Higher Education System

The Italian higher education system is various and diversified and is made up of about 800 institutions consisting of:

  • Universities: mainly divided in public and private;

  • National research centers;

  • AFAM Institutes are institutes divided into the sectors of visual, musical, dance and dramatic arts;

  • High Schools for Linguistic Mediators (SSML): they issue qualifications equivalent to university degrees in Sciences of linguistic mediation;

  • Institutes of specialization in psychotherapy: issue third cycle qualifications equivalent to the Specialization Diplomas issued by universities;

  • Higher Technical Institutes (ITS): these are NON-university tertiary training institutes. These institutes were born from the awareness of creating a solid link between the world of education and the industrial world. ITS are active in areas with a high technological content such as: sustainable mobility, new technologies for life, new technologies for “Made in Italy” products, innovative technologies for cultural heritage and tourism, information and communication technologies, energy efficiency;

  • other institutes, such as the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration, the School of the Opificio delle Pietre, the School of the Central Institute for the Pathology of the Book Alfonso Gallo. These institutes belong to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. 


The Italian Qualifications Framework

The higher education offered by Italian Higher Education Institutes is divided into 3 phases in line with the QF for the EHEA - Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area. Students may enroll after completing 12 years of pre-university education (the Italian standard is 13 years).


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