P. Sestito, R. Torrini

University Question and Southern Question: Some Remarks

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: University; Southern Italy.

This paper, after recalling the importance of a good University system also for a potential development of the territory, analyses the delays that characterise the Universities of Southern Italy on average in terms of resources, students' academic careers and research results. It stresses that part of the delay in student achievement and funding capacity depends on context factors, such as the quality of the entire educational path of Southern students and the lower level of local development. At the same time, it highlights how the results of Southern Universities, especially in the field of research, and the lower quality of recruitment also depend on a more marked self-reference in the management of individual Universities and a lower sensitivity to the quality of results. Lastly, it underlines that such problems, including the resource gap, are not recent and therefore cannot be attributed to the important changes introduced in recent years in the allocation of public funds, aimed at linking the distribution of resources to the results achieved. Then, it outlines proposals for intervention which are based on the need to expand the overall funding of the Italian university system. In this context, it is considered appropriate to define a reserve of additional resources to be allocated to Southern Italy according to explicit policy objectives, which take into account the factors disadvantaging the territory. The allocation of these funds should however be based on efficiency and reward criteria, so as not to alter the system of incentives that has been built with effort in recent years. Finally, it suggests that some measures are more explicitly aimed at encouraging the quality of recruitment and the mobility of the teaching staff, in order to break that localism and self-referential mechanisms that seem to have mostly diverted the attention to quality results in the South of Italy.

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