Italy

Recent developments:

  • University governance partly reformed through the 2010 law, including changes on/inclusion of:
    • executive head: selection criteria, dismissal procedure, fixed and non-renewable term of office
    • composition and size of university governing bodies, with mandatory inclusion of external members in board/council
    • revised academic structures
  • A new national accreditation agency for teaching and research was established in 2011, the approval of which is required for all degree programmes before introduction, now also including doctoral programmes
  • Developments in public funding modalities to universities, with the introduction of a performance-based and ‘standard cost’ component, which shares in the overall funding model, are rising annually

Organisational autonomy: medium high

The law prescribes both the selection criteria for the executive head and the confirmation of their appointment by the ministry. It also outlines their term of office and the procedure to be followed for their dismissal. Universities now must include, and can select, external members in their governance structures. Guidelines on academic structures are outlined in law.

Financial autonomy: medium high

Universities are not restricted in the internal allocation of the public funding they receive. They may keep surpluses and can borrow money up to a maximum percentage defined by law. They can own and sell their buildings without restrictions. Universities can set the level of tuition fees for all students at all levels, respecting a global ceiling set by an external authority on the overall amount generated from the fees.

Academic autonomy: medium low

Universities decide on overall student numbers and control student selection. All new degree programmes must be submitted to a prior accreditation by the national agency before being introduced, which now includes doctoral programmes. Universities therefore cannot select either external quality assurance mechanisms or providers. Universities face some constraints in the design of the content of their academic programmes as the authorities specify educational activities and objectives.

Staffing autonomy: medium low

There are restrictions specified in law as to how senior academic staff can be recruited. The number of posts is regulated. Salaries for senior academic and administrative staff are set by an external authority as staff have civil servant status (all senior academic staff and a majority of senior administrative staff) and dismissals are strictly regulated according to civil servant status. Universities cannot decide on promotion procedures for academic staff as the academic promotion system is regulated by law and operated through public competition. Promotions for administrative staff are also regulated by law and subject to public competition.

Organisational weighted 65% unweighted 59%

0

0% Selection procedure for the executive head

The selection of the executive head is validated by an external authority

75

75% Selection criteria for the executive head

The law states that the executive head must hold an academic position

This applies to 13 other countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Flanders, France, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden

80

80% Dismissal of the executive head

Other restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Hesse, Lithuania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Norway, Poland, Slovenia

0

0% Term of office of the executive head

The exact length is stated in the law

100

100% External members in university governing bodies

Universities cannot decide as they must include external members

Universities can freely decide on external members

This applies to 6 other countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Portugal, United Kingdom

60

60% Capacity to decide on academic structures

Guidelines exist in the law

This applies to 3 other countries: France, Iceland, Serbia

100

100% Capacity to create legal entities

Universities can create legal entities without constraints

Financial weighted 70% unweighted 62%

60

60% Length of public funding cycle

100

100% Type of public funding

Block grant and there are no restrictions on the allocation of funding

80

80% Ability to borrow money

Universities can borrow money up to a maximum percentage

This applies to 4 other countries: Brandenburg, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Slovakia

100

100% Ability to keep surplus

Surplus can be kept without restrictions

100

100% Ability to own buildings

Universities can sell their buildings without restrictions

40

40% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Bachelor level

Universities can set the level of tuition fees under a ceiling set by an external authority

This applies to 4 other countries: Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, United Kingdom

40

40% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Master's level

Universities can set the level of tuition fees under a ceiling set by an external authority

This applies to 2 other countries: Hungary, Iceland,

40

40% Tuition fees for national/EU students at doctoral level

Universities can set the level of tuition fees under a ceiling set by an external authority

This applies to 2 other countries: Hungary, Iceland,

40

40% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Bachelor level

Universities can set the level of tuition fees under a ceiling set by an external authority

This applies to 2 other countries: Wallonia, Iceland,

40

40% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Master's level

Universities can set the level of tuition fees under a ceiling set by an external authority

This applies to 2 other countries: Wallonia, Iceland,

40

40% Tuition fees for non-EU students at doctoral level

Universities can set the level of tuition fees under a ceiling set by an external authority

This applies to 2 other countries: Wallonia, Iceland,

Staffing weighted 44% unweighted 42%

83

83% Recruitment procedures for senior academic staff

The number of posts is regulated by an external authority for some staff

This applies to one other country: Croatia

83

83% Recruitment procedures for senior administrative staff

The number of posts is regulated by an external authority for some staff

This applies to 2 other countries: Croatia, Denmark,

0

0% Salaries for senior academic staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 5 other countries: Croatia, Wallonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

58

58% Salaries for senior administrative staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 3 other countries: Austria, Portugal, Spain

0

0% Dismissal of senior academic staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 9 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain

0

0% Dismissal of senior administrative staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 7 other countries: Croatia, France, Hungary, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia

57

57% Promotion procedures for senior academic staff

Other restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Denmark, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia

57

57% Promotion procedures for senior administrative staff

Other restrictions

This applies to 9 other countries: Denmark, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Serbia, Slovenia

Academic weighted 56% unweighted 55%

100

100% Overall student numbers

Universities decide independently on the number of study places

This applies to 6 other countries: Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom

100

100% Admissions procedures at Bachelor level

Admission criteria are set by the university

This applies to 8 other countries: Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, United Kingdom

100

100% Admissions procedures at Master's level

Admission criteria are set by the university

0

0% Introduction of programmes at Bachelor level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

0

0% Introduction of programmes at Master's level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

0

0% Introduction of programmes at doctoral level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

This applies to 9 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

100

100% Termination of degree programmes

Universities can terminate degree programmes independently

100

100% Language of instruction at Bachelor level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Language of instruction at Master's level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

0

0% Selection of quality assurance mechanisms

Universities cannot select quality assurance mechanisms

0

0% Selection of quality assurance providers

Universities cannot choose the quality assurance agency

60

60% Capacity to design content of degree programmes

Authorities specify some content of academic courses

This applies to 2 other countries: Latvia, Lithuania