Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

University Funding: a Comparison between Italy and England


Author Info

  • Sergio PABA

    (Universita' di Modena e Reggio Emilia)

Registered author(s):


    According to Aghion et al. (2007; 2008; 2010), the research performance of universities;is positively correlated to the amount of budget per student. Italian universities usually perform poorly in international rankings, while the English university system is widely recognized as one of the best in the world. In this paper, Italian university funding is discussed by comparing data from the consolidated financial statements of English and Italian universities. The main results indicate that English universities are on average much better funded than Italian universities, from both public and private sources, but there are no noticeable differences in the amount of block grants per FTE student received by the State (FFO and Recurrent Grants, data 2007/2008). There are differences, however, in the share of the public block grant distributed competitively after an independent quality assessment of research activity. In England, this share amounts on average to roughly one quarter of the grant. In Italy, a quality assessment has recently been introduced but it involves only 7% of the grant (2009 data). The gap in the total available resources between the two university systems is due to two other main sources: student fees and research funding. The gap in research funding is both quantitative and due to the way in which resources are allocated.;In England, research funds amount to 47% of the block grant, while in Italy the share is only;21%. In particular, the amount of public funds available for research is 12.5 times higher than in Italy, a huge difference. More importantly, two-thirds of total research funds are awarded through peer review and open competition, compared to Italy's one-fourth. The lack of funds and the lack of incentive effects due to the limited role of open and competitive allocation of resources can explain the poor research performance of the Italian university system.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: download restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by SIE - Societa' Italiana degli Economisti (I) in its journal Rivista Italiana degli Economisti.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 43-74

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:rie:review:v:17:y:2012:i:1:n:2

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Piazzale Martelli, 8, 60121 Ancona (Italy)
    Web page:
    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: Funding of Tertiary Education; University Systems;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rie:review:v:17:y:2012:i:1:n:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SIE).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.