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Human capital for growth: possible steps towards an upgrade of the Italian education system


  • Piero Cipollone

    () (World Bank)

  • Pasqualino Montanaro

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Paolo Sestito

    () (Bank of Italy)


The problems of Italy�s education system mostly stem from its modus operandi and interactions with the expectations of families and students. The recent signs of improvement in Italian students� proficiency, plausibly reflecting greater emphasis on rigour, could be reinforced by making schools more autonomous and accountable, including in matters of staff management, and with a nationwide programme of support for the schools in greatest difficulty. The cost savings obtained over the years should mostly be reinvested into the system, enhancing teachers� professionalism. In higher education, the increasing supply of degree courses has not affected the typical problems of Italy�s public universities, which: still attract few researchers and students from abroad; are too undifferentiated and unspecialized; have a predominantly local teacher and student base. The renewal begun with the recent university reform, which has challenged the historically self-referential governance of the system, must stimulate more internal competition within the Italian university system with well-defined and stable rules to foster quality and reward merit, and it must also allow individual universities more autonomy so that a more differentiated supply structure can emerge.

Suggested Citation

  • Piero Cipollone & Pasqualino Montanaro & Paolo Sestito, 2012. "Human capital for growth: possible steps towards an upgrade of the Italian education system," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 122, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_122_12

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    human capital; school; university;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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