Italian Centre for Research on Universities & HE Systems

The dynamics of the Italian University system: reactions to the central guidelines and interactions with the productive system


Giliberto Capano and Marino Regini



Scope of the project

The project supported by the Minister intended to focus the attention on the main challenges that the University system is called to face in the present:

  • the recurring process of research evaluation
  • the progressive fulfillment of the new FFO system (based on an awarding share reaching 30% and the standard cost)
  • a relationship between Universities and their territories allowing a full employment of the human capital and the circulation of the knowledge produced by research

More specifically, the following analytical focus has been proposed:

  1. analysis of the impact of the research evaluation (VQR and awarding share of FFO linked to the VQR results)
  2. monitoring the impact for 2016 and 2017 of the progressive introduction of the standard cost as a criterion for the assignment of the “ordinary” part of FFO in the organizational choices concerning teaching and the management of student services by the Universities
  3. monitoring the activities of the Research Support Offices and Technological Transfer and the university placement offices, and analysis of the different university capacities to contribute to the development of their own territories, with endowment of scientific resources and socio-economic characteristics of the area being equal.

Project implementation:

  • The data gathering required for the investigation will be carry out through two annual online questionnaires to be submitted to all public Italian Universities. The first wave of the survey was launched in September 2016 and the dataset is expect to be completed by the end of the year. The second wave is expected to start between May and September 2017.
  • a representative sample of Universities will be picked in order to carry out in-depth case studies by the collection of relevant material such as strategic plans, CdA resolutions concerning the allocation of resources for the research and the teaching staff, licenses, spin-off and third party activities (between September 2016 and February 2017)
  • Focus groups to deepen the problems related to the issues at stake, taking into account the outcomes of the data collection. From 8 up to 10 institutional representatives (DG, area directors, pro-rectors, rectors) of the University selected as case study will be called to participate to each focus group (between September and October 2017)
  • Discussion on the empirical outcomes by a panel of national experts from 4 countries (between November and December 2017)


The research was entrusted to UNIRES by the Italian Minister of University and Research (MIUR)




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