Italian Centre for Research on Universities & HE Systems

Higher Education, between conservatism and permanent reform

Gabriele Ballarino

Type: Chapter in edited book
Year: 2015

This chapter describes and discusses the main features of the Italian Higher Education System (henceforth HES) as a part of the welfare state. First, its main features are described: relatively low participation; very limited differentiation; strong power of the “academic oligarchy”. Second, the succession of reforms of the previous 25 years is discussed as the product of the interplay between social and economic modernization and the backwards features of the system. Third, the behaviour of the major actors of the system is presented, with particular attention to the professors and the discussions concerning evaluation and the definition of research quality. Fourth, the main outcomes in terms of social inequality are analyzed.

U. Ascoli, E. Pavolini, eds., The Italian Welfare State in a European Perspective. A Comparative Analysis, Bristol, Policy Press, 2015, pp. 209-236



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