Higher Education in Italy
Higher education in Italy changed in 1999 when its universities switched to a new system of study. Universities in Italy now divide what was originally a 5-year education program into 3 years devoted to university (Bachelor’s degree) and 2 years following in education toward a Master’s degree. Certain educations in Italy still run for the full 5-year duration. In addition, a new Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) was established around this time, replacing the two previous organizations and making the management of study in Italy more efficient.
At present, education at a university in Italy provides students a choice between institutions including:
- State Universities - public institutions endowed with their own management of scientific, teaching, managerial, financial and book-keeping matters
- Private Universities, which are recognized by the State of Italy
Within university, students can choose between 4 main courses:
- Diploma of Specialization
The Bologna System
Italy has played an important role in higher education in Europe as one of the first four countries to engage in creating the "European Area of Higher Education." This led to the education reform known as the "Bologna Process", which was signed in 1999 by 29 European countries in the Italian city of Bologna to create educational standards and high quality education throughout the continent. Today, this education system is being implemented all over Europe.
Language in Italy
The official language in Italy is Italian. Depending on where you are in the country, Italians have varying levels of proficiency in English. Enrolling in education courses to study the Italian language is beneficial to international students in Italy, improving communication and allowing for a more complete involvement in society.
Many European students studying at universities in Italy on exchange agreements do so under the European Community Socrates Erasmus program. In all universities there is a European Officer dedicated to the management of this education program. Other exchange students from outside Europe are able to attend through bilateral agreements between their university and the host institution in Italy.
Education & Teaching in Italy
Education courses in Italy often take place in large lecture halls. As with any university education, students are expected to organize and take responsibility for a considerable amount of self-study outside the classroom in order to prepare for exams.
Examinations at universities in Italy are held after the teaching period and are mainly oral exams. Some education courses will have written tests taking place during the semester or before the oral exam. Generally, each exam will be offered on a number of dates during the exam period and students can choose which date they wish to take the exam. Students may take the exam again if they are not satisfied with the result.
Education in Italy is an excellent opportunity to study in a new culture and learn a new language in a beautiful country.
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To learn more about studying abroad in Italy, check out our informative Study in Italy guide!