At the CUN meeting of 7 October, we received answers on orientation, NO TAX AREA, the SSM 2020 call for tenders and Lauree Abilitanti, given the participation of the Hon. Minister Manfredi.
Let’s start briefly from the July session, which was the first in attendance since our appointment. At the meeting, we approved the opinion on the FFO and also two motions, on the training paths of medical specialisation schools and on the training contracts for non-medical graduates enrolled in specialisation schools.
We now come to the October session. As the student component, we asked the Hon. Minister Manfredi today, during his speech at the National University Council (CUN), three questions on current issues on which we are working:
- what developments there are for the universitaly.it portal and the incoming orientation in our university system;
- whether the interventions and investments for the 2020 NO TAX AREA will be confirmed for the coming years;
- how the SSM 2020 rankings will proceed, following the suspension of 5 October: what they plan to do about curriculum points.
- What will happen on 26 October: the publication of the rankings or the issuing of a communication (given the fact that they will take up their duties on 31 December). What will be the modalities of repechage.
Below is the reply received from the Hon. Minister on the subject of orientation and qualifying degrees.
Orientation is a very important issue: it should be understood as a path that has to be taken, the only way we have to solve some big problems we have. Such as the low number of students choosing STEM subjects or the gender balance in degree classes, often due to stereotypes and orientation deficit.
By working on both active guidance, in schools, and informative guidance, it is hoped that this problem can be solved.
Finally universitaly.it became operational this year for international students. This has been able to digitise applications and has led to an increase in enrolments, despite the current pandemic. This means that by simplifying procedures and giving more information to students, access to university is made easier.
Regarding resources: the consolidation of extraordinary resources was requested, asking that they become ordinary.
The number of those eligible for the Right to Education will be monitored, to see if there is an additional need compared to the €40 million recently added.
For the Ordinary Financing Fund (F.F.O., Ministerial financing of Universities), no increase from the €200 million from 2022 has been requested.
With regard to the SSM 2020 competition
With regard to the SSM 2020 competition, it has been decided to postpone the date of publication of the ranking list. This is because a precautionary ruling has been received on the issue of the new call for applications, which relates to those who are already specialising.
The training funnel is also caused by the number of postgraduates who take part in the call for applications for several years despite having already received a postgraduate scholarship. This year there are 3,000 trainees who have done so, in addition to the theme of the General Medicine competition. For this reason, a penalty has been introduced at the level of the call for applications for those who are already carrying out their specialisation. The Council of State will rule on this, following appeals by these specialisation students, in the days leading up to 26 October.
Following this, the ranking list will be published.
An attempt will be made in this budget to introduce additional scholarships. But as long as trainees are able to take part in the calls for applications again; the problem of the training funnel will not be reduced, according to the Minister.
The Minister also referred to the importance he attaches to the autonomy of universities, which he considered to be important even in times of health emergencies.
However, this must be included in the National University System, giving a national overview of universities.
Finally, with regard to qualifying degrees, an important issue in recent months, he said that according to the draft bill currently being written, degrees in the health area (dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and perhaps psychology) would become qualifying degrees, with the support of the professional associations, as defined by law. This should be followed by a reorganisation of the system.
Other degrees could also become qualifying, with a regulatory procedure and not a legal one, leaving the possibility for the same degree course to have one qualifying course and one not. The basic idea is therefore to regulate, in a defined manner, how to structure an enabling degree.
The long-term objective is to strengthen the tertiary vocational part, consisting of ITS and vocational degrees, which can lead to better job placement.
We leave below the recap we made for the Minister’s meeting with the CNSU in September: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CF2beIcKB_P/
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or doubts about orientation, NO TAX AREA, the SSM 2020 call for applications and qualifying degrees.