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The Italian welfare state in a European perspectiveA comparative analysis$
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Ugo Ascoli and Emmanuele Pavolini

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316886

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316886.001.0001

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Higher education, between conservatism and permanent reform

Higher education, between conservatism and permanent reform

(p.207) Eight Higher education, between conservatism and permanent reform
The Italian welfare state in a European perspective

Gabriele Ballarino

Policy Press

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.

Keywords:   higher education policies, higher education system, evaluation in higher education, inequality in access to higher education, university professors, welfare state, Italy

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