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Research and Innovation for the Italian School

Higher Technical Institutes

The Higher Technical Institutes are Italy’s initial experiment of  vocational tertiary education provision in line with a system established and consolidated for some years, also in other European countries. The higher technical institutes  are top-class centres highly specialised in technology, in connection with the production industry. They were set up in 2010 to train skilled technicians in strategic areas for Italy’s economic development and competitiveness.

The educational provision of the higher technical institutes answers industry’s need for new high-level technical and technological skills to promote innovation processes. They are placed at Level 5 of the EQF (European Qualifications Framework) and give a technical level qualification, after a course lasting four semesters, linked to the 6 technological areas envisaged by Art. 7 of the Prime Minister’s Decree of 25 January 2008 (sustainable mobility, new technologies for life, new technologies for “Made in Italy” products, innovative technologies for cultural heritage and tourism, information and communication technologies, energy efficiency). The courses award credits recognized by universities in compliance with the legislation in force.

Since 2010, 93 higher technical centres have been set up. They include 2,072 partners, 796 of which are businesses, 412 upper secondary schools, 298 training agencies, 194local bodies, 98 university departments, 62 scientific and technological research organisations, 41 employers’ associations, 33 professional orders/boards, 15 chambers of commerce, 7 credit institutions, 6 foreign partners and 97 other agencies of different kinds.

Up to now, 303 courses have been launched, and 7,287 students are currently enrolled. The number of graduates is 7,771.

INDIRE, under the auspices of the MIUR, creates and manages the higher technical centres  data banks, which house the professional tertiary educational provision nationwide, monitoring it regularly, in order to constantly improve the system. The Institute helps define the monitoring and evaluation criteria for higher technical courses and drafts relevant reports. In addition, INDIRE carries out research to analyse the structural, organizational, educational and developmental practices in the various centres, systematising them to implement innovation processes.

(data updated on October 2017 – source: National higher technical institutes Data bank).