Education System in Italy


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryScuola Primaria  6115Until 2004, pupils had to pass an exam to access Scuola secondaria di primo grado (Lower secondary school), comprising the composition of a shot elaborate in Italian, a written Math test, and an oral test on the other subjects. The exam has been discontinued and pupils can now enter Scuola secondaria di Primo Grado directly.
MiddleScuola secondaria di primo grado  11143Also known as Scuola media
SecondaryFormazione professionale  14193Licenza professionale, formerly Maturità professionale
SecondaryIstituto Tecnico - Upper Secondary  14195Maturità Tecnica / Diploma di Esame di Stato conclusivo del Corso di/per (name of technical option in the Istituto Tecnico concerned (since September 1999), Upper Secondary
SecondaryScuola secondaria di secondo grado  14195Liceo, the Istituto Tecnico and the Istituto Professionale. In the end of study students sit the final exam called Esame di Stato conclusivo del corso di studio di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore or Esame di Maturità. This exam takes place every year between June and July and grants access to University
SecondaryLiceo Classico, Liceo Scientifico, Liceo Linguistico - Specialized Secondary  14195Diploma magistrale ad indirizzo "scienze sociali" or "socio-psico-pedagogico / Diploma di Esame di Stato conclusivo del Corso di/per… (name of the option within the Istituto Secondario concerned) (since 1999)
SecondaryIstituto Professionale - Professional  14173Diploma di Qualifica (name of the option within the Istituto Professionale concerned)
SecondaryIstituto Professionale  14195Diploma di Maturità Professionale di/per… / Diploma di Esame di Stato conclusivo dei Corsi di Istruzione Professionale di/per...(name of the option within the Istituto Professionale concerned) (since 1999)
VocationalLiceo Artistico, Istituto d'Arte  14185Maturità Artistica / Diploma di Esame di Stato conclusivo del Corso di/per...(name of the option within the Istituto Secondario concerned) (since 1999)
TertiaryFirst Cycle/Laurea - University level first stage    3Awarded Laurea-L (first degree)
TertiarySecond Cycle - University level second stage    2Graduate studies include Corsi di Laurea Specialistica (CLS) and Corsi di Master Universitario di 1° livello (CMU1)
TertiarySecond Cycle - University level second stage    5Laurea Specialistica- LS (second degree) - now called "Laurea Magistrale" (LM)
TertiaryThird Cycle - University level third stage    3Postgraduate studies - Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca-CDR (research doctorate programmes), Corsi di Specializzazione-CS (specialization courses) and Corsi di Master Universitario di 2° livello-CMU2 (second level university Master's degree courses)

Primary Education

In Italy, the debate rages on regarding the role of religion and its symbols in education. Meanwhile primary schooling remains free, after which parents must pay school fees through to age 16. After spending time at preschool (scuola materna) children enter scuola primaria (primary school) for 5 years. Here they learn the basics of computer studies, english, geography, italian, mathematics, music, science, social science and optional religious studies. All children who turn 13 in a particular year, go on to lower secondary school the following year.

Middle Education

Scuola Media or lower secondary school is mandatory too, although not free. There scholars follow a three year program nominally from age 11 to age 14. Minimum school hours are 30 per week. Up to 10 hours more may be financed by a school's own budget to provide tuition in computer skills, foreign languages, sports, music with own instrument, and chess. At the end of the third year, those who pass oral and written examinations receive a diploma di licenza media.

Secondary Education

Upper secondary school (scuola superio) comprises an obligatory 2 years followed by a further optional 3. In the latter period students choose between attending a liceo (something akin to a British grammar school) or an instituto or vocational school. In all, there are 7 kinds of secondary schools in Italy, namely classical high schools, scientific high schools, fine arts high schools, teacher training schools, artistic schools, technical institutes, and professional institutes.

Vocational Education

Further vocational  education involves practical certificated training in specific skills according to European Union standards. This broad approach facilitates cross-country training and experience, as a consequence of which Italian tradespeople and technicians are in demand world-wide.

Tertiary Education

Italian EducationItalian universities follow generally accepted tertiary education standards. Accordingly they offer courses towards bachelors, 1- and 2-year masters degrees, and doctorates. Other specialization schools provided advanced knowledge to those already with second-level degrees, while refresher courses aptly named corso di perfezionamento enable professionals to top-up their knowledge.

Many of the oldest universities in the world are found in Italy. Among literally scores, the oldest are the University of Bologna that dates from AD 1088, and the University of Padua founded in the year 1222.

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