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I grandi numeri dell'istruzione secondaria e terziaria


This works deals with the “big” changes occurred in the upper secondary (high school) and tertiary education in Italy in the last 20 years. It can be divided into three steps: 1. High school, 2. High school-university transition; 3. University enrollment and careers. High school. With reference to upper secondary education, the educational attendance and attainment have reached very good results in the last 60 years, as 90% of the young students get nowadays a high school diploma with some differences in favor of the northern-central regions of the country. Moreover, there have been profound changes in the choices relating to the type of high school: a decrease of the students attending the “Liceo classico” (with more females); an increase in the “Liceo Scientifico” (males and females are equal just in the last years) and in the “Istituti Tecnici”, attended mostly by males. These Istituti are more frequent in the North of Italy because they are linked to the labour market. High school-university transition. In the last 60 years, the transition rates from school to university is up and down with a peak in the 90s and in the last years rates are around 50-60%. On the other hand, the number of university students has steadily increased in the 70s and 80s, as the baby boomers were more numerous and more educated than their previous generations. In the last years, there rates have not increased probably due to the economic crisis. University enrollment and careers. In the 1989/90 female freshmen overcome male freshmen and the distance between females-males have increased in the last 10 years (the total number of freshmen is around 280,000 in the last 10 years). Performance is better for females students in the Bachelor’s degree courses and it enlarges the differences between males: 27.6 females out of 100 drop out in the 5 years of observation (cohort of freshmen of 2014/15), compared to 37.3 out of 100 males, denoting as males have a greater propensity to leave. On the other hand, observing the transition to the Master, we have noticed - unexpectedly - an inversion, in fact, female students enrolled in the Master within 4 years are 57% (32.6% / (32.6% + 24.6%)) while males enrolled are the 66.5% (29.6% / (29.6% + 14.9%)). This change (keeping in mind that in the master courses females are still 20,000 more numerous than males) is particularly interesting and certainly deserves further studies. Moreover, the school of medicine is very interesting too because females have surpassed males in the number of freshmen in the last 8 years with a similar performance between the two groups. Other “very Italian” issues are considered, as there are still a lot of differences between North and South of Italy, between students coming from “Liceo Classico/scientifico” and students coming from other type of schools, between success in the scientific field and other fields.