No. 675 - The geographic divides of the Italian higher education system

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by Vincenzo Mariani and Roberto TorriniMarch 2022

The work discusses from a comparative perspective the divergences in the demand and supply of tertiary education between the North and the South of Italy and analyzes the dynamics and the allocation of financial resources assigned to the university system.

The human capital production of universities placed in South is affected by the mobility of students toward Centre and Northern regions - partly due to the lower quality of local universities - and by the low average competencies of Southern students. After the cuts of the last decade, the public funding of the university system needs to be increased and the allocation mechanisms should be revised taking into greater consideration the features of the local contexts, while preserving the incentives for universities to improve their performance introduced by the tertiary education reform of 2010.