The Higher Education (HE) system in Italy consists of a University(state and private Universities, polytechnics, Universities for foreigners, schools of advanced studies and on-line/distance learning Universities) and a Non-University sector(among others, national academies in the Fine Arts, Cinema, Dance and Drama, Music Conservatories, schools and institutes for the education and training of professionals in various fields, such as language mediation, design, etc.). According to Art. n. 33 of the Italian Constitution, Universities are allowed to perform autonomously within a regulatory framework defined by national laws . Thus, State Universities are public entities endowed with scientific, teaching, managerial, financial and bookkeeping autonomy. According to these principles of autonomy, each University may comply with the national regulatory framework by means of its own statutes and regulations, issued by Rector decrees. Italian Public Universities are primarily State funding-based, but the percentage of funds allocated to Universities by State-sources have been decreasing since 2001 and nowadays, the percentage of public funding appears to be aligned to most European countries. Moreover, a certain diversification of income streams is going through a widespread phenomenon, and Italian Universities seem more entrepreneurial and non-State funding oriented. Thus, exploring the principles of the funding system for public Universities, the legal framework is given by Law 537/1993. Concerning funding mechanisms as well as the introduction of a more performance-oriented system of resources allocation, we can say that the main State funding allocated to Universities is named Ordinary Financing Fund (FFO in Italian) whereas, quite recently, a reforming framework has been introducing a model of resources allocation (concerning a percentage of at least 7% of FFO) based on three leading performance indicators, namely quality of teaching and research, along with quality/efficiency/efficacy in combination with the maintenance of buildings and University campuses. In Italy, recent reforms of the sector have been inspired by various factors, and, in particular, by: – the economic crunch, that Governments have been facing for a long time, which led to budgetary restrictions; – the “marketization” of the Higher Education sector (Clark, 1998; Deem, 1998) with an higher competitiveness – at both national and international level – of the Higher Education sector. Regarding the first aspect, the ordinary funding allocation carried out by the National Governments, as said before, is strictly dependent on the performance that each academic institution achieves. Particularly, academic performance is assessed by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR in Italian) on the basis of specific criteria and parameters which, above all, tend to measure intangible outputs and outcomes, such as quality in education and research activities, efficiency, effectiveness, internationalization and impact on the community. So internationalization, as a performance indicator, is a central value for each University, acquiring more and more importance in a “Globalized World” which has pointed out a rapid development of Higher Education as a “market”, showing managing academic institutions, in most cases, unprepared for the challenges introduced by a competitive environment, particularly in comparison to other Countries’ best practices (Neely, 1999; De Boer and Goedegebuure, 2001). Consequently, the rapid progress of a globalized HE system and the higher number of cross-border movements of students and teachers, push each University to increase programmes concerning international collaboration and competitiveness. As a result, internationalization and global competitiveness of Universities has become crucial for each University all over the world. In this context Jane Knight (1997) defines the internationalization of higher education as: “the process of integrating an international/intercultural dimension into the teaching, research and service functions of the institution, where internationalization is considered as a process in response to globalization and includes both international and local elements”. Following Knight, Qiang (2003) provides a useful conceptual framework of four different possible rationales for internationalization in higher education: - the political; - the academic; - the cultural/social; - the economic. The political rationale is principally related to issues of national security, stability, and peace as well as ideological influences ensuing from internationalization efforts. The academic rationale is principally linked to the goal of achieving international standards for both teaching and research. More generally, the reasoning goes that by encouraging greater internationalization across teaching, research, and service activities, the quality of higher education can be enriched. The cultural/social rationale is based on the view that the “homogenizing effects of globalization” (Knight, 1997, p. 11) need to be resisted and the culture as well as language of nations be respected. This view places particular emphasis on understanding foreign languages and cultures, the preservation of national culture, and respect for diversity. Finally, there is the economic rationale, which, by many, is considered to be a direct response to the market forces associated with the economic dimension of globalization. On the one hand, the economic rationale underlies efforts aimed at developing the human resources/capital needed for the nation to stay internationally competitive; on the other hand, it underlies efforts geared towards increasing the institution’s (or sector’s) income by providing education abroad or attracting more foreign students. Focusing, in particular, on this last rationale, the issue is gaining more ground also in Italy, as the positive effects that international courses can have on a University are quite broad. Moreover, these programmes led to a real improvement in the educational offer, image and, therefore, were able to bring new funds to the University, both in terms of distribution of the reward of the Ordinary Financing Fund (FFO), and as the acquisition of external funds. In recent years, the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR in Italian) has been giving more weight to the internationalization process of Italian Universities. This can be seen, for example, through the Ministerial Decree (M.D.) n.71/2012, sharing FFO of the University for the year 2012, established, in Article n.13, the allocation of a share of € 3,000,000 to be reserved for exceptional assistance to Universities and institutes of higher education for purposes relating to specific initiatives in the areas of research, teaching and internationalization of the University system. This is the first time in which a similar amount is included, reflecting the importance that the MIUR is giving to the international development of Italian Universities. Of course the activation and implementation of International programmes requires the crucial involvement of, on the one hand, the administrative front office, having direct contact with students, and, on the other hand, of the administrative back office which is the macro management area essential for the coordination of all academic activities carried out taking into account available resources and local regulations. The involvement of many actors, at different levels, and the importance of internationalization, requires an analysis and evaluation - central object of the following thesis – of the ways and the timing required to activate, in particular, an international Ph.D. programme in an Italian Public University. A Ph.D. programme represents the “Third Cycle” of HE System and it is considered crucial as it contributes to generate Ph.D.’s, which, in great part, will be the future Professors, Educators and Managers of the entire nation. So any change in its regulation needs to be analyzed and discussed. In particular, in Italy, the recent introduction of the M.D. n. 45/2013 by the Ministry of Education, University and Research is the final step of a process which is trying to make more efficient and competitive the Italian Post Lauream sector. In particular, it introduces the so called “ACCREDITAMENTO” of Ph.D. programmes, a new compulsory validation process that risks complicating the activation of a Doctoral programme, in particular, international Doctoral programmes. So the analysis of this Reform is required to explain in detail Ph.D. founding and prosecution over time. Furthermore, this kind of programme represents a crucial issue on which all Universities should invest, in particular, in terms of international Doctorates, because they can encourage, on the one hand, students to study in other countries around the world and, on the other hand, attract the best students from other countries to study in Italy thus implementing further resources for the Italian Universities. So starting from the above considerations, the analysis of the most recent Reform on the Ph.D. sector can represent a useful starting point to show, on the one hand, the importance of investing in the creation of international Ph.D. programmes, and, on the other hand, the strengths and weaknesses introduced by this law, in order to identify the levers on which Universities should bet to make their future more secure. Consequently, we will answer to the following questions: What does this reform imply? What novelties does the validation process introduce? What changes will there be, in particular, for international Ph.D. programmes? What are the differences introduced in comparison with the previous code? Who are the subjects involved and the final customers in this process? What is internationalization of the HE system? How does it influence University image and attractiveness? How can internationalization and the comparison with international realities improve the performance of the Ph.D. sector? What are the consequences for a single University and for all stakeholders? How may the future of the University become under the implementation of international programmes? The analysis of how investments in internationalization and in the development of international agreements play a strategic role for University development will be made through the use of two survey instruments: the use of System Dynamics(SD) approach, since it enables the exploration of the dynamic complexity included in internationalization, in order to test how it can contribute to a sustainable development and the improvement of the HE system, the image of the University and, consequently, its capability to acquire new funds; through the use of semi-structured interviews, which includes the involvement of subjects directly involved in the activation of International Ph.D. programmes. In particular, to analyze the critical issues and benefits linked to the activation of this kind of University programmes, I will consider the specific case of the University of Palermo. It is a public institution which has, as its inseparable purpose, higher education and scientific research, but looking at its educational offer it is clear that there is only a small number of international courses with only 7 international Ph.D. programmes . Consequently, as opposed to what should be done in a European and global context currently more focused on international cooperation and collaboration, our University is still little present in this area, in fact the low number of international programmes generates an educational offer not competitive, damaging students as final customers. It is straightforward, therefore, to analyze and show, in the first chapter of the thesis, the characteristics of and supply of the Doctoral sector and within Italian public Universities, which are its decisions makers, key actors and stakeholders, with particular attention to the current law which regulates the Ph.D. sector in Italy, its characteristics and the differences in relation to the previous reform. Starting from this framework the second chapter will explain the international offer within the “Third Cycle” of the Italian HE system. In particular, the analysis will be focused on the analysis of internationalization as a means to improve University attractiveness and Ph.D. programme performance, considering the no-boundary global market in which they act. The target to improve University performance over time led to the necessity to find new ways and instruments, this is the central topic of third chapter focused on System Dynamic approach: the possibility to use a dynamic approach in the complex system of internationalization can furnish reliable results in order to identify levers on which decision makers should invest. The fourth chapter analyzes the critical issues and benefits linked to the activation of an International Ph.D. programmes, taking into consideration the specific case of the University of Palermo (UNIPA), the analysis, therefore will be extended to the Performance Management of the UNIPA Ph.D. Office. The last chapter will show the concluding remarks and consequently limitations and recommendations for future research. With the following research, therefore, I want to determine what the administrative, bureaucratic and educational processes that influence the activation of International programmes are, absolutely fundamental in a globalization context, and aims to show how the growing internationalization of the University of Palermo allows an increase of funding sources, both public and private, in order to enhance the University’s image, its attractiveness and competitiveness and, in this way, the identification of an approach to assure a long term sustainable development without reducing the quality of students’ supply.
Il presente lavoro ha un duplice obiettivo: illustrare l’importanza dei processi di internazionalizzazione come strumenti adottabili per sostenere e alimentare la performance dell’azienda ateneo al fine di accrescerne la competitività e, conseguentemente, applicare un sistema di performance management “dinamico” ad un caso di studio al fine di mostrarne la validità. Nel primo capitolo del presente lavoro vengono illustrate le caratteristiche salienti del Dottorato di Ricerca come settore all’interno dell’azienda pubblica “Ateneo”, evidenziandone le peculiarità specifiche, gli attori chiave, gli stakeholders, e il quadro normativo di riferimento. In particolare l’attenzione viene focalizzata sulla più recente riforma del settore (D.M. 45/2013) e sulla conseguente introduzione di un nuovo processo di accreditamento dei corsi di Dottorato. Alla luce di tale analisi, il secondo capitolo è incentrato sull’approfondimento del concetto di internazionalizzazione e sulla determinazione dell’offerta formativa di tipo internazionale legata al dottorato di ricerca italiano. Nello specifico, si dimostra come in un mercato ormai globalizzato l’internazionalizzazione del Dottorato possa rappresentare un mezzo per accrescere i livelli di performance delle Università italiane, la loro immagine e dunque la capacità di attrarre investitori e studenti stranieri. Dalle considerazioni sviluppate emergerà che la performance strategica dell’azienda “Ateneo” ed in particolare del dottorato richiede di essere gestita e governata continuativamente. Per tale ragione, nel terzo capitolo, si illustra il contributo che la metodologia della System Dynamics può fornire ai decisori per la definizione delle leve decisionali su cui investire. Nel quarto capitolo si applica il Performance Management “dinamico” all’Ufficio Dottorati dell’Università degli Studi di Palermo (UNIPA). In particolare, viene analizzata la performance relativa al prodotto “Nuovo Corso di Dottorato” in termini di incremento delle immatricolazioni di studenti stranieri e dei finanziatori presso UNIPA. In conclusione, i risultati dell’analisi illustrano gli esiti della ricerca, i suoi limiti e le possibili raccomandazioni per uno sviluppo futuro. In sintesi, lo studio dell’internazionalizzazione, la sua applicazione al dottorato, l’analisi delle criticità sottostanti, la tensione verso la soddisfazione degli stakeholders, il governo strategico della performance e l’analisi delle determinanti causali di quest’ultima costituiscono le tematiche centrali lungo le quali il presente lavoro è stato sviluppato.
Buttitta, M.IMPROVING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF ITALIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES THROUGH INTERNATIONAL Ph.D. PROGRAMMES: A DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT APPROACH.
|Titolo:||IMPROVING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF ITALIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES THROUGH INTERNATIONAL Ph.D. PROGRAMMES: A DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT APPROACH|
|Citazione:||Buttitta, M.IMPROVING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF ITALIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES THROUGH INTERNATIONAL Ph.D. PROGRAMMES: A DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT APPROACH.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.2 Tesi di dottorato|