The figure for free university studies in Italy corresponds to 17 billion euros. It is a public university that is advancing in international rankings and demonstrates its excellence, even if the system has been underfunded for years and the research suffers from a lack of funds. These 17 billion are the estimate found by the study of the University of Universities (UDU) which investigated the average annual cost of the university for students.
The cost varies according to the condition of the student, who may have to face additional expenses, for example if he is off-site or commuter than those studying in his own city, and of the University. On average, the university costs families about € 5,000 per year for on-site students, € 5500 for those who live in the province and € 11,000 for those outside the province who rent a single room.
The context, however, is the same for everyone: at least a decade in which, the study shows, taxes have increased. In fact, the average annual tax rate increased by 82% compared to the amounts paid to enroll in 2004. This percentage corresponds to € 609.73, money that raised the national average tax from € 743.70 to € 1353.43 today. The figure reaches € 2314.46 at the Milan Polytechnic, € 2043.90 at the University of Insubria, € 1965.44 at the University of Pavia and € 1871.04 at the University of Bologna.
Italy is also among the countries with the highest university taxation and the lowest interventions to support the Right to Education in Europe, a crossroads that cannot be found in other countries, where only one of the two elements can be found. In Germany, for example, university policies provide for a free system even if the interventions on the Right to Education are minimal. In Malta and the Scandinavian countries, with the exception of Norway, studies are free and there are also important government incentives. In Italy, on the other hand, 70% of students pay a tax of over € 100, higher than in twenty-six European states including for example Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Poland, Finland, Serbia and Turkey which provide for studies free university students. Furthermore, the annual amount – those € 1353.43 – is greater than that of Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Cyprus. and all the countries of the Balkan peninsula.
In this scenario, the comparison with Europe also shows another significant data, that of the number of Italian graduates. Young people are more graduates than their parents and previous generations but the rate of female students and graduate students in Italy stands at 20.1% while the European average is 32.8%.
In addition to fees, however, students have to deal with other necessary and fundamental costs for university life. They have to pay for all the teaching materials, a cost that varies from faculty to faculty but is around € 697.60, if you also calculate the purchase of a computer in the first year and amortized over the years of study. And then the meals, the transports, the rents. There are few public university residences compared to the out-of-town halls that could use them. The number of beds available nationwide is just under 36,500, the people who study at a university that is not located in their province of residence more than 764,000.
UDU coordinator Giovanni Sotgiu commented on the results of the study as follows: “The constant state underfunding of the university system from the Gelmini law to date has weighed on the pockets of thousands of students who attend a degree course. Only in recent years has the Ordinary Loan Fund reached overall figures equal to those prior to Law 240/2010, without however taking into account the enormous amount of funds not received in the last decade “.