The Italian Observatory on PA Academic Education was created in 2005 acknowledging the impact that education and training programs, either professional/mid-career or more research oriented, have on the performance, competitiveness and quality of public administrations.
The mission of the Observatory is to:
- Monitor PA education in Italy: Improve the understanding of the state of development of undergraduate and advanced post-graduate studies in PA.
- Provide knowledge services: Leverage and analyse data on PA education to deliver tailored and innovative products and services for a number of publics and decision makers.
- Promote networking: Contribute to effective and influential forms of networking on PA education, at both the national and the international levels.
The activities of the Observatory since 2005 include:
- The development of a database, collected in 2007, including original and exhaustive data covering the whole population of Italian universities. 2.198 education programs at different levels entirely dedicated to PA were gathered and analysed, referring to 204 faculties of 72 universities.
- International cooperation: the Italian Observatory on PA Academic Education is member of the Steering Committee of the EGPA initiative aimed at developing a European Platform for PhD Students and Training in Public Administration. The first meeting of the Platform’s Steering Committee took place in Bruxelles on January 2009. The aim of the EGPA Platform is to further develop the existing cooperation among universities providing training in administrative sciences and to stimulate communication and cooperation between different PhD training institutes in PA in Europe.
Next steps include the development of a dedicated website aimed at making the database publicly available, inclusion of data regarding the number of enrolled students, placements and career success, and regarding the relative success of PA graduates in securing government employment, expansion of the database in order to consider also professional training institutes operating at the national and regional levels.
Partnerships with several institutional actors will be established.
EGPA PhD and PA Education Platform
World Observatory of Teaching in Public Affairs (WOTPA)
EGPA PSG IX: Public Administration and Teaching
Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG)
First report of the Italian Observatory on PA Academic Education
Dr Denita Cepiku
First report of the Italian Observatory on Public Administration Academic Education
The Italian Observatory on PA Academic Education was created in 2005 acknowledging the impact that education and training programs have on the performance, competitiveness and quality of public administrations. The mission of the Observatory is to monitor PA education in Italy, provide knowledge services and promote effective and influential forms of networking on PA education, at both the national and the international levels.
In the first report, published in 2007, the Manifesto degli studi approved by the faculties for the most recent academic year (2007/08 or 2006/07) are analyzed.
Overall evidence – summarized below – suggests that the legal cluster, including but not limited to administrative law, is not the prevalent approach in teaching PA in Italy. The public cluster - mainly political sciences and public economy approach - is instead widespread in Italian universities. Furthermore, there is a strong, yet more recent, development of the managerial approach.
A strong development of PA programs in faculties different from the law faculty is observed. The greater commitment in PA programs is registered in economic faculties (over 37%) and political sciences faculties. In these, especially political sciences faculties, a greater presence of BAs and MAs is found, while the law faculties supply tends to focus on pre-graduate courses. A relevant difference between these three main faculties is the level of homogeneity: extremely high in law; and scant in economics and political sciences.
The geographical comparison of the 20 Italian regions has highlighted the underdevelopment of PA programs in south Italy, concerning mainly undergraduate and professional training.
The first report investigated two focus areas: the disciplinary orientation of public accounting and of administrative sciences programs. The former is commonly dealt with adopting a legal approach (70%) and the weak position of the managerial approach is noticed. Administrative science programs are mainly approached by political science (80%), although law plays an important role (20%).
Given the dynamicity of the scenario, this first report represents a static, yet complete, photography. It is of utmost importance to update it in the mid-term in order to monitor the development of the different disciplinary approaches and clusters.
Geographical distribution of PA programs
Geographical distribution of civil servants (% on data per 1,000 inhabitants, Istat, 2005)
Distribution of PA programs by type of faculty
Distribution of programs according to their disciplinary character (all programs)
Distribution of programs according to three clusters
PA education clusters: regional distribution
Focus 1 – Subjects taught in corporate programs
Focus 2 – The disciplinary orientation of accounting
Focus 3 –The disciplinary orientation of courses entitled administrative sciences