Higher Education for S3 in Puglia

The S3 in Puglia is the result of a participative process launched in 2013 by the Region supported by the Regional  Agency for Technology and Innovation (ARTI). The involvement of all the relevant stakeholders and productive and technological districts was a crucial to the process.

HEIs are regulated and depend directly on the Ministry of Education, therefore there is no regional legislative  capacity. However, regions are delegated for some provisions that impact directly on the HEIs, such support to students and to areas that affect HEIs to different extents, such as lifelong learning; advanced apprenticeship schemes addressed to university graduates; support to young people to participate post-degree courses at the university; traineeship schemes.

The National Operational Programme on Research and Innovation 2014-2020 funded by the Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), covering Italian less  developed  and  transition  regions  outlines  two  main  funding priorities: (1) investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning by developing  education  and  training infrastructure and (2) research, technological development and innovation.

Main conclusions and recommendations

  • The main obstacle faced in the implementation of both Instituo Tecnico Superiore (ITS) and Innovative Industrial Doctorate (IID) is the different culture between business and the research and higher education sectors. Such difficulty is compounded by a governance structure that provides limited opportunities for peer-exchange at the regional level and is perceived as inadequate especially by ITSs.
  • ITSs need a space to come together and get to know each other to formulate clearly their common needs and interact with the public administration in a coordinated manner. It seems essential to increase visibility and awareness of ITS and IID to  potential  students and partners. Communication  about available  learning  opportunities,  and  their  value  for  employment and economic development, is weak, particularly for ITSs, but also for companies that can be interested to joint research with universities. 
  • In regions with moderately developed innovation systems, investments on the quality of universities and  higher education must be accompanied  by the reinforcement  of technological capabilities of private firms, and ITS and IDT are very good instruments for this.

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