The Italian system of Higher Education consists of University education, Higher Level Arts and Music Education (AFAM) and Higher Technical Education (ITS). To enter any tertiary-level pathway it is necessary to hold a Diploma of upper secondary education.
ITS pathways represent the non-academic tertiary education and training segment, featuring curricula based on a set of National Standard concerning:
- Linguistic, communication and relational skills, scientific and technological sciences, economics, organizational and managerial multilevel competences common to all the professional roles related to the higher technical education courses;
- technical and professional skills specific to each nationally-defined professional role of Higher Technician.
As a result ITS training courses represent an high qualifying offer to gain new and innovative technical competences in order to foster innovation and technological transfer.
Courses are managed by ITS Foundations, the key factor of a new strategy that link companies, universities/R&D bodies, institutions, instruction and vocational training systems altogether.
Six technological areas, one for each Foundation, identify specific scopes and National Reference Profiles so that the training offer matches with the production chain present in each territory:
- Energy Efficiency
- Sustainable mobility
- New technologies in life
- New Technologies for Made in Italy (ITS Tech & Food Foundation)
- Innovative technologies for cultural goods and activities -Tourism
- Information and communication technologies
ITS system, by the means of training courses and of the related activities, aims at:
- preparing higher technicians to meet the training and occupational needs of the related sector’s companies.
- Contributing to the region’s economic development (SMEs in primis).
- Foster technological culture thanks to post school orientation and coaching events, by adopting a training approach founded on action that aspires to educate in both the classroom and the workplace.
ITS courses’ components
- Courses are open to young people and adults with a secondary school diploma, provided that they pass the entry exam. English and basic IT skills are required.
- More than 40% of the activities is spent in a company internship. Students are also given the possibility of carrying out a partial or full internship in companies located abroad.
- Courses are taught by experts working in the field (at least 50%), at universities and in research.
- Training activities will take place abroad with the purpose to enable students a direct experience with companies, research bodies and institutions.
- Work experience within a company can also be carried out under apprenticeship, ensuring greater integration between training and work.
Higher Technician Diploma
At the end of the course, provided that the student passes the final exam, they will be awarded the Higher Technician Diploma, which is valid throughout Italy and the European Union (Level 5 of the European Qualifications Framework). Those holding the diploma are eligible to apply for open public positions and are also issued with a EUROPASS certificate in Italian and English.