8SUMMARY LEVEL NAME DURATION Pre-school education Certificate AwardedPre-school educationScuola dell'infanzia (nursery school)3 years, age 3 to 6Primary EducationScuola primaria (primary school)5 years, age 6 to 11 although some children start primary school at 5 instead of at 6Lower secondary EducationScuola secondaria di primo grado (first grade secondary school)3 years, age 11 to 14Diploma di scuola secondaria di primo grado
9Upper Secondary Education LEVELNAMEDURATIONCertificate AwardedUpper Secondary EducationScuola secondaria di secondo grado (second grade secondary school)5 years, age 14 to 19Diploma di liceo classico Diploma di liceo linguistico Diploma di liceo delle scienze umane Diploma di liceo scientifico Diploma di liceo artistico Diploma di liceo musicale e coreutico Diploma di istituto tecnico Diploma di istituto professionaleFormazione professionale3 or 5 years, age 14 to 17 or 14 to 19Qualifica professionale (3 years), Licenza professionale (5 years)
10LEVEL NAME DURATION Certificate Awarded Higher Education Laurea (Bachelor's degree) Diploma accademico di primo livello3 years4 years, only for "Scienze della formazione primaria" (Sciences of the primary education), necessary for teaching in nursery or primary schoolsLaurea magistrale (Master's degree) Diploma accademico di secondo livello2 yearsLaurea magistrale a ciclo unico (Bachelor's + Master's degree)5 years only for:"Farmacia" (pharmacy)"Chimica e tecnologie farmaceutiche" (chemistry and technologies of pharmacy)"Odontoiatria e protesi dentaria" (dentistry)"Medicina veterinaria" (veterinary medicine)"Giurisprudenza" (law)"Architettura" (architecture)"Ingegneria Edile-Architettura" (architectural engineering)6 years, only for "Medicina e chirurgia" (Medicine and surgery)Dottorato di ricerca (PhDDiploma accademico di formazione alla ricercaDiploma di Perfezionamento – PhD (Superior Graduate Schools in Italy)
11Italian Education System PRIMARY EDUCATIONScuola primaria (primary school), also known as scuola elementare, is commonly preceded by three years of non-compulsory nursery school (or kindergarten).Scuola elementare lasts five years. Until middle school, the educational curriculum is the same for all pupils: although one can attend a private or state-funded school, the subjects studied are the same (with the exception of special schools for the blind or the hearing-impaired).The students are given a basic education in Italian, English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, History, Geography, Social Studies, Physical Education and Visual and Musical Arts.Until 2004, pupils had to pass an exam to access Scuola secondaria di primo grado (Lower secondary school), comprising the composition of a short essay in Italian, a written math test, and an oral test on the other subjects. The exam has been discontinued and pupils can now enter Scuola secondaria di Primo Grado directly.
12SECONDARY EDUCATIONSecondary education is divided in two stages: Scuola secondaria di primo grado (Lower secondary school), also known as Scuola media, which corresponds to the Middle School grades, and Scuola secondaria di secondo grado (Upper secondary school), which corresponds to the high-school level.Scuola Secondaria di Primo GradoThe Scuola secondaria di primo grado lasts three years (roughly from age 11 to 13), and provides further education on the subjects studied at the scuola primaria, with the addition of Technology and a language other than English (typically French, Spanish or German). The curriculum is the same for all schools. At the end of the third year students sit an exam which enables them to continue their education.
13Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado The Scuola secondaria di secondo grado lasts five years (even though some istituti professionali might offer a diploma after only three years). Every tier involves an exam at the end of the final year, called Esame di Stato, required to gain a diploma and have access to further education.The secondary school situation varies, since there are several types of schools differentiated by subjects and activities. The main division is between the Liceo, the Istituto Tecnico and the Istituto Professionale. Any kind of secondary school that lasts 5 years grants access to the final exam, called Esame di Stato conclusivo del corso di studio di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore or Esame di Maturità. This exam takes place every year between June and July and grants access to University.The "Liceo" concept was created by Gentile, and in 1923 indicated a specific type of secondary school; today, it rather refers to a class of secondary schools oriented towards the study of the arts and sciences. All of the Licei have many subjects in common, such as Italian Literature, or Mathematics, while other subjects are peculiar to a particular type of Liceo (i.e. Ancient Greek in the Liceo Classico, pedagogy in the Liceo delle Scienze Umane or scenography in the Liceo Artistico).
14Types of Liceo include: Liceo Classico, which features Latin, Ancient Greek, Italian, history and philosophy as its most important subjects.Liceo Linguistico puts emphasis on modern foreign languages learning and the languages usually taught are English, French, Spanish and German – although recently Russian, Arabic and Chinese have been introduced as well.Liceo delle Scienze Umane, where the emphasis is more on relational, behavioural, educational and juridical topics, such as pedagogy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, law, political economy and social research. It replaces the previous Istituto Magistrale (which once educated elementary school teachers).Liceo Scientifico, whose programme reminds in part that of Liceo Classico in teaching Italian, Latin, history and philosophy, but is more oriented towards mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, Earth science and computer science and is also focused on drawing and art history.Liceo Artistico, which is oriented toward arts teaching – both in a theoretical (i.e. art history) and practical (i.e. drawing sessions) way. Its subjects are painting, sculpture, decoration, graphics, design, audiovisual, multimedia, scenography and architecture.Liceo Musicale e Coreutico, which comprises two sectors:musicale, which specialises in music and teaches students to play an instrument.coreutico, which specialises in dance and choreography
15The Istituto Tecnico (Technical Institute), divided into ITT (istituto tecnico tecnologico, i.e. Technical/Technological Institute) and ITE (istituto tecnico economico, i.e. Technical/Economic Institute), is more oriented toward practical subjects, such as jurisdiction, accountancy, tourism, metalworking, electronics, chemical industry, biotechnology, visual communication, fashion and food industry, construction management and geotechnics.The Istituto Professionale offers a form of secondary education oriented towards practical subjects and enables the students to start searching for a job as soon as they have completed their studies (sometimes sooner, as some schools offer a diploma after 3 years instead of 5) and is even more specific in terms of vocational course offerings than the Istituto Tecnico.The Istituto d'Arte was a particular form of Istituto Professionale, which offered an education focused on art history and drawing. Today it is part of the Liceo Artistico.The Italian school system also features the Scuola serale (evening school), aimed at adults and working students.
16While the education received in a Liceo, which involves a broad and specifically academic curriculum, is generally considered necessary to enter University, even Istituto Tecnico and Istituto Professionale students have access to it, provided they pass the entry tests which are mandatory in most faculties. A typical Italian student is 19 when he or she enters university, while in the UK and other countries, 18 is the more common age. The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks the Italian secondary education as the 36th in the world, being significantly below the OECD average, and observes a wide gap between results in Northern Italian schools, which performed significantly better than the national average, and Southern Italian schools, that had much poorer results. Moreover, students in state-owned schools perform better than students in private schools.
17HIGHER EDUCATIONSuperior Graduate SchoolThe Superior Graduate School (Grandes écoles )or Scuola Superiore Universitaria offer recognized national and international titles, including the Diploma di Perfezionamento equivalent to a Doctorate, Dottorato di Ricerca i.e. Research Doctorate or Doctor Philosophiae i.e. and are recognized by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (Italy) (MIUR) as fully autonomous.There are three Superior Graduate Schools with "university status", three institutes with the status of Doctoral Colleges, which function at graduate and post-graduate level. Nine further schools are direct offshoots of the universities (i.e. do not have their own 'university status'). The first one is the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (founded in 1810 by Napoleon as a branch of École Normale Supérieure), taking the model of organization from the famous École Normale Supérieure