BM84: Resolution on insufficient funding for scholarships in Italy

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In Italy thousands of students are still without a scholarship!
In the academic year 2022/2023, thousands of university students in Italy are still
without their scholarship, even though they would be entitled to have one. At the
beginning of April, there were almost two thousand students at the University of
Padua who had not yet received a scholarship, and many more at the University of
Trento and in the Abruzzo Region. It is not possible to provide precise numbers at a
national level because the Ministry has decided not to collect data, and after Italy’s
exit from the Eurostudent platform it will be even more difficult to monitor the
situation. Throughout the current academic year, the right to study in Italy has been
marked by delays and non-disbursement of scholarships. According to the decree of
the Ministry of University and Research No. 1320 of December 2021, already this year
for non-resident students the amount of the scholarship has increased by EUR 900.
For commuters by 700. For on-campus students the increase was 500 euros. The
income limits were also increased, following the reform in the NRRP to also use the
funds for equal access to education. However, the funding for these new measures
has proved insufficient to guarantee full coverage of all those eligible for a
scholarship, which currently stands at only 85%. Despite being aware of this, the
Italian government is not acting. In fact, while the amount and quantity of university
students eligible for scholarships are increasing, the delays in their disbursement are
also growing, and above all, the number of students who are eligible but not
beneficiaries is increasing. We are talking about those students who will not get the
support they need to support themselves while they complete their studies, even
though they would be entitled to it. At the University of Padua, there are 1955 first-year
students left without a scholarship, and until the end of March there were even 2500.
Some students have found work and thus manage to support themselves, others
have had to give up their university course.To cover all the scholarships for this year,
the University of Pavia has allocated 6 million from its budget. It currently has an
agreement with the scholarship provider, which commits it to cover all the needs. But
given the increase in the funds required, it has already announced that from next

year it is no longer willing to cover the shortfall resulting from the lack of funding from
the State and the Region. At the University of Trento, the 2,500 students eligible for the
scholarship have only been receiving notification of payment since April. How should
they be able to attend university if the money to support themselves only arrives at
the end of the academic year?Students living in student residences have been given
an extension to pay their rent, but students living in private flats do not know how to
pay. At the University of Chieti-Pescara, there are about 600 students who are waiting
for the amount set for last academic year, since the regional government is unable to
guarantee the disbursement of all the scholarships on time, because it does not
schedule the necessary resources in time. For this academic year, there are 2343
eligible students who have not yet received anything. At the University of L’Aquila,
there are 650 students waiting for scholarships and the Abruzzo Region has already
used part of the NRRP funds that were supposed to be used for next year.
As Unione degli Universitari, we have put a question to the Minister for Universities and
Research, Anna Maria Bernini, to ascertain the current state of play as regards the
disbursement of scholarships: what is the number of eligible students, how many of
them are not recipients even though they are eligible, and what other measures will
be taken to achieve the target set by the NRRP of 300,000 student recipients by the
end of 2023. No answer has been given at the moment. Added to all these problems
is the fact that eligible non-beneficiaries students are still allowed under the law in
Italy, and there is no intention to change it. The funds must be allocated by the state
and the region, which continue to allocate less than required, knowing that there will
be eligible non-beneficiaries even before the amount to be allocated is approved.

As UDU and ESU, we consider this to be a violation of the right to education of every
student, which does not allow equal access to higher education for all, and we
therefore advocate for:

  • the Italian government and regions to immediately take responsibility for providing
    the necessary funds to cover the scholarships for all eligible non-beneficiary
  • the Italian government to provide clear data on the current situation regarding the
    disbursement of scholarships and finally engage in a dialogue with representatives
    on the National Council of University Students in order to provide adequate funding
    for the next academic year;
  • the immediate amendment of the law permitting the existence of the status of
    eligible non-beneficiaries students, by removing the legal possibility of such status,
    so that no discrimination takes place and all students can have the opportunity to
    access and complete their university studies.

Proposer: UDU, Italy


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