Education in Italy: School System and Higher Education Overview

Education in Italy: School System and Higher Education Overview

Italy is known for its rich history, art, and culture. Among other things, the country is also home to one of the best education systems in the world. The Italian education system is structured in a way that provides quality education to students from primary school to university level.

The Italian education system is divided into four main levels:

Primary School (Scuola Primaria)

The primary school level in Italy covers students from the ages of six to eleven. At this level, students are taught how to read, write, and do basic arithmetic. The curriculum also includes subjects such as history, geography, science, music, art, and physical education.

Lower Secondary School (Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado)

The lower secondary school level covers students aged 11 to 14. At this level, students are taught more advanced subjects such as mathematics, science, geography, history, and foreign languages. Students also have the option to choose elective subjects according to their interests.

Upper Secondary School (Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado)

The upper secondary school level covers students aged 15 to 19. This level is divided into two main streams:

  • Liceo
  • This stream is designed for students who wish to pursue higher education and eventually enroll in university. The liceo stream offers a more academic curriculum, including advanced subjects such as philosophy, Latin, and Greek.

  • Istituti Tecnici and Istituti Professionali
  • This stream is designed for students who wish to enter the workforce after completing their secondary education. The curriculum focuses on vocational training, and students are provided with practical skills that are relevant to their chosen field.

    Higher Education

    Italy has a well-developed higher education system, with over 90 universities spread across the country. Italian universities are among the oldest and most prestigious in the world, and they attract students from all over the globe. Some of the most renowned universities in Italy include the University of Bologna, the University of Milan, and the University of Rome.

    Italian universities offer a wide range of degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. The most popular fields of study include engineering, economics, medicine, and law.


    1. Is education in Italy free?

    Yes, education in Italy is free of charge. This includes primary, secondary, and higher education.

    2. Are there any expenses associated with education in Italy?

    While education in Italy is free, students are expected to cover the cost of books and other study materials.

    3. When does the school year start in Italy?

    The school year in Italy typically starts in September and runs until June.

    4. What is the typical length of an undergraduate degree program in Italy?

    An undergraduate degree program in Italy typically takes three years to complete.

    5. Can international students study in Italy?

    Yes, international students are welcome to enroll in Italian universities. However, they may be required to take language proficiency tests and pay higher tuition fees than Italian nationals.

    In conclusion, the education system in Italy is highly regarded for its quality and accessible education for all. The country offers an excellent platform for students to advance their skills and achieve academic success across all levels of education, from primary to university. Furthermore, the country hosts some of the world’s most prestigious universities, providing students across the globe with a platform to attain internationally recognized degrees.

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