A development pact between territories and universities

The University of Sannio reflects on the past and the future. The presentation of the VI Social Report and of the strategic plan 2019/2021 of the university, last July 1st, was an occasion for collective reflection on the educational and scientific research results obtained, on the ability to interact with the local, national and international community and on the interventions to improve academic and administrative action.

For the future, the idea of ​​a project of cohesion between the universities of the South and territories united by similar social and economic conditions was reiterated. This project was adopted by the rector of the University of Sannio Filippo de Rossi, the president of the CRUI and rector of the University of Naples Federico II Gaetano Manfredi, and Antonio Felice Uricchio, member of the Anvur, former rector of the University of Bari.

A reflection has started from Benevento to understand where the University of southern Italy must go.

"We can no longer talk about comparisons between universities - said prof. Manfredi - but of competition between territorial systems. In the last ten years the universities of the North have attracted 50 percent of the Italian students with an extraordinary loss of human resources especially in the South, incapable with its productive system of enhancing graduates. A university policy cannot therefore disregard the territories and their development". And from the president of the CRUI came the proposal to create a system between three southern regions that together have a greater number of inhabitants than Lombardy. An axis between territorial authorities and universities of Campania, Basilicata and Puglia to attract investments, promote development and stop the bleeding of human capital.

In this view the Sannio and its university would no longer be internal and decentralized territory but would represent the fulcrum of an extended geographical area with enormous potential.

"The university - said Professor Uricchio - is not only the production of knowledge but also the capacity to mobilize and promote the development of internal areas where the valorisation of public goods becomes strategic. The third mission carried out by the academies for the development of the territories must be further enhanced in the evaluation and distribution phase of the ministerial resources ".

"That for research and university education - said the rector de Rossi - is the type of public expenditure characterized by the most accentuated multiplier effects on the territory, in terms not only of dissemination of knowledge but also of direct and indirect creation of employment ".

In fact, in the analysis carried out for the Unisannio Social Report by prof. Emiliano Brancaccio and Fabiana De Cristofaro, a graduate of Sannio University, currently a PhD student at the Sant'Anna University of Pisa and at the ECB in Frankfurt, it has been calculated that for every job lost or earned in Unisannio, a destruction or creation of employment in the Benevento economy costs more than two jobs.

"In the South, in a situation of crisis and austerity," said prof. de Rossi - in the last five years our small university has made enormous efforts with an increase in state funding of only 6 percent. But we remain alone to defend ourselves against an unbalanced policy ".
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