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Italy

 

Capital: Rome

 

Background:

 

Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the European Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, and corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.

 

Higher Education:

 

Italy has played an important role in European higher education: it is one of the four countries that first engaged to create the so-called "European Area of Higher Education" (Sorbonne Declaration, May 1998), thus starting that type of higher education reform which, known as "Bologna Process" (Bologna Declaration, June 1999) is being implemented all over Europe.

 

Today Italy ranks among the 8 most industrialized countries in the world. Alongside some big companies, both state-owned and private, it has developed a sound network of small and medium-sized undertakings, promoted a few scientific parks, and are incentivizing basic and applied research in a great variety of fields (biology, ICT, medicine, physics, etc.).

 

At present, the university sector is made up of 83 university institutions, where the majority belongs to the State university sector. Polytechnics in Italy have the same institutional model as all State universities and the name stands for the “technical university” which concentrates exclusively in the subject fields of the two Faculties of Engineering and Architecture. Apart from that, there are 131 institutions covering the artistic and musical field.


 
 
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