Silvio Scanagatta
Barbara Segatto

Executive Committee
Ursula Apitzsch, Jean-Louis Derouet, Luisa Ribolzi, Alison Taysum, Carlos Alberto Torres, Catherine Yan Wang

International Scientific Board

Management Staff
Managing editor
Anna Dal Ben


For Italian Law
Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

University and Inequality

TitleUniversity and Inequality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBenadusi L
Date Published02/2009
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsEquity, Gender, Inequality, Reform, Social Origin, University

The purpose of this article is both to analyse the different types of unfair inequality existing within the Italian higher education system, on the base of various statistical sources, and, as far as possible, to assess whether these have changed or not in the last few years following the recent instructional reform (DM 509/1999). The first to be examined are inequalities associated to gender, which appear to have been reversed in many aspects, that is to play in favor of women, today. Then, the analysis move on to inequalities associated to students’ previous scholastic career, whose effects on academic success in part merely mediate the impact of students’ social origin. Taking into account this dimension of inequality, two distinct stratifications of faculties or disciplinary areas are defined here. Finally, social inequality of opportunity is directly dealt with and the persistent importance of students’ social origin in academic success is confirmed, also in the light of an international comparison. This kind of inequality could get wider in the future because of an increasing heterogeneity of the freshmen’s population, even if such a tendency is not occurred as far, probably thanks to an adaptation process outlined in this article. The first indications drawn from the implementation of the recent reform, with regard to the issue of equity in university, are not linear and homogeneous, reflecting a situation of transition which has still marked characteristics of contingency.