Cuts to the University and Meritocracy

A cut in the resources invested in knowledge is, especially in the opinion of a student, always a priori unacceptable.

It is all the more so if this concerns a University like the Politecnico di Milano, effective in its educational mission and research (this is demonstrated by the peer review, the international evaluation that recognized that 39% of the teachers belong to groups considered excellent at international level and judged overall the research in the university good at international level and the recognition of last July that saw us at the Top in the Italian university scene according to the analysis held by Sole24Ore) and efficient in administration (awarded with the Quality Award of Public Administrations; efficiency demonstrated by the overall increase in the spaces made available to students (classroom places, study, computerized classroom, beds); another quality index is the AssegniFissi / FFO ratio, or the percentage of public resources invested in staff only, at Polimi 66% against an average of more than 90% in Italian universities).

The reaction of many teachers in the Senate and in the faculties who have already voted a motion in the face of a policy of reducing resources, although some extenuating circumstances are irrefutable, is therefore justified a fortiori: the moment of global crisis in which, according to the words of the President of the Republic, the containment of expenditure is inevitable, ("The containment of expenditure is inevitable: no to dangerous contrasts. We need renewal'); an Italian university not entirely in a position to circumvent the cuts, considering that many components of the system have clearly indefensible characteristics; the fact that the cut is expressed in the form of limitation of hiring in the face of the widespread data that sees the FFO primarily invested in salaries, even when this has grown (+50%) in the last 7 years at the Poli and extrapolating also elsewhere (but the equation "more funds = more quality, more efficiency"?? is therefore valid).

Faced with these perplexities that do not raise concern about the lack of an organic reform upstream of the decision taken by the Government, the reaction of Svolta Studenti is meritocratic!It must be because this is the line of development undertaken by our university, already at the top of the Italian university, ambitious to place itself among the best European technical schools, rather than alongside a troublesome Italic bottom.

We have therefore proposed a provocation to the students of the Politecnico di Milano with our manifesto, WE WANT A MERITOCRATIC UNIVERSITY: which promotes the recognition of the merit of students in the university and in the world of work; which rewards the best teachers and the best research; that it is evaluated on the basis of its efficiency and the quality of the services offered; that guarantees the same services to deserving students regardless of social origin. [see by the way our meritocracy group on Facebook].

In this perspective, we appreciate the positive reaction of our university in the lines of development for the next difficult two years, in particular for what the Rector has called "Merit Project" which will make transparent the publication [not in aggregate form] of the evaluation of teaching as an index of the merit of each teacher as well as will ensure the quality of the recruitment of new staff.

The occasion therefore seems valid to us to ask the Academic Senate and in particular the Rector to make an injection of merit into the system.

Internally, in the terms that he specified in the "merit project", then promoting the quantification and recognition of merit (which is the essence of a meritocratic system) and redistributing resources according to parameters that take into account quality.

This injection of merit should finally take place in society, taking the opportunity of the inauguration of the academic year, showing the data that differentiate the Politecnico di Milano among the Italian universities and asking that the funding be redistributed in order to the efficiency and quality of the universities.