Degrees in English: the ball goes to the Constitutional Court

Yesterday morning the order No. 42/2015 was filed with which the Council of State, after having postponed the date last spring, ruled on the appeal of the Politecnico di Milano and the Ministry of Education, University and Research for the reform of the sentence of the T.A.R. Lombardia n.1348/2013, concerning the approval of the strategic lines of the university 2012-2014 approved by the Academic Senate, with which in fact the path of internationalization of the University was undertaken.

In particular, the order shows that the Politecnico di Milano, according to the CdS, acted legitimately and in compliance with the law. In fact, the law n.240 of 2010 (Gelmini law) in art. 2, paragraph 2, letter l), where universities are substantially granted the right to establish teachings, courses of study and forms of selection in a foreign language, according to the CdS, has a scope of system innovation of the principle expressed by art. 271 of Royal Decree no. 1592 of 1933, thus apparently absolving the Politecnico di Milano, contrary to the considerations on which the TAR had ruled.

But the game is not over. The Council of State now shifts its attention to the very constitutionality of the article of law referred to, effectively passing the ball to the Constitutional Court. As reported in the order, the question of the constitutional legitimacy of art. 2, paragraph 2, letter l) of Law no. 240 of 30 December 2010,"strengthening internationalization also through greater mobility of teachers and students, integrated study programs, inter-university cooperation initiatives for study and research activities and the activation, in the field of human, financial and instrumental resources available under current legislation, of teachings, courses of study and forms of selection carried out in a foreign language", with reference to Articles 3, 6, and 33 of the Constitution.

It will seem paradoxical, but now at risk are not only the degrees in English of the Politecnico di Milano but all the courses of study in foreign languages of the Italian university system.

The sentence is therefore suspended while waiting for the Consulta to express itself and tell us if in 2015 it is "constitutional" to teach in English or in a language other than Italian where a university, in an autonomous way legitimized by the Constitution, deems it necessary.

For now, however, everything will continue to take place in normality, students and teachers will be able to go on with lessons and exams in the tranquility, professionalism and dedication that has always characterized the animators of the Politecnico di Milano.

Finally, SvoltaStudenti would like to remind you that in the representative bodies where it is lucky enough to participate, both of the Polytechnic and in the national ones (CNSU), through the Unilab SvoltaStudenti network, it has always declared itself in favor of the internationalization strategy of the Politenico itself and of the university system in general. There have been many initiatives in this sense: from the firm conviction of the appeal to the Council of State, to the letter to Prime Minister Renzi, to move on to the questions presented to the CNSU to Ministers Carozza and Giannini, up to the parliamentary question at the Chamber of Deputies.

It has always done so and will not stop right now.