The deck is short. The resources are lacking and there is a risk that – once again – the mountain gives birth to a mouse, or that the much-hyped promotion of merit through the distribution of a part of the so-called share of rewards, the Ordinary Fund (FFO) the best universities fades and remains as to the most deserving recognition and the only consolation is not subject to further cuts .

This is the situation that is emerging as the decree for the allocation of the share of the reward FFO passes the examination of the Conference of Rectors (CRUI) and the National University Council (CUN). In the absence of a significant increase in funds available to the Ministry of Education in fact grant more money as a prize to the best universities would impose drastic cuts to those who have excelled in school reports fewer the National Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research (ANVUR) .


At the base of it all is that – the failed attempt to reserve at least 41 million Euros to the best universities (left empty for an administrative technicality ) – the total amount of FFO is less than 5 per cent compared to 2012. This does not allow to reward excellence, unless you decide to paralyze universities that have achieved a rating worse, subjecting them to new draconian measures. In order to avoid the occurrence of this event, which would condemn many universities to close their doors, it was decided to introduce a safeguard clause that prohibits a cut of the fee payable to the fund each university more than 5 percent compared to the sums obtained by the ‘ previous year.

But it is precisely the introduction of this clause to stop the establishment of the new funding system based on competitiveness and enhance the quality of teaching and research. That being the case, in fact, the best universities can not receive resources-premium to compensate at least partially for the drastic reduction of funds suffered in recent years, but they will as the only consolation – who knows a little ‘joke – that of being safe from the ax of new cuts.

The funds that the Ministry of Education will be distributed among all state universities this year amounted to 819 million . Of these, according to the practice, 34 percent (about 278.5 million) will be allocated on the basis of results in education and the remaining 66 percent (540.5 million) on the basis of those obtained in the search. With regard to the distribution of the latter part of the resources, shall take into account of the famous – and disputed – ANVUR report cards , but also other parameters. And, just to protect those universities that have received the best ratings from the agency, the CUN has already asked that the weight given to these judgments is greater, while still waiting for the opinion of the CRUI .