Exploring Curricular Internships in Italy: Towards Entrepreneurial Universities

  •  Maddalena della Volpe    
  •  Alfonso Siano    
  •  Agostino Vollero    
  •  Francesca Esposito    


This paper presents a database of the curricular internships offered by all Italian universities in different Courses of Studies (CoS), in the light of the challenge faced by university managers in shifting their institutions to a more entrepreneurial mode within a “triple helix approach” that highlights the relation between universities, government and enterprises. We built our database considering University Credits (UCs) attributed during the academic year 2014/15, consulting the websites of the Italian Ministry of Education and the official websites of 91 Italian universities. Although 3139 out of 4428 CoS (70.89%) offer curricular internships, these learning experiences in most scientific areas have a minor role in learning paths. These results also highlight the general sense of mistrust Italian universities place in the entrepreneurial world. The paper should enable university managers and policy makers to evaluate the activities carried out during curricular internships in Italy. The paper also provides useful insights to redefine the CoS offer in Italy. Data could be collected and updated yearly in order to monitor how the scenario is evolving. This paper contends that internships should be placed within the teaching mission in order to have an impact on entrepreneurship.

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