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Students stand up to defend their Nautical Engineering course in La Spezia


nautical engineeringDue to cuts previewed to public expenses by the government, including the cut of the turn over for university teachers, the faculty of Nautical Engineering in the Polo Marconi (La Spezia) may not be able to survive. The department was born in 1992 thanks to Dino Nascetti, former admiral and engineer, and it might soon be forced to close its doors, just like other similar departments in Genoa, Naples, and Trieste. In those universities, about fifteen professors will likely retire in three years, and, as the cut previews that only one incoming professor should replace five outgoing professors, the courses might not have enough teachers to keep their academic activity at normal standards. The whole educational offer in the nautical field is threatened by the cuts, which seem to be a very unwise decision, considering that the Italian nautical expertise and industry is a key exportation element for the economy of the county.
An assembly held at Polo Marconi outlined how this course is a unique educational reality in Italy and in Europe, with the highest occupational rate soon after the diploma (last data talk about 83% of alumni finding a job less than a year after getting a degree).  The universities, together with related companies such as Fincantieri, are planning on events and campaigns to make the government aware of the risks cuts may lead to. A national event, in particular, has been planned for the month of June (probably on the 17th), to get in touch with the Ministries of the Economic Developpement, of Defense and of Transports. During the meeting, the effects of the cuts will be explained, strategies suggested, and leading companies in the Italian nautical industry will provide their insights upon the matter.
Among the suggested strategies will be the inclusion of the Polo Marconi in the structures recognized by Miur, so that it will be allowed to gather specific founding offered to the University of Genoa.
The assignation of resources for additional teaching positions will also be proposed for the courses on Nautical and Naval Engineering in all Italy. Finally, the creation of a dedicated Foundation to support those university courses will be discussed, so that also private entities may be able to contribute to the excellent didactic offer, as it already happens in many foreign countries. Professor Podenzana also said there is a parallel project by Promostudi, which will be hiring researchers with the aid of the University of Genoa. Meanwhile in Verona, the national assembly of students officially asked for the elimination of the cuts to turnover.