EU-funded Recovery Plan – what’s in it for HEIs’ internationalisation?
Apparently, not much.
The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is part of the Next Generation EU (NGEU) programme, the 750 billion euro package, consisting of about half of grants, agreed by the European Union in response to the pandemic crisis.
The main component of the NGEU program is the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which has a duration of six years, from 2021 to 2026, and a total size of 672.5 billion euros (312,5 grants, the remaining 360 billion loans at preferential rates).
For Italy, the whole plan is worth € 222,1 billion.
The Plan is made of 6 missions, one of which (mission # 4) focuses on education, higher education, and university-led research.
“Education and Research” is worth a total of 31.9 billion euros (30.9 billion from the RRF Facility and 1 billion from the Fund) with the aim of strengthening the educational system, digital and technical-scientific skills, research and technology transfer.
That said, what’s in it for HEIs’ internationalisation?
Basically, only 3 items within the plan mention internationalisation:
1) Investment 3.1: New skills and new languages (p. 185)[…] The aim of this project is to implement capacity-building programmes in line with the socio-economic change. Actions will be implemented to promote multilingualism such as increasing language courses and activities, promoting the internationalisation of the school system through the international mobility of students and teachers (foreigners to Italy) and a digital system for the monitoring of language skills with the support of certification bodies.
The implementation of this investment will be managed by the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and INDIRE. For short and long-term mobility of students, the principle of complementarity provided for in the Erasmus+ Regulation will be applied.
3.1 is worth 1,1 € billion, but the mobility bit still has to be assigned, and probably it will not exceed 1 or 2 hundred million, admitted the measure will apply for tertiary education as well.
2) Investment 3.4: Teaching and advanced university skills (p. 186)
Implementation of 10 transnational educational initiatives – TNE – in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
3) Investment 3.4: Teaching and advanced university skills (p. 186)
Internationalization activities of Artistic and Musical Higher Education Institutions (AFAM) through support to 5 internationalization projects of AFAM institutions, to promote their role abroad in the conservation and promotion of Italian culture
Number (2) and number (3), together with the other 4 actions (6 overall), are assigned a budget of € 500 million. This means that each of the six actions will wight, on average, around € 83 million. In turn, each project will then be financed with resources in the range of 6 to 20 million