Mass: “The Medicine test can be tried by the fourth grade”

The long-awaited reform of the Medicine entrance test will take place. The Minister of University and Research, Maria Cristina Messa, is working to complete the last measures: “We are ready with the act that explains all the practical aspects”. To say so herself, during an interview with the Skuola.net site. Because, as the Minister points out, “a law is not needed. It is a decree that depends on the Ministry. I think I have time to do it ”. While admitting that, then, “every decree can be modified by the next government”.

“But what is the substance of what would represent an epochal change? “The idea – Mass continues – is to associate the test with orientation. To make a single path, through tests administered in the last years of school, several times, up to 4 attempts, to make the children understand if that is their way “. The aspiring white coats, once the various tests have been taken, will then be able to choose the one with the best score, which will go to
form the rankings.

This, in the plans of the Ministry, would make it possible to no longer have the “nightmare day” of the single test, “to give more chances, to get to know each other”. In addition, doing the test “you can understand your mistakes” several times. Maintaining, in parallel, “an adequate number of entrances”.
However, the Minister reassured, “even those who decide at the last minute will be able to continue to test access”.

Ahead of the reform, many students would also like to introduce quiz preparation courses within school curricula. Meanwhile, for what its competences are, the Ministry of the University has already activated: “Thanks to the universities, we have made available courses that can be attended both remotely and with a little frequency .. But , also thanks to the guidance funds made available by the PNRR, more can be done.
We will try to reach all the schools to talk to the students, not only to give information but above all to help them choose ”.

In the meantime, however, this year’s entrance tests are about to start: on 6 September we start with Medicine. Which will anticipate some innovations, such as a change in the questionnaires, with greater attention to the disciplinary subjects, which characterize the various degree courses and less weight for logic and general culture. This is because, according to the Minister, the latter “are such vast subjects that they can give rise to somewhat strange questions, those that the newspapers report the next day as impossible to solve. We wanted to give the children the opportunity to respond to what is present in the texts they are preparing on, without having to go to luck ”.

But the girls and boys want to know the fate of two other reforms in the pipeline for some time but still not fully completed: the possibility of enrolling in two degrees at the same time and the so-called “qualifying degrees”. In fact, a month ago the decrees were published that allow graduates in Psychology, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy to be equated with those of Medicine and Health Professions, or to be able to practice the profession immediately after obtaining the title, without going through the state exam, because the internship takes place during the years of the degree course and the state exam coincides with the degree exam. “They are both operational immediately, already from the academic year 202/2023. There are already the decrees ”, assures Messa.

The only step to verify, on the double degree front, is “double enrollment in two degree courses with national restricted access; just as there will be limitations as regards the compulsory attendance and the courses of the same degree class, which cannot be followed at the same time ”. As for the qualifying degrees, “the process starts already this year”. The real crucial step will be “bringing the qualifying internship into the degree course; for some paths, such as Dentistry or Veterinary it is simpler; as far as Psychology is concerned, for example, it is more complicated, since the internship is quite powerful here ”. It is better to inquire in the individual universities, which will have to physically deal with the implementation of the changes, to understand the state of the art.

Another topic of great interest, especially after the publication of the guidelines for the resumption of school activities, is that which concerns the restart of the academic year. How will university start again? Apparently, we are moving towards the confirmation of the line adopted since last year, leading to the abandonment of distance learning and the return of 100% live lessons: “We must do everything to get back in the presence – reiterates the Minister – go in attendance, get to know the classrooms, the other students, the teachers. This is the true experience of life ”. It being understood that the individual universities can count on a wide organizational autonomy: “From what I see, most of the universities are moving towards the abolition of the Dad”.

A reference to an always burning chapter is inevitable: the right to education. But, here too, the Minister opens to glimmers of optimism. So far, what is already active for the academic year 2022/2023, Mass reminds us, is “the increase in scholarships for the capable and deserving and for the deprived, which increases in size considerably especially for Offsite.

The other thing we are trying to increase as much as possible is the number of beds in the dorms. But for this it takes more time. We have one billion euros available from the PNRR. At the moment we have about 40 thousand beds. By the end of the year we will increase by 5-7 thousand units, primarily intended for the less well-off. With the aim of reaching 80-100 thousand by 2025. Much, however, will depend on the contribution of individuals ”.
Finally, an assessment of his government experience, which is about to end, is inevitable.

What is the Minister most proud of? “Having financed the university system in a progressive way. In budget law we have increased the fund that finances universities, up to 800 million more in the space of four years, which allows for more teachers, more researchers, better structures. Therefore a greater quality of the didactic model “.

But there is also a gripe: that of not having had the time to “break the pattern of university courses, reviewing the graduation classes; of a training that can no longer be done as fifty years ago, by disciplines, with very narrow stakes that clearly differentiate one discipline from another. Today we need to find a more transversal method, which allows you to move from one discipline to another in a simpler way. Students deserve it. Also because abroad they have already adapted ”.

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