Doctoral Education in Planning and Urban Studies in Italy: what is it really for? Introduction and Editorial note.

Enzo Falco, Alessandro Rinaldi


Data show the reduction of academic positions in Italy and invite to reconsider the role of PhD education and training as the highest level of university education. In fact, although PhDs seem to have a little advantage over Master’s level graduates in the job market, only about 10% find a job at universities. This suggests that changes in PhD programmes might be needed to match students’ needs and job market requirements. However, the opposite is also true with employers, either in the public or private sector, who should try to absorb more PhDs and use their skills and expertise.

The aim of this special issue is to analyse PhD education in Italy with a focus on planning and urban studies programmes by emphasising the perspectives of PhD candidates and freshly awarded Doctors since they are generally neglected in reform processes.

All authors who contributed to this special issue reflected on the same aim of the paper stressing different implications and perspectives. The topics investigated are: matching between students’ expectations and institutional goals, the international mobility of PhD candidates, experiences of international PhD students in Italy, and the evolution of two of the oldest PhD programmes in planning in Italy at Sapienza, Rome and Iuav, Venice.


Italian Planning; Italy; PhD education; Doctoral education; Doctorate; Higher education; Italian PhD students; Urban Studies

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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