PON (National Operational Program): New Opportunities to go abroad for Italian Students

PON (NOP in English) is the National Operational Program managed by MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research) which for the seven-year 2014-2020 period has made available to schools of all levels and types present in the Italian territory a budget of over 2.9 billion euros in order to carry out infrastructural interventions through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and encourage training actions aimed at students and school staff through the European Social Fund (ESF ).


The direct recipients of the PON are:

• Students from kindergarten to high school

• Teachers

• School staff

• Adults

• Officials and management

The PON is divided into 4 axes each with its own specific objectives:

Axis I – Education: improve the quality of the Italian education system

  • Axis II – Infrastructure for education: requalification of existing infrastructures and technological equipment, laboratories and learning classrooms
  • Axis III – Institutional and administrative capacity: governance improvement in the education sector
  • Axis IV – Technical assistance: efficiency in the management of funds

Axis 1 – Education aims to improve the quality of the education system and promote the raising and the adaptation of skills, promoting greater participation in training courses and lifelong learning processes, offering Italian students the opportunity to improve their linguistic and professional skills in Foreign Institutions. It’s precisely in this area that around € 1.75 billion have been invetsed, or 61.3% of the total budget.

Particular attention was given to internationalization with the announcement “European Citizenship” – 1st edition and “Alternanza Scuola Lavoro” – 1st and 2nd edition – which provide for the realization of educational experiences abroad.

The European Citizenship Announcement at a time when the European project is subjected to great political, economic and social challenges, aims to contribute to the knowledge that students  have of the European Union, to allow them to take part in the debate with awareness and provide the opportunity to build the future in which they want to live. The beneficiaries are students aged between 16 and 19 who attend the III, IV and V years of high school.

Among the various measures envisaged by the aforementioned announcement, for the Transnational Mobility, 49 million euros have been allocated out of the more than 101 million planned for the entire notice.

The 1st edition of the announcement Alternanza Scuola Lavoro which provides for the development of courses aimed at students attending the third, fourth and fifth year of secondary school, as well as students of Higher Technical Institutes – has seen 1,845 nominations and funding of more than 103 million euros; of which almost 22 million euros for transnational mobility actions for high schools and more than 35 million euros for transnational mobility actions for technical and professional institutes.

Given the great interest that the Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro projects have aroused in the school world, a second edition of the ASL has been planned with around 50 million allocated for mobility abroad. New opportunities to improve students’ skills, new possibilities for their future.

If you want to know more about PON, you can attend the ETN Focus in Naples, 5-6 March.

Here’s the link with all the info: PON, INPSIEME e ITACA Focus

Happy group of students studying in London
Alessandra Martinelli
About the Author
Alessandra Martinelli - Head of International Relations ETN FOCUS

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