Promoting institution

eCampus Foundation for the university and the research

The context 

In a socio-economic system such as ours, characterised by a substantial instability and therefore increasingly distant from its balance point, instruction and education cannot represent an experience concluded once and for all, nor a static system simply based on a knowledge and competence transfer. 

The demand for instruction and education does not appear anymore as a simple lack to be filled, but as a discrepancy between the excess of circulating information and competence and the actual ability to acquire them personally in order to reach specific cognitive and practical objectives. The demand for instruction and education coming from the youth sector and from the adults who have decided to return to the instruction and education system, comes from the common perception (youth) and from the solid experience (adults) that work – intended as the expression of the active connection between the individual and the world – has undergone a paradigm shift. The professional profiles not only have multiplied but have also improved with increasing competencies of scientific-technological content, and of relational, gestional, cultural, quality and ethic content.

At the root of this transformation is the historical evolution of the science and technics statute: from the science for the knowledge, on which modernity is based, to the science in the making and the active science.

Currently, science has gotten out of the universities in order to enter the factories, and thanks to the new technologies, that are deeply affecting our lifestyles, it is rapidly spreading across the country. We are calling it a "knowledge society" in order to highlight the raw material out of which the economic, social, cultural, technological systems are made. But also because re-learning how world and society function has become an urgent necessity: once the information gathering on world and society has been completed and once all the information has been organized on the enormous databases, which currently at our disposal, it becomes necessary to move on to the research and to the processing of the sense of such information, of the meaning of such data, which could remain inert were they not turned into knowledge, were they not structured into experience.

Hence the importance that professional instruction and education, academic instruction and scientific-technical research have assumed not only in terms of employment and economy, but also, and more importantly, in terms of identity. Currently, the root of social distress, is no longer the lack of resources or means, but rather the lack of knowledge and competence.

Motivation and objectives

eCampus Foundation stems from an in-depht and responsible reading of such complexity, carried out by people who have commited themselves for years in terms of instruction, and who, over recent decades, have taken enormous responsibility in planning and promoting the development of the instruction and professional education system in Italy, mantaining a remarkable and aknowledged organisational and instructional experience.

In order to make available this knowledge and competences heritage, it has been decided the institution of a centre of initiative – non-profit-making and with solely cultural and public service purposes – so as to operate across the board in the instruction and professional education branch, with particular reference to the academic instruction and the scientific-technical research related to this very branch.

eCampus Foundation aims to give a qualified contribution to the educational and professional training system (in the broadest sense of the word and not only in its specific meaning as defined in the Moratti reform) in Italy, reserving particular attention to the local demand, to the professionalization of the curricula, and the improvement and advancement of the educational-learning systems, promoting basic research and applied research on learning ability, to the scientific, technological, organizational and didactic support provided by the authories and the institutions operating in the field.

In particular, as clarified in the statute, it shall accomplish the following institutional duties (art.3/3):

  • promoting the enstablishment ad development of the educational and cultural institutions;

  • promoting and supporting all the initiatives aiming to introduce into the secondary school and academic education system innovative experiences both in organizational and didactic terms (including distance learning and e-learning, on the basis of of the indications and the resolutions of the European Union);

  • encouraging research on the learning processes through the enstablishment of a research and documentation centre named ‘Centro ricerche sull’apprendimento’.

This is a service to the instruction which qualifies as a  provider of concrete solutions, connected to the authentic requirements manifested by the «economic, social, productive framework of the country»  (art.3/4), reversing the tendency to expand excessively the provision of education and vocational training in order to elaborate instead a suplly strictly connected to the actual demand of the youth, of the families, of the companies, of the public administration, of the educational institutions.

We believe in fact that the causes of academic failure and the low productivity of the education and vocational training in Italy, in comparison with the ones of the other European countries, is in the weakness of the connections with the other systems: economic-productive, administrative, scientific, social and cultural.

eCampus Foundation is intended as a promoting and facilitating exchange of effective relations among systems, people, institutions, social groups, providing anyone with practicable methodologies, advanced and yet field tested and consolidated by practice knowledge, didactic creativity and evaluative innovation, for the purpose of supporting the creation of intellectual, personal and collective capitals,  measurable quantitatively and qualitatively.

Structure and activities

The objectives of eCampus Foundation may appear to be excessively general. Actually, as a matter of fact, the project enstablishes highly operative and well-aimed structures and processes. 

Among the structures – in addition to those administrative and organizational provided for by the foundation – we must draw attention to:

  • the Learning Research Center, whose purpose is that of supporting scientifically and technically every instructive and educative initiative;

  • the Scientific Board, whose purpose is that of developing the service policies, monitoring the demand and evaluating and perfecting the supply;

  • the Documentation Center, where converges all the national and international scientific production (editorial and multimedia), that produced by the Foundation, one of the most important connecting platforms in this area.  

Among the processes we must draw attention to:

  • an open planning model, in order to answer to all the questions and demands coming from the field;

  • a flexible management model, hence the Foundation,  as such, can directly administer several projects, which can also be entrusted to partners and companies created for that specific purpose;

  • a marketing model, focused on the addressees, be they a natural person (students, researchers, in favour of whom scholarships have been enstablished) or juridical institutions; 

  • a horizontal organization model, with centralized structures, but also structures distributed throughout the territory, were they necessary in order to increase the efficiency of the service.

Instruction as a primary commitment 

eCampus Foundation, in the landscape of the italian no profit organizations dealing with culture and instruction, qualifies for having chosen a single object: instruction. A socially and economically complicated object, yet a nodal point for everyone.

It has become a commonplace to introduct the instruction whenever one of the major problems affects our society, much like those all over the world. Be it poverty, hunger, competitive markets, it all inevitably comes to instruction, resulting in the counter-intuitive effect of expanding (even deferring) the solution of such issues, in the belief that the learning and educational processes are supposed to be protracted to the greatest possible extent.

On the contrary, we believe that it is possible to reduce time and costs of this endevour, introducing into the instructional and educational systems both new and traditional methodologies and technologies, following a logic other than the dominant one: if instruction becomes a function of education, therefore assuming the individual (in all the concreteness of its identity and context of living) as the centre of its operability and reasearch: if, in other words, instruction shall pursue the aim to teach how to build and mantain interpersonal and productive relationships and to produce meaningful education,  exploitable on work and other socio-economic and socio-cultural relationships, the response speed to the current challenges will increase considerably.

What we need is to shift the main focus from the methodologies and technologies to the actual needs of the people. In such manner, we can detect the correct practices for the application of both to the fullest. Istruction is not the only learning mode. But it is a valuable instrument if we set ourselves the target of teaching and learning.

Another objective of eCampus foundation is that of teaching how to teach.