Promoting institution

eCampus Foundation for University and Research

The context 

In the current socio-economic system, characterised by a substantial instability, instruction and education cannot represent an experience which must be be completed once and for all, nor a static system simply based on knowledge and competence transfer. 

The demand for instruction and education does not configure 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 personally acquire knowledge and skills in order to reach specific cognitive and practical objectives. The demand for instruction and education stemming from the youth sector and from adults who have decided to return to the instruction and education system, comes from common perception (youth) and from solid experience (adults) that work – intended as the expression of the active connection between the individual person 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.

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

As a matter of fact, science is increasingly disengaging from the universities in order to enter the factories, and thanks to the new technologies, it is rapidly spreading across the country, deeply affecting our lifestyles. We call 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 work 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 processing of the sense of such information, which could remain inert were said data not turned into knowledge, nor structured into experience.

Hence, the increased 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 identified in the lack of resources or means, but rather in the lack of knowledge and competence.

Motivations 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, maintaining a remarkable and acknowledged organisational and instructional experience.

In order to spread such a conspicuous heritage of knowledge and competences, it has been decided the establishment of a centre of initiative – non-profit-making and with solely cultural and public service purposes – so as to operate throughout the field of instruction and professional education branch in its entirety, with particular reference to academic instruction and scientific-technical research.

eCampus Foundation aims to provide 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, the Foundation shall accomplish the following institutional duties (art.3/3):

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

  • promoting and supporting all the initiatives aiming at introducing 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 establishment of a research and documentation centre named ‘Centro ricerche sull’apprendimento’.

Said service to the instruction 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 an educational offer strictly connected to the actual demand of youth, families, companies, public administrations, educational institutions.

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

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

Bodies and activities

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

Among the bodies – in addition to the administrative and organizational institutions estabished by the foundation – we must draw attention to:

  • tthe Learning Research Center, whose purpose is to scientifically and technically support educational and didactic activities;

  • the Scientific Board, whose purpose is to develop service policies, monitoring the demand and evaluating and updating the educational offer;

  • the Documentation Center, the nerve center of all the national and international scientific production (publishing and multimedia) developed 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, stands out among the other Italian non-profit organizations dealing with culture and instruction for having chosen a single objective: instruction. A socially and economically complicated purpose, yet a nodal point for everyone.

It has become a commonplace to resort to instruction whenever a major problem affects us both on a national and international scale. 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.

To sum up, the eCampus Foundation intends to teach the correct teaching method.