The fourth edition of Merit and Social Mobility at the Sant’Anna School in Pisa

(Adnkronos) – 2018 OECD data confirm that the conditions of the family of origin play an important role in education choices

Orientation: the fourth edition of Merit and Social Mobility is underway, the project of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa to accompany 360 male and female students from fragile contexts towards university choice

The new selection of MeMo – Merit and Social Mobility opens, the project of orientation and accompaniment towards the choice of university for students of merit, coming from fragile socio-economic contexts. The initiative is aimed at more than 360 young people attending the fourth year of upper secondary schools throughout Italy and is promoted by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa. The deadline for submitting an application to participate is Sunday 11 December 2022.

The project, whose activities take place during the 2022/2023 school year, provides for the accompaniment of 360 male and female students by male and female students of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – in collaboration with the Scuola Normale Superiore and with the Conference of University Colleges of Merit – towards the choice of university studies, through multiple channels and tools. Lectures, discussion meetings, round tables, test simulations for admission to university studies and personalized mentoring courses are some examples of the activities that characterize MeMo.

The program is free and also includes thematic moments of meeting and discussion of a residential nature lasting 2 days in Pisa in the spring and summer period of 2023. The entire course is based on an involvement between peers and a mutual exchange between students and secondary school students, university students and teachers. During these meetings, in addition to deepening the school subjects, there is a discussion of the tools and possibilities that university studies offer.

According to the OECD report (2018), male and female students whose parents have a low level of education have almost a 70% chance of having a low educational qualification, against an OECD average of 40%, and a less than 6% probability of having a higher educational qualification (OECD average 12%). Still, male and female students, whose parents instead have high educational qualifications, have about a 60% chance of maintaining high levels of education and 10% of having a lower educational qualification than their parents, in line with the OECD average. These data bear witness to a low mobility between generations, in educational terms, which can also translate into low mobility in economic and social terms: those at the bottom of the social ladder stay at the bottom and those at the top stay at the top, with an effect not only of “sticky” floor, but also of “sticky” ceiling.

If the conditions of origin therefore play an important role in the choices of education, work and life which influence also and above all in the phase of choice for the continuation of studies, with the risk of limiting the affirmation of the role of centrality of education and of university education, the objective of the Merit and Social Mobility project is to provide all the tools useful for continuing studies at university, once high school has ended. To give students the opportunity not only for personal growth, but also for their contribution to the development of the community and the country.

Attention to social mobility is an identifying element of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, which, in the Italian university system, has the role of guaranteeing excellent training for talented young people, regardless of their family and social background. For the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, merit and social mobility therefore represent a strategic priority for achieving its institutional mission.

Further information on the MeMo project – Merit and Social Mobility and methods of joining, for educational institutions, are available on

The fourth edition of Merit and Social Mobility at the Sant’Anna School in Pisa – Local Authorities Online is underway