ITALY | Lucca Paper Educational District – Master Degree “Technology and production of paper and cardboard”

Lucca paper district plays a strategic role in the Italian national industry, with more than 100 companies and a strong connection with the territory, and with a strong commitment to the educational world.
During the last decades, thanks to the dedication, engagement and cooperation between the industrial sector, university, high technical institutes and Confindustria Toscana Nord – the local branch of the National Industry Association – they have been able to build an extraordinary technical education system. The general purpose is to train young people transmitting them technical knowledge and to attract and retain skilled young workers in the pulp and paper industry.
By building a structed educational system, that is organized through different levels, they work with the aim of transferring and increasing the professional skills and expertise of the young people, in order to help them obtaining high level competences that are valuable for the paper industry. These educational initiatives are part of a complex system, starting from the guidance seminars organized in the middle school, to technical high school courses specifically designed on pulp and paper industry needs, to the higher level of university education.

Brief description of the best practice:
Pisa University and FLAFR (Lucca Foundation of higher education and research) are the first Institutions to start a Master Degree in Italy thanks to their experience with the successful seventeen previous editions of the Master “Paper and Cardboard”.
Master Degree in “Technology and production of paper and cardboard” is a two year University course and it is articulated in different managing and engineering classes, all taught in English for national and international students by academic professors and professional managers.
The course is characterized by its innovative didactic structure, where university professors and industrial managers’ skills complement each other with the aim to provide a rigorous academic preparation, which can be immediately spent in the business world. The course arises from the needs expressed by the representatives of the paper and corrugated cardboard sectors with the aim to attract young skilled people. It is also obvious how specialized training can only be performed with a strong synergy among University, business world and territory.
The participation to the Master Degree is also a tool to retain young workers, giving them the possibility to attend to an advanced University course that allows to increase their technical capabilities.

Key stakeholders:
– Pulp and paper companies as main actor in defining and establishing the technical knowledge essential to the sector
– Universities as primary player in the transmission of the knowledge to the young students

Specific Benefits:
Master degree in “Technology and production of paper and cardboard” arises from the important Paper and Cardboard Industry, which needs engineers well educated in its specific subjects. Graduates in “Technology and Production of Paper and Cardboard” will have the chance to continue their studies in higher education as well as to pursue careers in the paper and paperboard industry, public and private research institutions and other industrial enterprises where the knowledge of processes, materials and the enabling technologies for Industry 4.0 and Circular Economy are specifically relevant.

Conditions for success:
– Companies involvement in terms of technical human resources, essential for structuring a specialist training program, and availability for carrying out workshops, lectures, internships, tutoring
– Strong relationship between University and companies
– Continuous updating of teaching modules
– Strong promotional activities to sponsor the initiative