International Education Day 2024

 Image of a group of students

The right to education

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 is expressly dedicated to the right to education and provides:

  • every individual has the right to education. Education must be free at least for the elementary and basic classes. Elementary education must be compulsory. Technical and professional education must be made accessible to all and higher education must be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit
  • education must be aimed at the full development of the human personality and at strengthening respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It must promote understanding, tolerance, friendship between all nations, racial and religious groups, and must promote the work of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace
  • parents have priority rights in choosing the type of education to give to their children.
Italian constitution

The Italian Constitution already contemplated this right in article 34, which establishes:

“The school is open to everyone. Lower education, taught for at least eight years, is compulsory and free. The capable and deserving, even if without means, have the right to reach the highest levels of education. The Republic makes this right effective with scholarships, family allowances and other benefits, which must be awarded through competition."

Agenda 2030 and education

The United Nations 2030 Agenda has defined a central role for education, dedicating an entire Sustainable Development Goal - SDG 4 - to guaranteeing quality, equitable and inclusive education. This objective has fundamental relevance, given its connections, direct or indirect, with all the other Sustainability Goals. A good level of education is in fact associated with greater well-being, as well as greater social integration. This is not an issue that only concerns countries in disadvantaged areas of the world: it may seem impossible but Italy also has areas where education does not meet these criteria.

Between 2010 and 2022, SDG 4 improved, in fact the number of graduates increased and the number of people leaving the education system early decreased, but inequalities between Italian regions also grew.

Educational level

According to the 2023 Asvis report, in Italy in recent years, the gaps between those who are familiar with the culture and those who are far from it have increased, a trend confirmed for all levels of education. For example, 11.5% of boys and girls between 18 and 24 years old have left the education or training system with a maximum middle school diploma, without further educational qualifications or professional qualifications, compared to a European average of 9.6%.

This phenomenon involves boys (13.6%) more than girls (9.1%), and especially foreign citizens (36.5%). Even if these percentages are decreasing both at a European level and in our country, in Italy there remain profound differences at a territorial level: the regions of the South have an average abandonment rate of 15.1%, compared to 8.2% in the Center and 9.9% in the North.

Level of knowledge and continuous training

Together with the "explicit dispersion", however, we must take into account the "implicit" one, which corresponds to the inadequacy of knowledge possessed by students at the end of the study cycle: the OECD's international surveys, relating to fifteen-year-olds, show a Italy's constant lag in reading comprehension, mathematical and scientific skills compared to other advanced countries.

Continuous training throughout life also represents a weak point in the Italian training system, both due to its episodic nature and its dubious quality: in 2022, continuous training involved 9.6% of the reference population and slightly less half of people aged 16-74 have at least basic digital skills.

Objectives of the 2024 Day

The day established by the United Nations aims to mobilize member states to keep education at the top of the political agenda.

Specific objectives of the Day 2024
  • generate visibility locally and globally on the importance of education in strengthening and sustaining peace 
  • support higher levels of national and international funding for education in general, and in particular to foster peace education, especially through innovative pathways and partnerships 
  • highlight and celebrate the peacemaking role of young people and educators 
  • provide a platform to discuss priorities and challenges for peace education in contexts of crisis and protracted global conflict 
  • raise awareness of effective approaches to peace education and mobilize commitment to their implementation.

Intesa Sanpaolo's commitment

In Intesa Sanpaolo we are convinced that investing in education means investing in people and the new generations.

This is why we have been committed to supporting SDG 4 "Quality education" for years.

The commitment was also renewed with the 2022-2025 Business Plan with an Educational Inclusion Programme, which aims to involve more than 4,000 schools and universities in inclusive education programs, and with youth employability programs for over 3,000 young people.

The Educational Inclusion Program will stimulate the active participation of young people in social and economic life and will contribute to strengthening the social impact of the Bank.

Prevention of childhood problems and promotion of active citizenship

We want to help young people to be citizens capable of taking an active role in the current social context, of knowing how to understand it in order to choose and decide the direction to take in the present for their future, without discrimination.

For example, this commitment includes:

Webecome project – educational proposal for the inclusive education of children. It is designed for primary school children but is aimed at the entire educational community, i.e. teachers, school managers, parents and all those who care about the prevention and intervention on the phenomena of discomfort and fragility in early school age. This area also includes peace education, the theme of the 2024 International Day, through education on conflict management (e.g. combating bullying, civic education). 

Z-lab: a path in which students from the 3rd to the 5th year of high schools and technical institutes experience today's work and prepare for the future.

School4life: a project promoted by ELIS in collaboration with 11 large companies, including Intesa Sanpaolo, which includes orientation activities aimed at young people at risk of dropping out of school and initiatives to support families and teachers.

Financial education: initiatives and workshops offered by the Savings Museum, our phygital museum dedicated to financial education, to support the spread of financial culture and literacy to young generations and adults

Educazione finanziaria: iniziative e laboratori offerti dal Museo del Risparmio, il nostro museo phygital dedicato all’educazione finanziaria, per sostenere la diffusione della cultura e dell'alfabetizzazione finanziaria verso le giovani generazioni e gli adulti 

Image of young girls who is studying with the help of her mother
Support for inclusion and orientation against school dropouts and in favor of employability

This line of activity takes the form of partnerships with the main Italian universities for study support and credit.

For study support we collaborate in various capacities with over 60 Italian universities, with initiatives also aimed at student employability. Some examples:

The Generation4Universities program with Generation Italy Mckinsey & Company, a 6-month acceleration path for entry into the world of work for students in their final year of a Master's degree who stand out for their results, but who are limited by the elements of the context in which they live.

The Start Cup Bergamo 2023 project, in collaboration with the University of Bergamo, with the aim of connecting academic training and entrepreneurship to provide support to students interested in starting a business.

Ideas2Grow – Agritech Edition, an initiative created in collaboration with Talent Garden, which aims to encourage employment through self-entrepreneurship. A free Agritech Master's degree, dedicated to under 34s (students or undergraduates in Agricultural, Forestry, Environmental Sciences, etc.) with an innovative business idea in the agritech sector, to acquire all the tools essential for launching their own business.

Look4thefuture - Social Intelligence Edition is an initiative to combat educational poverty and the NEET phenomenon. Made in collaboration with Talent Garden. It provides a free course in Social Media Management for a selected group of young people, high school or university graduates, between 18 and 34 years old.

Giovani e Lavoro, the initiative born in 2019 in partnership with the Generation Italy foundation - McKinsey & Company - which brings young people closer to the world of work by offering free training courses to help them acquire the skills most requested by companies in the Hi-Tech sectors , precision mechanical industry, sales, hotel and restaurant industry.

For study credit among the Intesa Sanpaolo loans, supported by the Impact Fund created by the Group to promote credit inclusion, there is the "Per Merito" loan which promotes the educational emancipation of post-diploma students. “Per Merito” has supported over 12,000 students since 2019, of which approximately 3,000 would not have completed their studies without the loan and another 800 would have had to modify it; it is possible to estimate that achieving the degree will produce on average 3-4,000 euros/year of additional income per student.

Enhancement of talent and research

Con il sostegno alla ricerca e la valorizzazione del talento intendiamo contribuire allo sviluppo delle competenze necessarie all’innovazione per lo sviluppo economico e sociale del Paese.

Il nostro impegno per il sostegno alla ricerca e per la valorizzazione del talento si concretizza con la promozione di partnership e di iniziative mirate ad accompagnare gli studenti meritevoli verso il mondo del lavoro.  

Tra i principali progetti:

Intesa Sanpaolo e Fondazione ADAPT insieme per "Skill Alliance”. L’apprendistato di alta formazione per il conseguimento del diploma ITS: dati, esperienze, prospettive" esplora le connessioni virtuose esistenti tra gli Istituti Tecnologici Superiori (ITS) e l’apprendistato di alta formazione. 

Un laboratorio per studiare la rigenerazione urbana sostenibile: Il corso Economics of sustainable urban regeneration organizzato dal Dipartimento di Social and Political Sciences dell'Università Bocconi, nell’ambito del Research Lab in Sustainable Urban Regeneration istituito con il sostegno di Intesa Sanpaolo insieme a Hines, Milanosesto S.P.A. e Prelios. 


By supporting research and valorising talent, we intend to contribute to the development of the skills necessary for innovation for the economic and social development of the country.

Our commitment to supporting research and valorising talent materializes with the promotion of partnerships and initiatives aimed at accompanying deserving students towards the world of work.

Among the main projects:

Intesa Sanpaolo and the ADAPT Foundation together for "Skill Alliance". The high-level training apprenticeship for obtaining the ITS diploma: data, experiences, perspectives" explores the virtuous connections existing between Higher Technological Institutes (ITS) and high-level apprenticeships training.

A laboratory to study sustainable urban regeneration: The Economics of sustainable urban regeneration course organized by the Department of Social and Political Sciences of Bocconi University, as part of the Research Lab in Sustainable Urban Regeneration established with the support of Intesa Sanpaolo together with Hines, Milanosesto S.P.A. and Prelios.

Support for education from the Charity Fund

Immagine supporto scolastico

The Intesa Sanpaolo Charity Fund has always dedicated part of its resources to supporting projects aimed at promoting access to quality education for all, encouraging the overcoming of linguistic, cultural and socio-economic factors that can slow down and, in many cases, prevent growth paths inside and outside of school. Among the intervention lines identified in the 2023-2024 Guidelines, two focuses specifically insist in this direction: focus 2 "Fight against educational poverty and the digital divide" and focus 3 "Support for NEETs and ELETs" which were destined, in 2023 alone, over 3 million euro. The supported projects affect the entire school cycle; particular attention is paid to pupils with a migrant background, with special educational needs and to overcoming the gender gap. The identification and engagement phase of the beneficiaries is fundamental, which involves teachers, educators and other reference adults, with the aim of helping them in defining their life path, through (re)orientation, training and tutoring activities. At a geographical level, the interventions focus on peripheral areas and urban areas in which contexts of socio-economic marginalization are evident.

Most significant examples supported
  • “SALTO IN ALTO” by Adelante. In 8 target areas of the Veneto Region where a context of fragility with respect to social cohesion emerges, 1,000 young people between 11 and 17 years old, together with their families, are involved in the proposals activated in the educational hubs spread across the territory, encouraging educational continuity infra- outside school, accompanying and guiding in transitions of school grade and in any changes of address. Targeted work is also carried out on new disorders and neuropsychiatric pathologies which appear increasingly earlier.
  • “IN VIAGGIO VERSO IL FUTURO: new growth opportunities for young people in Palermo and Catanzaro” by L'Albero della Vita. Aimed at 600 minors aged 5-14 and their families and teachers, the project offers laboratory courses to enhance the soft skills of the teaching staff; socio-educational and conflict prevention classroom courses; individual and collective paths to strengthen parenting skills; strengthening family economics skills; high-density educational courses (extracurricular educational activities and recreational-educational outings to reduce/eliminate learning difficulties); debate experiences; “Viaggio in Prima Classe”, a journey to accompany people from nursery school to primary school; Workshop to strengthen STEM skills.
  • “Connessioni Educative” by ALPIM - Ligurian Association for minors. In Genoa, the project is dedicated to 250 students aged 14-19 and their teachers and takes the form of individual and small group educational coaching interventions aimed at improving the study method, for the strengthening of basic and transversal skills ; laboratory activities and virtual learning paths and online tutoring; reflection and storytelling workshops. The project also includes psychopedagogical consultancy interventions for individuals or groups of adult educators who share similar needs. 
  • “Vicini di banco” by Salesians for Social Affairs. In the cities of La Spezia, Piedimonte Matese (CE), Soverato (CZ), Modica (RG) and Casale Monferrato (AL), the project is aimed at 300 young people aged 9-14. Teachers, workers and educational workers are involved in training activities with the class group, extracurricular workshops, after-school activities. Experiential workshops are activated for families, operators and school staff for the classes taking part in the project, to strengthen the educational alliance as a preventive factor against school dropout.
  • PASPARTU': integrated actions to combat educational poverty in the territory of Acate” by South South International Cooperation. In Sicily, in the province of Ragusa, the following are activated for 230 minors aged 5-13: educational workshops to strengthen basic skills; an artistic-theatrical path created using the methods of social and interactive theatre; a psycho-social help desk; co-design and co-creation workshops; an Italian language literacy course and a computer literacy course; training interventions to support teachers, managers, educators and school-educational staff. 
  • “WE-NEET - Integrated program of social and work inclusion interventions in favor of NEET and ELET in the Municipalities of Pesaro and Pordenone” by Cooperativa Itaca – Social Cooperative Society for young people aged 15-29. The following will be activated: street education, the figure of the corridor educator at secondary schools and the opening of low-threshold territorial centers will be promoted. Training courses will be created for the two territorial multidisciplinary teams and for the reference adults; workshop initiatives that contribute to increasing the life skills, self-esteem and awareness of the abilities of the target children and of mentoring and orientation. Furthermore, a personalized program of counseling, coaching, professional training and internships will be managed.

Support for education through support for the Third Sector, the For Funding platform and the Formula program

Image educational support

For Funding is the Group's social crowdfunding platform aimed at Non-Profit Organizations that want to start a fundraising campaign to support their projects. On For Funding, every donation made is free for the donor and the beneficiary: every euro donated therefore reaches the project.

Intesa Sanpaolo has also activated the For Funding FORMULA Program dedicated to the specific needs of each regional territory in terms of environmental sustainability, social inclusion and access to the job market for people in difficulty. The territorial projects supported by Formula are chosen with the involvement of the bank's regional managements, assisted by the Cesvi Foundation, which supports Intesa Sanpaolo in identifying non-profit organizations of excellence at a local level and thus intercepting the opportunities with the greatest positive impact for the community.

Some projects

Ebla Fund for knowledge” of the Santagata Foundation to provide young students with the keys to knowledge aimed at enhancing the "cultural heritage" of their community in developing countries

StemDays – The Girls Camp” of the Human Plus Foundation to offer a unique experience of growth and training to today's teenagers, tomorrow's adults

World House: Young Peace Builders” of the Rondine Association is an educational-training-experiential path where young people learn to repair relationships destroyed by hatred perpetrated by war, to mend, where degenerated, the social fabric and develop a new peaceful coexistence with the "enemy".

Impact results of NPO funding for education

The funding to non-profit organizations made in the two-year period 2022-23 in the secondary education sector allows for the inclusion of 9,000 students, of which 1,700 are vulnerable and 500 NEET; other interventions were carried out in professional education (5000 courses, 22000 qualified people) and university education (over 1000 students and 120 researchers).