There are people who take advantage of this system of course, but it's worth it anyway.
Oh, by the way, there are private universities in Italy, but they're not better than the public ones.
If you have more question don't be afraid to ask.
EDIT I forgot: Sant'Anna University and the "Scuola Normale Superiore" (two well-known universities) are public (funded and owned by the Government) but they're not open to everyone, they have admission test to see your predisposition. Anyone can try it though, even if you weren't good at high school. They're only two anyway... Is it like this in you country or you have to keep a certain average of grade during high school, like in the United States?
Some professors may allow you to try again only the oral test, but they're very few. There's not a limit of times for you to take an exam.
So, that's the thing.
I must say, anyway, that the students who are 28 years old (so said the politician) and didn't get a degree yet are not the ones who refuse the grade in order to raise it. They are the ones I wrote about at the beginning.
People who refuse grades to raise them don't want to continue to study after the first degree, so they care about their final degree grade, therefore they have to keep an high average of grades. There are a lor of graduated people, you have to be competitive because a lor of employers here care more about your curriculum than about the skill you can show during an interview or your real competence.
There are also people who just want to raise their grades because they're insicure and find their satisfaction in how they're judged. That's sad but they're not just a few.
in my country and also in many Asian countries, good universities are not open for everyone
Here universities are public and everyone has the right to reach the highest education. Schools fees are proportional to your income and students with the lowest income (not poor, just a low income) can study, eat and have a place to stay for free, but they have to keep a certain average of grades or completing a certain number of exams a year, I don't remember. For this I am proud of my Country, because imagine for example to be someone who wasn't motivated in high school because he was still immature or because he wasn't comfortable with the school environment or because he had health problems, it doesn't matter, you can grow up and fulfill your ambition to study and in a good university nevertheless.
From half February to the end of May we have the lessons of the second semester. In Jenuary, the first half of February, in June, July and the first half of September we have what is called an appello. I can't find an exact translation, it's a period (a month, a couple of week) in which professors schedule their exams. Our grade is based entirely on some tests taken during the appello, we don't have assignments during the year or something like that. There are always a written test and an oral one. I study computer science so we often have also a project or a lab test, everything in the appello. Some professors allow you to take, for example, the lab test in Jenuary, then the written one in February and the oral at June, to help you, but they're not the most. Often if you have to take in this order lab, written and oral and you fail the written one, for example, you have to start again in another appello from the lab.
Anyway, let's say you take a class in the first semester, then you can decide in which appello you want to take the relative exam, the tests. You can do it whenever you want. You can also take an exam without taking the class, you don't have to attend a class if you don't want to, if you study better by yourself without the lectures, if you work or whatever; there isn't any obligation.
So, if you have to do only written and oral, for example, if you take the written test and you get a negative grade, you take it again in another appello. If you take the written test and get a positive grade, you can do the oral part or decide to try another written test in another appello to raise your grade. If you reach the oral test and you take a negative grade you have to start from the written part in another appello; if you're not satisfied with your grade you can refuse it and try all over again. [Continues...]
It's not rude at all, don't worry!
The politician you mentioned was Michel Martone, the deputy minister of work and social politics. That was a pretty rude way to say that not everyone should get a degree, you can also attend to a techical institute. He probably wanted to remember this concept because there are a lot of young people who enroll at the university without having a real interest in the studies. They want to enjoy themselves, be still economically dependent by their parents while experiencing life away from them. There's also another kind of problematic student: the one who is not really motivated or "gifted" or again interested in studiying, but he feels he have to get a degree to be appreciated and successful in the future. You see, our parents' generation instilled in us the idea that there's no work around, that if you don't have a degree you won't get a job. That's not true. I see the adults who say that complaining without making any real effort to find a job. They just wait to hear of some vacancy, they hope to be recommended by someone to an employer, they don't look neither near their town, they give up, they complain. So most of the young people feels like they have to get a degree to find a job and at the same time, another problem, they feel like they should, because learning a profession seems to be too "low" for them.
I have to correct you here: some of them drop a class even if they passed it because they could not get their ideal score so they just take the same class again; You don't drop a class and take it again if you're not satisfied with your grade; you "refuse the grade" and take the exam again. To make you understand this, I have to explain how our system works. From half September to Christmas we have the lessons of the first semester. [I have to continue in another comment, I wrote too much for Italki]
Thank you for the extensive information about the subject.
I wonder how the equal "opportunity" of higher education comes to give them the feeling of entitlement. i.e. looking down on people in the service industry etc. Is it because non white-collar workers tend to earn less? Does that mean Italian society is more equal than ever before and the class difference does not affect as much when it comes to education?
You mentioned the advantage of Italian universities accepting all students who wish to continue their education and the public aids for students. For a humanitarian perspective, it's really great. Everyone has the right to better themselves via education. But I don't know...too many second chances can make people lazy and spoiled lol. (well, better than receiving no chance, I guess.)
By the way, I also hear that trade schools are now full of bad students with no interest in learning skills, although it was used to be for sons and daughters of proud artisans before.
Do you feel there is an increasing number of "lazy" students all over in Italy? Like a trend? Or there has been those people always?