Pisa. The Italian higher education ministry has finally responded to international concern over its handling of a Chilean-Canadian researcher's alleged maltreatment by the national exam board.
David Aliaga, an ethno-anthropologist, is claiming that a national commission used personal vendetta instead of merit as a criterion of evaluation in rejecting his candidacy for a doctorate degree after he had reported them to the ministry for failing to appear on the date originally set for his final examination.
But Remo Di Lisio, a senior official at the Rome ministry's doctorates department, said the examiner's rejection was based exclusively on technical criteria and that a banal academic issue was now being unreasonably inflated into a breach of human rights accusation.
He said the ministry had written to Unesco, to whom Mr Aliaga had appealed, denying discrimination.