A new elite teaching and research institute in Tuscany has set out to revolutionise the country's rigid and unproductive system of PhD programmes while competing for academics and stu-dents from all over the world.
It already has 120 PhD students, 40 per cent of them non-Italians, and 100 teachers from across the globe. IMT, "Institutions, Markets, Technologies,"
is based in the medieval town of Lucca. It runs programmes in political and social sciences, economics, market regulations, biorobotics and industrial and computer technologies.
IMT is financed by the Lucca Province and a consortium of regional banks and companies. Its director, economist Fabio Pammolli, worked in a number of US Ivy League institutions after graduating from Pisa's Istituto Sant'Anna. He said that IMT was a centre of excellence operating in a global rather than Italian or European context.
"IMT unashamedly aims to train an elite who will go on to top jobs in national and international agencies or in the private sector. Today, this is almost totally lacking in Italy. We also believe it is essential to publish internationally, so what we produce is constantly evaluated,"
Professor Pammolli said.
All teaching is in English, apart from a few courses in Italian for foreign students who want to learn the language.