Italian jobs favour foreign professors

May 17, 1996

The article by Dr Davies on Italian universities (THES, April 26) raises some well-taken points, which are being widely discussed in Italy.

However it contains a very serious imprecision, which I would like to correct.

Foreign (including United Kingdom) professors have exactly the same rights as the Italian ones (salary, workload and tenure, etc.). Actually, a foreigner may have a somewhat easier access to full-time positions provided a faculty wants to hire him.

The lettori or, as Dr Davies calls them with a decidedly misleading word, "lecturers" have not the status of university professor.

They are hired on a part-time basis to teach the language, and hence they have to be foreign-born, as a support to official courses in Lingua e Letteratura, which may be imparted by an Italian or by a foreigner.

I am pretty sure that Dr Davies knows the differences very well.

GIOVANNI FEDERICO Universita di Pisa

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