Italian plan to offer distance learning

July 11, 2003

Italy is trying to catch up with other countries in the development of distance learning.

A committee of academics is to evaluate and, if suitable, authorise courses offered by state and private institutions under legislation introduced by the university ministry.

According to a ministry communique, "this will set Italy on par with the rest of Europe in the field of e-learning and bridge the gap that separates it in this sector from other countries".

But Alessandro Bianchi, rector of Reggio Calabria University, issued a cautionary note: "We appreciate an opening up of higher education in new directions. But the new legislation seems to suggest that a distance university can be set up simply with the approval of the committee, and without all the other controls to which traditional universities are subject.

"There is a risk that institutions will appear that have little in common with a traditional university, but with the authority to award a legally valid degree."

The committee is headed by former Bologna University rector Fabio Roversi Monaco and has 45 days to adjudicate on accreditation requests from state and non-state universities and institutions with authority to award academic titles.

One of the models studied by ministry officials in preparing the new legislation was the UK's Open University.

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.


Featured jobs