Italy to ditch European degree in overhaul

February 14, 2003

Italian education minister Letizia Moratti plans to abandon the recently introduced three-plus-two-year degree, based on the "European degree" structure to which much of Europe is committed under the Bologna Process.

She wants to introduce a common curriculum for first-year students who would then choose, or be chosen for, a programme of either a further two years or a further four years in two two-year stages.

The reform was drawn up by a committee of 13 "wise men" appointed by Ms Moratti and headed by the rector of one of Italy's few private universities.

Ms Moratti also plans to replace the automatic job-for-life for lecturers in state universities with three-year contracts. Academics would be eligible for lifelong tenure only after their second contract. There would also be an increase in their workload.

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