President calls halt to university growth

October 6, 2006

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has criticised the proliferation of universities in the country.

As president of the republic, his role extends beyond that of a figurehead and he has important functions as supervisor of the political machine and defender of the Constitution, so his comments carry great weight.

Fabio Mussi, University Minister, concurred. "The President is perfectly right. In recent decades we have observed an unfettered proliferation of university locations, sometimes connected to the ambitions of local politicians.

"I have started to put a brake on this phenomenon, preventing the creation of new universities and new faculties for which no need exists."

The President's statement re-awakens criticism of the previous government, led by media mogul Silvio Berlusconi. In the past two years, the Government has granted recognition and university status to four institutions and ten virtual universities.

In some cases these establishments were connected to individuals close to the Government.

One glaring example is Ranieri University in Calabria. It was named after its rector, a local supporter of Mr Berlusconi's government.

Renato Guarini, rector of La Sapienza University, said: "These new universities lack adequate facilities and do no research. Therefore they cannot be called universities."

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns