BOLLETTINO '900 - Discussioni / B, maggio 1997             Successivo


(Domenico Pacitti e James Meikle, Guardian HES,
25 marzo 1997)

<<Italian universities face a European Union investigation
into the way they organise exchanges schemes, following
complaints from British students and academics.
Two Euro MPs are demanding action in response to allegations
that visitors to Italy experience poor teaching and indifference
from academics, overcrowded classrooms, poor accommodation
and expensive rents, and have to deal with "haphazard"
bureaucracy. One claimed the growing concern in the European
Parliament could lead to the blocking of EU grants which fund the
programmes, although some critics in British universities with
links in Italy blamed the nature of the country's higher education
system rather than the way partners operated the exchange
programmes. "A professor said that the Italian system was "rotten,
in need of revolutionising and recasting, shamelessly exploitative,
discriminatory and corrupt."
"Italian authorities insisted the experience of students on EU
programmes was "invariably" positive. Hugh McMahon, Labour
MEP [...], who has helped persuade both the Parliament and
Commission to investigate discrimination against foreign lecturers
in Italy, said he had "a growing dossier of complaints about
students' experiences." [...]
He is inviting exchange coordinators at British universities
to provide more information so he can press the European
Commission for a formal investigation. [...]
[continua McMahon:]
"The treatment of foreign students, especially over
accommodation, is scandalous and calls into question the
European bona fides of universities' administration." Several EP
members from various political parties are horrified at this
scandal, and there are now moves to block future EU financial
support for such programmes in Italy. [...]
Member states would be obliged to investigate
irregularities wherever they happened, but most complaints were
made about Italy. [...]
Another Euro MP, Royb Perry, Conservative [...] requested
that Madame Cresson begin an investigation late this year. He was
particularly concerned that European students were not
getting sufficient help because of the dismissal of foreign
language lecturers in Italian universities. [...]
"I have copies of written complaints form angry and
disappointed Austrian, Belgian, British, Dutch, French, German,
Norwegian and Spanish students to a number of Italian
universities on a whole range of matters", said David Petrie
[Committee for the Defence of Foreign Lecturers].
"Academic incompetence on the part of Italian professors, one of
the most recurrent themes, can be explained by the fact the Italian
system selects its teaching staff on the basis of recommendation
rather than one of honest merit." [...]
A professor responsible for exchanges at another British
university said no criticism made about standards in Italy
represented discrimination against Erasmus students, despite high
rents, unscrupulous landlords, poor administration of exchange
programmes, "poor to abysmal teaching" and a "both impersonal
and hostile" system. "Conditions were the same for all Italian
students. When they visited his university on exchanges the
generally feel they have arrived in some kind of educational
paradise -- where members of staff actually remember their names
and act on their behalf after one, not 10 visits." But most students
returning from a year in Italy "would not have missed it for the

Domenico Fiormonte
University of Edinburgh, Dept. of Italian
David Hume Tower, George Square
EH8 9JX -- United Kingdom

Fax: 131-650-6536
E-mail: itadfp@srv0.arts.ed.ac.uk

<<Non sap de dompnei pauc ni pro
qui del tot vol si donz aver>>


© Bollettino '900 - versione e-mail
Electronic Newsletter of '900 Italian Literature
DISCUSSIONI / B, maggio 1997. Anno III, 3.

Redazione: Vincenzo Bagnoli, Daniela Baroncini, Stefano Colangelo,
Eleonora Conti, Stefania Filippi, Anna Frabetti, Federico Pellizzi.

Dipartimento di Italianistica
dell'Universita' di Bologna,
Via Zamboni 32, 40126 Bologna, Italy,
Fax +39 051 2098555; tel. +39 051 2098595/334294.
Reg. Trib. di Bologna n. 6436 del 19 aprile 1995.
ISSN 1124-1578



Bollettino '900 - Electronic Newsletter of '900 Italian Literature - © 1995-1997