Coronavirus: NUI Galway Erasmus students told to come home

Posted in Governance and administration on March 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway has warned its Erasmus students studying in Italy to immediately return to Ireland, amid fears of the rapid spread of Coronavirus in the country. One student, who has just returned from the University of Genoa, spoke of the sense of panic felt among Irish students in the affected region …” (more)

[Paddy Henry, Connacht Tribune, 6 March]

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Universities put Irish students in Italy on high alert as number of coronavirus cases there rockets

Posted in Governance and administration on February 26th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Irish students studying on Erasmus programmes in Italy have been put on alert by universities as the coronavirus continues to spread across Europe. Italy’s Civil Defence reported a surge in the number of confirmed cases of the virus, first reported in the northern parts of the country, but which has spread to southern parts in recent days …” (more)

[Conor McCrave,, 25 February]

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Academic Freedom at Risk in Italy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 30th, 2019 by steve

“Calls by Italy’s far-right governing party for a book about it to be removed from a university reading list have been met with limited resistance, Italian academics have warned, opening the door for further attacks on academic freedom in the future. Last month, a regional branch of the League, part of Italy’s governing coalition and currently the country’s most popular party, demanded the removal of La Lega di Salvini from the reading list of a course taught by a political science professor at the University of Bologna …” (more)

[David Matthews, Inside Higher Ed, 30 May]

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Generation Erasmus: ‘A very different view of Europe’

Posted in Life on April 1st, 2017 by steve

“One of the advantages of going on Erasmus is that you have flexibility in what you study – you can dabble in one or two things that aren’t necessarily related to your course …” (more)

[Mia Colleran, Irish Times, 30 March]

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Research quality assessment tools: Lessons from Italy

Posted in Research on July 29th, 2014 by steve

Italy“Assessing the quality of academic research is important – particularly in countries where universities receive most of their funding from the government. This column presents evidence from an Italian research assessment exercise …” (more)

[Graziella Bertocchi and others, vox, 28 July]

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Lettori dealt a blow by Brescia court

Posted in Legal issues on July 17th, 2013 by steve

Italy“The situation of the lettori – the British and other foreign lecturers working in Italian universities – has been dealt a blow by a new court ruling …” (more)

[Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 17 July]

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UK ‘may exclude’ Italy Erasmus students

Posted in Governance and administration on July 14th, 2013 by steve

EU“Britain could consider suspending the Erasmus scheme for Italy in retaliation for discrimination against UK lecturers, Minister for Europe David Lidington said Friday. In response to a formal question tabled at the House of Commons …” (more)

[The Italian Insider, 12 July]

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David Lidington, The Times, Italy’s discrimination breaches EU law and (is) wholly unacceptable

Posted in Legal issues on May 4th, 2013 by steve

Italy“UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington, wrote to me expressing his extreme disappointment at developments reported in The Times, 2 April 2013 ‘Pay cut in half for British lecturers in Italy’ …” (more)

[Association of Foreign Lecturers in Italy, 4 May]

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Top-level support for expat lecturers suffering discrimination in Italy

Posted in Governance and administration on April 14th, 2013 by steve

Italy“Two high-profile UK politicians have, this week, given their support to British lecturers at Italian universities who are complaining of poor pay and conditions …” (more)

[Elizabeth Roberts, Telegraph, 11 April]

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Higher education and restricted access

Posted in Legal issues on April 4th, 2013 by steve

EU“What kind of restrictions can higher education institutions permissibly impose on prospective students? Clearly academic achievement must be one. But is it permissible to combine academic achievement with an overall cap on the number of places available for a particular course? …” (more)

[11KBW Education Law Blog, 4 April]

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Italian seismologists appeal L’Aquila ruling

Posted in Legal issues on March 11th, 2013 by steve

Italy“Seven scientists, engineers and government officials who were found guilty of manslaughter after the 2009 earthquake in the city of L’Aquila, Italy, all filed their appeals against the verdict in time for a 6 March deadline …” (more)

[Davide Castelvecchi, Nature News Blog, 7 March]


Italy’s universities – the way out

Posted in Governance and administration on February 12th, 2013 by steve

Italy“Young Italians aren’t going to university like they used to. There are 58,000 fewer students pursuing degrees than ten years ago. This is a drop of 17% …” (more)

[euronews, 12 February]


Scientific Malpractice: A New Risk for Scientists?

Posted in Legal issues on January 23rd, 2013 by steve

Italy“The judge who last year convicted seven scientists and engineers of manslaughter – and sentenced them to 6 years in prison – for the advice they gave in advance of the 2009 Italian earthquake explained his verdict in a statement released last week …” (more)

[Science Careers Blog, 23 January]


Government ‘Exams’ for Italian Scientists Trigger Outcry

Posted in Research on December 14th, 2012 by steve

“An unprecedented government effort to shore up the quality of Italian science by reviewing the work of individual scientists and institutions has triggered a firestorm of protest …” (more)

[Laura Margottini, ScienceInsider, 13 December]

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Systematic Corruption Alleged Within Italian Research Ministry

Posted in Legal issues, Research on November 20th, 2012 by steve

“The Italian Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research plans to investigate claims that some of its officials have systematically assigned funding worth hundreds of millions of euros, part of it for research and innovation, in exchange for bribes …” (more)

[Edwin Cartlidge, ScienceInsider, 20 November]

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Teaching in English is not about politics but quality

Posted in Teaching on November 18th, 2012 by steve

“… The difference in reaction to the spread of teaching in English in Asia and in Italy is remarkable. In Asia there seems to be a more pragmatic approach to the issue …” (more)

[Hans de Wit, University World News, 18 November]

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Listing wildly

Posted in Research on November 8th, 2012 by steve

“Weary of cronyism, many in Italy welcomed a metrics-based research evaluation – until they saw the catalogue of approved publications, ‘crazy lists’ that ignored many journals in favour of provincial newspapers, religious circulars and yachting magazines …” (more)

[Massimo Mazzotti, Times Higher Education, 8 November]

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Science in the dock

Posted in Legal issues on October 26th, 2012 by steve

“… Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 for embracing Copernican views about the universe, Galileo, forced to recant and jailed for life a few years later. Generally speaking the Enlightenment put a stop to such practices. But now a court in Italy has sentenced six prominent seismologists and a former government official to jail for six years each, stripped them of civic rights, and made them personally liable for extensive damages claims by the victims of the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake …” (more)

[Irish Times, 26 October]

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Scientists found guilty for ‘causing’ earthquake deaths

Posted in Legal issues on October 24th, 2012 by steve

“… This case interests me, because it raises so many legal issues and social policy questions. I posted a link to the article on my Facebook account yesterday and immediately got a chain of outraged responses in support of the scientists. I’ve been working lately on the concepts of causation and remoteness in private law. The law has a concept that defendants should only be responsible for loss that they cause, generally in a ‘but for’ sense – i.e. ‘but for’ the defendant’s actions, would the plaintiff still have suffered the loss. Of course it gets more complex when you’ve got multiple sufficient causes …” (more)

[Skepticlawyer, 24 October]

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Italian scientists jailed for failing to warn of earthquake

Posted in Legal issues, Research on October 22nd, 2012 by steve

“Six Italian seismologists and a government official have each been sentenced to six years in jail by a court, for failing to warn the public about the prospect of a major earthquake which killed 309 people three years ago …” (more)

[, 22 October]

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