Italy approves protested university law

The legislation cuts the number of university courses and faculties and reduces funding for grants.

Italy approves protested university law

Italy's Senate on Thursday gave parliament's final approval to a university law, including funding cuts of at least 300 million euros in 2011, that has drawn large-scale student protests.

The Senate approved the law by 161 votes to 98 with the backing of Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right majority after two days of often heated debate.

The legislation cuts the number of university courses and faculties and reduces funding for grants. It sets time limits for research, increases the role of the private sector in university governance and limits the duration of rectorships.

Antonio Di Pietro, leader of the opposition Italy of Values party, said after the reform's approval that it "deregulates the right to study, which should be guaranteed for everyone," and was "yet another black page written by this government".

The government, under pressure to reduce public debt, says spending cuts are necessary but the reform will create a more merit-based system that is closer to employers' needs.

Student organisations vowed to continue to mobilise, saying the spending cuts will wreck Italy's already crumbling university system. They complain that the government has paid no attention to their protests.


Reuters

Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2010, 11:40
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