Italy’s not fit for purpose education system

Lettori representatives at the European Parliament

 Every Italian prime minister for the past 30 years, from Carlo Ciampi’s administration up to the present government led by Giorgia Meloni has been told by the European Commission to intervene and bring an end to one of Italy’s most egregious scandals -- ongoing legally proven illegitimate discrimination based on nationality against non-Italian lecturers, called lettori, in its universities. None of them have listened.

 A Stanford University PH.D, accrued copious empirical evidence on Italy’s baronial universities, termed “ the Resistant Guild,” finding “institutional patterns of behaviour working against the goals of EU integration.”

  Yet not even Italy’s most prominent Europhiles Mario Monti, Romano Prodi or Mario Draghi, all of them academics, two of them former European Commissioners and the latter a former European Central Bank president, were willing or able to do anything against what former Senate speaker Marcello Pera described as “a political class that is irresponsible, guilty, short-sighted, homicidal and suicidal.”

 Pera added that “the net losers are the talented Italian students who are obliged to flee the country to study and work; the less fortunate ones stay despite having no realistic possibility of acquiring from an Italian university the skills that would render them employable.”

 Italy is under caution from the European Commission, that reserves the option to take Italy before the Court of Justice of the European Union if it does not pay the lettori what is owed them in unpaid wages and pension contributions, by March 26, in line with one of six previous Court rulings in their favour.

 Leaving aside the threat from Brussels, Ms Meloni faces the far more challenging task of facing down and dismantling Italy’s not fit for purpose higher education system, which thwarts freedom of movement and contributes to the much-lamented brain drain that forces thousands of young, talented Italians out of their own country.