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University evaluation agency looks set for a shake-up

The Italian agency responsible for overseeing the quality of universities is looking for a new director, as the education ministry indicates it wants the body to significantly change its focus.

Anvur, the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes, has faced growing complaints from academia, where it is often perceived to have a very prescriptive approach to quality control. It now appears that the Italian research ministry MIUR has begun a process of reform of the agency.

Shortly after the agency launched an open call for its new director on 25 January, the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported on a document that it says is circulating among university rectors, in which Giuseppe Valditara, head of the department of higher education and research at MIUR, criticises Anvur’s current assessment procedures.

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