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PhD ping-pong

Image: Web Summit [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Constant rule changes around the creation of PhD courses are confusing universities and damaging Italy’s ability to attract the best talent, our correspondent Fabio Turone reports.

The rules for accreditation of new PhD courses in Italy have been changed—again, and again, on the fly. The Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (Anvur) modified the rules for the 2019-20 academic year, relaxing the criteria for members sitting on institutional doctoral committees, after the application process for committee members had already closed.

These doctoral committees play an important role in getting courses accredited, as their expertise and qualifications are central to the Italian research ministry’s decision-making.

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