Last month, the Italian Parliament approved a debated reform proposed by the University and Research Minister Letizia Moratti that, among other measures, eliminates permanent contracts for all but professors, and establishes a national exam in order to qualify as a professor. The day the reform passed (October 25), more than 50,000 university members protested the move in Rome, worried that the new reform does not do nearly enough to remedy the academic system, and may, instead, make it even harder for scientists to get ahead.

Last week (November 1), universities made an appeal to the President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who has to sign all measures approved by the Parliament before they become law. Researchers and professors are currently also collecting signatures of people who oppose the reform, which they said they expect the president to sign any day. Proposed reforms also sparked a series of protests last...

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