"Celebrity Degrees" no longer available from Italian universities

August 7, 2007


Italy'
s universities will no longer grant honorary degrees, by government order. It is believed that the tradition undermines the "prestige" of the university system. The decision was made after such a degree was offered to a businesswoman and former medal-winning equestrian, despite objections from the Minister of Higher Education. Recently many honorary degrees have been offered to Italians, such as a champion motorcycle racer, who are thought to have "debatable academic achievements." The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)