The chances of a young academic becoming a lecturer in an Italian university are extremely slim, according to figures published in the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, based on information from the Italian ministry of education updated to 1 January 2007. Of 18,651 university lecturers in the country, only 9 (0.05 per cent) are under 35, whereas 5,647 (30.3 per cent) are over 65.

Comparable figures from other countries are as follows: under-35s, United States 7.3 per cent, France 11.6 per cent, UK 16 per cent: and over-65s, United States 5.4 per cent, France 1.3 per cent, UK one per cent.