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University of Bologna
Università di Bologna
Seal of the University of Bologna.svg
Latin: Universitas Bononiensis
Motto Alma mater studiorum (Latin)
Motto in English Nourishing mother of the studies
Established 1088, 926 years ago
Type Public
Rector Ivano Dionigi
Academic staff 2,850
Students 82,363
Undergraduates 52,787
Postgraduates 29,576
Location Bologna, Italy
Campus Urban
Sports teams CUSB
Affiliations Coimbra Group, Utrecht Network
Website unibo.it

The University of Bologna (Italian: Università di Bologna, UNIBO) is a university in Bologna, Italy, founded in 1088.[1] As of 2013 the University's crest carries the motto Alma mater studiorum and the date A.D. 1088. The University has about 85,000 students in its 23 schools. It has branch centres in Imola, Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini and a branch center abroad in Buenos Aires. It also has a school of excellence named Collegio Superiore di Bologna. It is recognised as the oldest university in continuous operation, considering that it was the first to use the term universitas for the corporations of students and masters which came to define the institution.


The entry of some students in the Natio Germanica Bononiae, the nation of German students at Bologna; miniature of 1497.

The date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088.[1] The university received a charter from Frederick I Barbarossa in 1158, but in the 19th century, a committee of historians led by Giosuè Carducci traced the founding of the University back to 1088, which would make it the oldest continuously-operating university in the world.[2][3][4]

The University arose around mutual aid societies of foreign students called "nations" (as they were grouped by nationality) for protection against city laws which imposed collective punishment on foreigners for the crimes and debts of their countrymen. These students then hired scholars from the city to teach them. In time the various "nations" decided to form a larger association, or universitas—thus, the university. The university grew to have a strong position of collective bargaining with the city, since by then it derived significant revenue through visiting foreign students, who would depart if they were not well treated. The foreign students in Bologna received greater rights, and collective punishment was ended. There was also collective bargaining with the scholars who served as professors at the university. By the initiation or threat of a student strike, the students could enforce their demands as to the content of courses and the pay professors would receive. University professors were hired, fired, and had their pay determined by an elected council of two representatives from every student "nation" which governed the institution, with the most important decisions requiring a majority vote from all the students to ratify. The professors could also be fined if they failed to finish classes on time, or complete course material by the end of the semester. A student committee, the "Denouncers of Professors", kept tabs on them and reported any misbehavior. Professors themselves were not powerless, however, and formed a College of Teachers, and secured the rights to set examination fees and degree requirements. Eventually, the city ended this arrangement, paying professors from tax revenues, and making it a chartered public university.[5]

The university is historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law; indeed, it was set up in large part with the aim of studying the Digest,[6] a central text in Roman law, which had been rediscovered in Italy in 1070, and the university was central in the development of medieval Roman law.[7] Until modern times, the only degree granted at that university was the doctorate.


Area above Bologna's old city centre.
Interior view of the Porticum and Loggia of its oldest College, the Royal Spanish College.

Higher education processes are being harmonised across the European Community. Nowadays the University offers 101 different "Laurea" or "Laurea breve" first-level degrees (three years of courses), followed by 108 "Laurea specialistica" or "Laurea magistrale" second-level degrees (two years). However, other 11 courses have maintained preceding rules of "Laurea specialistica a ciclo unico" or "Laurea magistrale a ciclo unico", with only one cycle of study of five years, except for medicine and dentistry which requires six years of courses. After the "Laurea" one may attain 1st level Master (one-year diploma, similar to a Postgraduate diploma). After second-level degrees are attained, one may proceed to 2nd level Master, specialisation schools (residency), or doctorates of research (PhD).

The 11 Schools (which replace the preexisting 23 faculties) are:

The University is structured in 33 Departments[8] (they were 66 until 2012), organized by homogeneous research domains that integrate activities related to one or more Faculty.

The 33 Departments are:

Affiliates and other institutions[edit]

In the early 1950s, some students of the University of Bologna were among the founders of the review "il Mulino". On April 25, 1951, the first issue of the review was published in Bologna. In a short time, "il Mulino" became one of the most interesting reference points in Italy for the political and cultural debate, and established important editorial relationships in Italy and abroad. Editorial activities evolved along with the review. In 1954, the il Mulino publishing house (Società editrice il Mulino) was founded, which today represents one of the most relevant Italian publishers. In addition to this were initiated research projects (focusing mostly on the educational institutions and the political system in Italy), that eventually led, in 1964, to the establishment of the Istituto Carlo Cattaneo.

Notable people[edit]


Among the best-known people who have attended the University of Bologna are:

Faculty and staff[edit]

World rankings[edit]

In 2010 QS World University Rankings[9] ranked the University of Bologna 176th in the world, and 32nd in the world for Law. On the 2009 THE–QS World University Rankings list (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings), the University of Bologna was ranked inside the top 200 for the third consecutive year. In 2014, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, in collaboration with CENSIS, has awarded the University of Bologna the first place in its academic ranking of Italian universities for the fifth time in a row. [10] An overview of the THE-QS Rankings up to 2013:

Year Rank (Change)
2005 159
2006 207 (Decrease 48)
2007 173 (Increase 34)
2008 192 (Decrease 19)
2009 174 (Increase 18)
2010 176 (Decrease 2)
2011 183 (Decrease 7)
2012 194 (Decrease 11)
2013 188 (Increase 6)

Points of interest[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nove secoli di storia - Università di Bologna
  2. ^ Top Universities World University Rankings Retrieved 2010-1-6
  3. ^ Our History - Università di Bologna
  4. ^ Paul L. Gaston (2010). The Challenge of Bologna. p. 18. ISBN 1-57922-366-4. 
  5. ^ A University Built by the Invisible Hand, by Roderick T. Long. This article was published in the Spring 1994 issue of Formulations, by the Free Nation Foundation
  6. ^ Berman, Law and Revolution, ch. 3; Stein, Roman Law in European History, part 3.
  7. ^ See Corpus Juris Civilis: Recovery in the West
  8. ^ List of the Departments of the University of Bologna
  9. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2010 Results". 
  10. ^ Alma Mater superstar: stacca le concorrenti tra le mega università, by Ilaria Venturi.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°29′38″N 11°20′34″E / 44.49389°N 11.34278°E / 44.49389; 11.34278

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Bologna — Please support Wikipedia.
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The National

The National
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:00:36 -0700

Founded in 859AD, the mosque developed into a degree-granting university around 200 years earlier than the University of Bologna, Europe's oldest existing university. Of course, much has changed since these early degree-awarding bodies emerged, but ...
MedPage Today
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 08:00:00 -0700

... of patients who were implanted with bipolar devices -- an 11% absolute reduction which was highly significant (P=0.0001), said Giuseppe Boriani, MD, PhD, of the University of Bologna in Italy, and colleagues at the European Society of Cardiology ...
New York Times
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -0700

She also received a Master of Science degree in medical biotechnology from the University of Bologna in Italy, and a Ph.D. in foundations and ethics of the life sciences from the University of Milan. She is the daughter of Patrizia Tassinari of Forli ...
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:58:20 -0700

Right in the middle between London and Gloucester, it is the oldest university in the English-speaking world as well as the second-oldest continually running university, right after the University of Bologna. With evidence that classes were taught ...

Helsinki Times

Helsinki Times
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 04:48:36 -0700

This propelled her on a path that first took her to the University of Bologna to study Finnish literature and language in addition to English. After completing her bachelor's degree, Cerchi sent an application to a master's degree programme in the ...

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Good Fruit Grower
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:00:48 -0700

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He also earned an MBA from the University of Bologna, Italy. Bruce Niswander Bio Mr. Niswander has had over 30 years of experience in commercializing new, entrepreneurial ventures, and was previously working as Director of Economic Development ...
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:44:01 -0700

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