Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna

The oldest University in the Western world: looking toward the future since 1088.

The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is the oldest university in Western Europe. Nowadays, it still remains one of the most important institutions of higher education across Europe with 32 Departments and over 86,500 students. The University community of teaching and services staff counts today more than 5,700 people – 2,748 teaching staff, 2,967 technical-administrative staff, 1261 PhD candidates and 1143 post graduated fellows.

The University of Bologna has a Multicampus structure, with campuses in Bologna and the Romagna region – Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini, and permanent headquarters in Buenos Aires since 1998.

With regard to the international reputation, the University of Bologna is among the top 5 Italian universities in the main International rankings. It aims for excellence both in the education and research fields:  it is top ranked in the most recognized world and national university rankings (QS, Shanghai, Times Higher Education, Censis Guide and the Sole 24Ore rankings). It has been successfully evaluated and thus funded by the Italian Ministry of Education for excellent research activities within its Departments. It is the second Italian University in terms of funds received by the European Commission under the Research and Innovation Programme Horizon2020. It is one of the main Universities in Italy partnering with local and national companies and getting funds for industrial research.

The Alma Mater holds first place among European Universities in terms of the number of students abroad and in terms of number of incoming exchange students. The Alma Mater Studiorum offers a variety of internationally designed programmes: 219 degree programmes (covering all disciplines) of which 69 are international, 47 PhD programmes, 58 specialisation schools, 95 first and second level professional master’s programmes.

The University of Bologna is committed to the values of sustainability, such as enhancing and safeguarding the territory, improving community wellbeing, promoting a knowledge-based development economy, social equity, and the ability of those involved to work effectively together for the common good.

Faithful to its mission, and thanks to a history that has consolidated over time, the Alma Mater Studiorum is fully aware that its activities can produce significant impact, both direct and indirect, on the community and on the region. Therefore, it continues to invest in the quality of training and in research related to the needs of society, as well as in a valuable organizational, institutional and multicampus structure, allowing their members to operate over a vast territory.

Since 2016, the University of Bologna has a reporting tool designed to offer a new measuring approach to read the contribution of the institutional activities carried out to achieve its sustainable development goals.  The report, made by the University Technical Scientific Committee for Social Reporting in collaboration with the whole University academic and administration community, provides with an approach helping represent the impact produced by its core activities – teaching, research, third mission – in order to contribute to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the U.N. 2030 Agenda.


Teatro anatomico, Archiginnasio di Bologna (Photo by Serafini)

Cortile D’Ercole di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna (Photo by Mirabella)