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University of Bologna
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
Latin: Universitas Bononiensis
Motto Alma mater studiorum (Latin)
Motto in English Nourishing mother of the studies
Established 1088
Type State-supported
Rector Prof. Ivano Dionigi
Students 95,771 (2006)
Location Bologna, Italy
Sports teams CUSB
Affiliations Coimbra Group, Utrecht Network

The University of Bologna (Italian: Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, UNIBO) is the oldest continually operating university in the World.[1] The word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088. Since 2000, the University's motto has been Alma mater studiorum (Latin for "fostering mother of studies"). 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, making it the oldest university in the strict sense in the world.[2] The university is historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law. Until modern times, the only degree granted at that university was the doctorate.

The University counts about 100,000 students in its 23 faculties. It has branch centers in Reggio Emilia, Imola, Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini and a branch center abroad in Buenos Aires. Moreover, it has a school of excellence named Collegio Superiore di Bologna.



Higher education processes are being harmonised across the European Community. Nowadays the University offers 128 different "Laurea" or "Laurea breve" first-level degrees (three years of courses), followed by a similar number of "Laurea specialistica" specialised degrees (two years). However, some courses have maintained preceding rules of "Laurea specialistica europea" or "Laurea magistrale", with only one cycle of study of five years, except for medicine which requires six years of courses. After the "Laurea" one may attain 1st level Master. After "Laurea specialistica" and "Laurea specialistica europea" are attained, one may proceed to 2nd level Master, specialisation schools, or doctorates of research.

Affiliates and other institutions

In early 1950s some students of the University of Bologna were among the founders of the review "il Mulino". On April 25, 1951, was published in Bologna the first issue of the review. 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 was founded the il Mulino publishing house (Società editrice il Mulino) that today represents one of the most relevant Italian publisher. Besides 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 members of the University of Bologna

World rankings

On the 2009 THE–QS World University Rankings list, the University of Bologna was ranked inside the top 200 for the third consecutive year. An overview of the last years:

Year Rank (Change)
2005 159
2006 207 ( 48)
2007 173 ( 34)
2008 192 ( 19)
2009 174 ( 18)


  1. ^ Brown in Italy Brown University Retrieved 2010-1-6
  2. ^ Top Universities World University Rankings Retrieved 2010-1-6

Points of interest

See also

External links

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


Simple English

The University of Bologna is the oldest university of the Europe and of the Western world. It was founded in Bologna, Italy, in 1088, by Irnerius.

University of Bologna
Establishing 1088
Location File:Flag of Italy
Students more than 100000
President Pier Ugo Calzolari
Address Via Zamboni, 33 - 40126 Bologna, Italy


In the Middle Ages, the University of Bologna was famous in all Europe for its schools of humanities and law, such canon with the figures of Gracia and Concordia Discordantium Canonum and of Irnerius in the civil law carrying to the law to an epoch of splendour in Europe causing its independence as juridic (i.e. relating to law) Science from the rhetoric.

The poets Dante and Petrarca studied at this university. Called officially Alma mater studiorum, the university is an institution for students of two sexes, supported by the state. It offers courses in arts, law, medicine, pharmacy, mathematics, engineering, agronomy, veterinary medicine and pedagogy. The Italian semiologist and writer Umberto Eco is the owner of the chair of semiotics of this university. The former prime minister of Italy, Romano Prodi, is a professor in the department of economy.

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