Academic Ranking of World Universities

University of Bologna
English Name: University of Bologna
Region: Southern Europe
Country/Region: Italy
Found Year: 1088
Address: Via Zamboni, 33

History and Identity

Alma Mater Studiorum: the first university in the Western world


The University of Bologna has ancient origins, and is considered to be the oldest university in the Western world. 1088 is the year in which by convention the University of Bologna is considered to have been founded, when law began to be taught freely in the city. Founded by students and for students, the Alma Mater Studiorum immediately attracted young scholars from all over Europe, bringing to life the ideal of the universality of knowledge and culture it still pursues today, also through its increasing focus on internationalisation.

The University of Bologna was home to illustrious students including Petrarca, Boccaccio and Dante Alighieri, and a laboratory for many famous academics studying in its different schools - from law to medicine, from the arts and philosophy to mathematics and science. Over the centuries it has developed to carve out and maintain a central role in forging knowledge for the society of the future. The University's key role in world culture was confirmed in 1988, on its nine hundredth anniversary, when the Rectors from 430 universities from every continent met in Bologna to undersign the Magna Charta Universitatum Europaeum, formally recognising the University of Bologna as the Alma Mater of all universities. The Magna Charta, currently signed by 752 Rectors from 81 countries, underlines the autonomy of universities and the essential link between teaching and research, transcending the limits imposed by “any geographical and political border”. Again, in 1999, in the University's Aula Magna, 29 European Ministers of higher education signed the Bologna Declaration which led to the start of an important – and ongoing - process to build the European Higher Education Area. The aim is to promote European Higher Education throughout the world, increasing competitiveness and international collaboration.

Today the Alma Mater is an autonomous, non-denominational, pluralistic public institution whose primary aims are research and teaching, indissoluble activities which pursue critical knowledge that is open to dialogue and interaction among cultures, respecting the freedom of science and teaching. The Alma Mater sets out to be a natural environment for knowledge, interpreting and orienting the transformations of its time, guaranteeing the processing, innovation, transfer and enhancement of knowledge for the advantage of both individuals and society as a whole.


Values and Future

Freedom, merit, excellence, internationalisation


The University of Bologna promotes and safeguards the respect for basic human rights, a primary value for the whole university community. The recognition of merit and the pursuit of excellence are priority criteria that guide the development strategies and choices of the Alma Mater.

Students enrolling at the University of Bologna have a wide range of choices, in terms of both study programmes and the choice of university campus. The Alma Mater has been a multicampus university since 1989, the Bologna campus working together with other campuses in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini. Each campus is an integral part of its host city, offering facilities and services which accompany students throughout their university life, not only in their studies but also in cultural activities, sports and other forms of associations.

The quality of teaching is closely linked to the quality of research, and research plays a key role in the future of new generations and society generally. This profound belief underlies all the activities of the Alma Mater, which also include the skilful sourcing and use of national and international funds and the creation of strategic alliances with both institutions and the business world.

At the University of Bologna, internationalisation has been considered a strategic tool for many years. Its international dimension lies in both its history and its vocation: the inauguration of the Studies Center in Buenos Aires in 1998 and, more generally, the opening of research and learning programmes to foreign countries, the establishment of and participation in international networks and consortia, both incoming and outgoing mobility for students and scholars (which places it at the top of the European league tables), demonstrate the University's ability to dialogue with the most qualified international scientific and cultural institutions.

The Alma Mater places great attention on its organisation and works to assure the constant improvement of its processes, welcoming the challenge of combining large numbers with quality.

A long-standing promoter of relations with civil society, the institutions and businesses, and a driving force in the economic and cultural growth of the territory it operates in, the University actively contributes to the well-being of society and the increased competitive performance of the production system of the whole country.



Quality by vocation


The Alma Mater is a place where knowledge is processed, transmitted and learned. An educational vocation which, since its foundations, has led to the definition of learning pathways focusing on the acquisition of critical skills and methodological rigour using a multitude of methods and disciplines.

Today the University offers a wide and diversified, cosmopolitan and rigorous range of study programmes designed to promote students' personal, cultural and professional growth, through the transfer of the results of its research, also meeting the demands of a complex, open society.

More than 2,800 professors work with more than 87,000 students fromItalyand other countries: a community working together on degree programmes, first and second level Professional Master's, PhDs, specialisation schools, post-graduate and lifelong learning programmes and summer and winter schools.

Internationalisation is a quality feature of all teaching programmes at the Alma Mater, contributing to the promotion of positive encounters of people and ideas from all kinds of geographical origins and cultural backgrounds: of the more than 440 study opportunities, 49 are international programmes.

Teaching at the University of Bologna is supported by numerous international agreements: 169 bilateral and multilateral cooperation framework agreements signed with partner universities (mostly from outside of the EU), 214 specific (sectoral) cooperation agreements with partner universities at faculty or department level, 1,986 bilateral agreements with foreign universities under the Erasmus programme. 

The quality of the University's Programme Catalogue, which is constantly monitored through student assessments, places Bologna among the top Italian universities in the national and international league tables. The Alma Mater is top of the 2010-2011 table drawn up by Censis-Repubblica and is the top-ranking Italian university in the world tables drawn up by QS World Ranking.



At the heart of the Alma Mater system


The University of Bologna offers students a wide range of services to support and facilitate their entire study path and their overall personal growth throughout their university career.

For the Alma Mater, the right to study is a priority, and is guaranteed by actions offering financial support and incentives for merit-worthy students without their own means: these include the total or partial exemption from tuition fees, scholarships for studying in Italy and abroad, loans, collaborations within the university organisation, merit prizes and a range of other services dedicated to the students of the Alma Mater.

Students lie at the heart of the University organisation. Incoming, information and guidance services aim to promote the aware choice of study programmes, the regularity of university careers and a reduction in the number of drop-outs. Through computerised, flexible procedures accessible from different platforms, students at the Alma Mater are able to communicate easily with the university community, organising and managing their own study paths directly online. Accommodation, canteens, study facilities, libraries, health care and an office for the registration of rental contracts are available for students living outside the city. Every campus provides specific services for disabled and dyslexic students as well as psychological support services.

The University invests in a wide range of sports and language services, signing agreements with institutions in the city for subsidised cultural initiatives for students, and supports the activities of the student associations.

The focus on the needs of students as people, citizens and future professionals, as well as the creation, management and continuous monitoring of dedicated student services, as well as the quality of the teaching, have made the University of Bologna one of the most popular and well-attended in Italy, the most international of Italian universities, with efficiency indexes above the national average, and a valid, authoritative interlocutor for businesses and institutions, also for training courses and internships.

To facilitate entry into the labour market, the University has signed agreements with around 8,000 public and private businesses and institutions, around 100 of which are abroad. Finally, the success of the careers guidance policies is confirmed by the percentage of graduates, around 50%, who one year after completing their studies are in paid employment.



Investing in young people for the common good

International, interdisciplinary excellence that focuses on the future. Research at the University of Bologna is above all this, thanks to its 3,000 Professors (full and associate) and researchers, more than 1,000 research fellows and scholarship holders, the PhD programmes, dedicated departments and services. In addition to this, investments are made in training that focuses on international research, support for basic research, a synergic network of relationships with the world of university research, the institutions and businesses.

For the Alma Mater, research is a fundamental lever for competitiveness and employment and its key role has been demonstrated by the many achievements over the years: around 13,000 products developed on average every year, 177 patents registered, 7 million Euros funded by the MIUR (Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) for the most recently approved PRIN (Research Projects of National Interest) and FIRB projects (Future in Research).

Within Europe, the University of Bologna stands out for the breadth of its competencies and its systematic policy of providing support services to researchers in their relations with Brussels and in the preparation of research projects. Within the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, funding worth 60 million Euros has been obtained for 190 projects. Today the Alma Mater is the leading Italian university and the country's second organisation (after the National Research Council) for its ability to attract European funding for research (projects funded in the four-year period 2007-2010), and 27th in the European league tables.

One factor of excellence certainly lies in the multidisciplinarity of its research: the University has established 4 Integrated Research Teams (IRT) in fields of international research covering agri-food, the social economy and civil society, sciences and technologies for the cultural heritage and the integration of research skills in the Brazilian area and Latin America.

At the Alma Mater, research strongly focuses on international spheres while maintaining deep roots in the local community. The University takes part in the regional technological platforms through its 7 Interdepartmental Centres for Industrial Research. Projects run from agri-food to mechanics through to information technology, from materials and industrial ecodesign to energy safety and efficiency.

The University participates in the intra-regional PhD programme funded by the SPINNER consortium as well as advanced-level apprenticeship PhD programmes directly involving public and private enterprises. 

For the Alma Mater, PhD studies, the third level of training laid down in the Bologna Declaration, are fundamental for its own growth and the development of all society, preparing young people for research, the creation of ideas and innovation.


Resources and Organisation

A large community that creates value

Always at the centre of a multitude of relationships, the University of Bologna is a scientific, educational and ethical institution which represents a socio-economic and cultural driving force for the territory it operates in.

The Alma Mater welcomes and counts a community of more than 95,000 people including students, professors and technical-administrative staff. It covers Bologna as well as the campuses in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini, in addition to teaching facilities in Cesenatico, Faenza, Imola and Ozzano dell’Emilia and the Studies Center in Buenos Aires. The University Library System comprises 62 libraries offering 76 service points, with more than 5,100 study and research desks and access to around 495 databases. The University's museum circuit includes 17 museums hosting a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions of particular scientific, historical and artistic interest every year. On the net, the University offers more than 440 institutional websites, 129 web services and some hundreds of thousands of pages of contents online.

The University of Bologna is constantly committed to the promotion and dissemination of its wealth of knowledge through the rich variety of cultural activities run by its teaching and research departments and museums, in addition to the many foundations founded by the Alma Mater.

Every year hundreds of extra-curricular initiatives are organised for students and the local community. These include meetings with the most significant personalities of world culture, scientific dissemination activities and the promotion of social projects also targeting the younger generations. The University plays a significant role in the development of civil society, a role that is recognised and confirmed by the attention and increasing support of individuals, associations, foundations, bodies and businesses.

Through the efficient administration of the available funds, the University of Bologna aims to diversify its funding sources through collaborations with the business world, public bodies and the support of private concerns. 

Total Enrollment:
           International Students:(%)
Undergraduate Enrollment:
           International Students:(%)
Graduate Enrollment:
           International Students:(%)

Undergraduate Programs
           Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry [Lm]
           Arts [L]
           Automation Engineering [L]
           Bioinformatics [Lm]
           Business Administration [Lm]
           Civil Engineering [Lm]
           Clinical Psychology [Lm]
           Computer Science and Information Technology [Lm]
           Computer Science and Information Technology [L]
           Economics and Business Administration [Lm]
           Economics and Commerce [Lm]
           Economics and Management of  Co-Operative Firms and Non-Profit Organisations [Lm]
           Economics and Market Policy [Lm]
           Electronic Engineering [Lm]
           Faculty of  Political Sciences "Roberto Ruffilli"
           Foreign Languages and Literature [L]
           Historical Sciences [Lm]
           History [L]
           Innovation and Organization of  Culture and the  Arts [Lm]
           Interdisciplinary Research and Studies On Eastern Europe [Lm]
           International Horticulture [Lm]
           Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Linguistics [Lm]
           Law [Lmcu]
           Law [Lmcu]
           Legal Operator in Italian and French Law [L]
           Materials and Sensors Systems For Environmental Technologies [Lm]
           Modern, Post-Colonial and Comparative Literatures [Lm]
           Philosophy [L]
           School and Community Psychology [Lm]
           Statistical Sciences [L]
           Telecommunications Engineering [Lm]
           Work, Organization, Personnel Psychology & Services [Lm]
Graduate Programs
           Advanced Masters in Structural Analysis of  Monuments and Historical Constructions
           Atomic Scale Modelling of Physical, Chemical and Bio-molecular Systems
           BioHealth Computing EM
           Color in Informatics and Media Technology
           Common European Master's Course in Biomedical Engineering
           Complex Systems Science
           Computer Simulation For Science and Engineering
           Crossways in Cultural Narratives
           Data Mining & Knowledge Management
           Economic Development and Growth
           Education in Advanced Ship Design
           Emergency and Critical Care Nursing
           Emmc in Space Science and Technology
           Environomical Pathways For Sustainable Energy Systems
           Erasmus Mundus Master in Membrane Engineering
           Erasmus Mundus Master of  Science in Ecohydrology
           Erasmus Mundus Master of  Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation
           Erasmus Mundus Masters in Special and Inclusive Education
           Erasmus Mundus Msc in Dependable Software Systems
           Euromaster On Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling
           Europe in the Wider World
           European Master Embedded Computing Systems
           European Master in Advanced Robotics
           European Master in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Policy Analysis
           European Master in Applied Ecology
           European Master in Diagnosis and Repair of  Buildings
           European Master in Distributed Computing
           European Master in Law and Economics
           European Master of  Science of  Viticulture and Enology
           European Master's Program in Computational Logic
           European Masters in Clinical Linguistics
           European Msc in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition
           European Public Health Master
           Exploring Without Borders-Documentary Filmdirecting
           Flood Risk Management (Floodrisk)
           Food Innovation and Product Design
           Food of  Life
           Functionalised Advanced Materials and Engineering
           German Literature in the  European Middle Ages
           Global Studies - A European Perspective
           Hydroinformatics and Water Management
           Information Technologies For Business Intelligence
           Intercultural Mediation: Identities, Mobilities, Conflict
           International Cooperation and Urban Development
           International integrated Master course in Algebra, Geometry and Number Theory
           International Master in Advanced Clay Science
           International Master in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage
           International Master in Early Childhood Education and Care
           International Master in Horticultural Sciences
           International Master in Quaternary and Prehistory Master International En Quaternaire Et Préhistoire
           International Master in Service Engineering
           International Master in Surface, Electro, Radiation, Photo -Chemistry
           International Master of  Science in Environmental Technology and Engineering
           International Master of  Science in Fire Safety Engineering
           International Master of  Science in Rural Development
           International Masters in Natural Language Processing and Human Language Technology
           International Masters in Russian, Central and East European Studies
           Joint European Master in International Migration and Social Cohesion
           Joint European Master Programme on Advanced Materials Science and Engineering
           Joint Master in Economics and Management of Network Industries
           Joint Master in Quality in Analytical Laboratories
           Joint Master of Study in Performances
           Joint Master's Degree Program in International Humanitarian Action
           Master Course in City Regeneration
           Master Course in Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems
           Master Course Sustainable Animal Nutrition and Feeding
           Master Européen En Ingénierie Des Médias Pour L'Education
           Master Food Identity
           Master in Adapted Physical Activity
           Master in Forensic Science
           Master in International Health
           Master in Material Science Exploring European Large Scale Facilities H
           Master in Materials For Energy Storage and Conversion
           Master in Migration and Intercultural Reations
           Master in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
           Master in Neuroscience: Advanced Courses and Research Training
           Master in Nuclear Fusion Science and Engineering Physics
           Master in Photonics Engineering, Nanophotonics and Biophotonics
           Master in Sustainable Regional Health Systems
           Master in Sustainable Territorial Development
           Master in Tourism Management
           Master in Water and Coastal Management
           Master in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology
           Master International Vintage, Vine, Wine and Terroir Management
           Master of  Science in Nematology
           Master of Arts in International Performance Research
           Master of Bioethics
           Master of Cultural Landscapes
           Master of Science Course in Geo-Information Science and Earth
           Master of Science in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management
           Master of Science in European Forestry
           Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies
           Master of Science in Research On Information and Communication Technologies
           Master of Science: Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry
           Master Programme in Environmental Studies
           Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology
           Master Programme in Systems Dynamics
           Master's Course in Eusysbio Systems Biology
           Master's Course in Mechatronic and Micromechatronic Systems
           Master's Course in Turbomachinery Aeromechanic University Training
           Master's Degree in Women's and Gender Studies
           Master's in Public Policy
           Master's in Transnational Trade Law Finance
           Master's Programme in Industrial Ecology
           Master's Programme in Security and Mobile Computing
           Master/Laurea Specialistica En Cultures Littéraires Européennes
           Masters Course in Sustainable Tropical Forestry
           Masters in Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology
           Masters in Engineering Rheology
           Masters in Lifelong Learning: Policy and Management
           Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology
           Masters in Strategic Project Management (European)
           Masters in Vision and Robotics
           Masters Journalism, Media and Globalisation
           Masters On Photonic Networks Engineering
           Mathematical Modelling in Engineering: Theory, Numerics, Applications
           Mediterranean Forestry and Natural Resources Management
           Minerals and Environmental Programme
           Msc in Global Innovation Management
           MSc in Sustainable Development in Agriculture
           Multiculturalism: Master Degree in Learning and Teaching of  Spanish in Multilingual and International Contexts
           Observation For Environmental Modelling and Management
           Philosophies Allemande Et Fran?aise Dans L'Espace Européen
           Planet Europe - Joint Masters Programme On European Spatial Planning, Environmental Policies and Regional Development
           Research and Innovation in Higher Education
           Sustainable Constructions Under Natural Hazards and Catastrophic Events
           Sustainable Forest and Nature Management
           Sustainable Management of  Food Quality
           Territoires Européens (Civilisation, Nation, Région, Ville): Identité Et Développement
           Transcultural European Outdoor Studies
           Wind Energy Master
Doctoral Programs
           Agricultural Transformation By Innovation
           Algebra, Geometry and Number Theory Joint Doctorate
           Animal Breeding and Genetics
           Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones
           Doctoral Programme in Cultural and Global Criminology
           Doctoral Programme in Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation
           Doctorate in Membrane Engineering
           Doctorate Program in Photonics Engineering, Nanophotonics and Biophotonics
           Environmental Technologies For Contaminated Solids, Soils and Sediments
           Erasmus Mundus Phd in Marine and Coastal Management
           European Doctor in Industrial Management
           European Doctorate in Economics Erasmus Mundus
           European Doctorate in Law and Economics
           European Doctorate in Nanomedicine and Pharmaceutical Innovation
           European Neuroscience Campus Network
           European Study Programme in Neuroinformatics
           Extreme-Ultraviolet and X-Ray Training in Advanced Technologies For Interdisciplinary Cooperation
           Forest and Nature For Society
           Fusion Dc- International Doctoral College in Fusion Science and Engineering
           Interactive and Cognitive Environments
           International Doctoral School in Functional Materials For Energy, Information Technology, and Health
           International Doctorate in Experimental Approaches To Language and Brain
           International Relativistic Astrophysics Doctorate Program
           Joint Doctorate in Distributed Computing
           Joint Doctorate On "Globalization, Europe & Multilateralism"
           Joint European Doctoral Programme in Advanced Materials Science and Engineer
           Joint International Doctoral Degree in Law, Science and Technology
           Neurotime: Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate "Neural Processing Of
           Prevention of  Mobility Loss with Ageing

Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities
ARWU 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities by Broad Subject Fields
Broad Subject Fields 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities by Subject Fields
Subject Fields 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Computer Science///151-200151-200//
Back to Top