Area above Bologna's old city center.
The University of Bologna (Italian: Università di Bologna, UNIBO) is a university located in Bologna, Italy, founded in 1088. As of 2000 the University's motto is Alma mater studiorum (Latin for "nourishing mother of studies") The University has about 100,000 students in its 23 schools. It has branch centers in 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. It is widely recognised as the oldest university, 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 date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088.. 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 university in the world. University of Oxford and University of Salamanca are members of this select club.
Roderick Long, a professor at philosophy at Auburn University in Alabama, USA, and prominent libertarian anarchist thinker, has asserted this is an example of spontaneous order and the result of the invisible hand of the market in his work A University Built by the Invisible Hand, as the University was not deliberately created, but arose through mutual aid societies of foreign students (called "nations" as they grouped by nationality, for instance there would be an association of French students, English students, etc.) 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. The scholars had to compete between students for patronage. 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. Thus, the foreigners in Bologna received greater rights, and collective punishment was ended. There was also effective collective bargaining with the scholars who served as professors at the university. By 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, for otherwise they would be paid nothing with the students failing to attend. University professors were thus 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, forming a College of Teachers, essentially a teachers union which collectively bargained with the university government controlled by the students, securing the rights "to determine both examination fees and requirements for the degree. A balance of rights thus emerged through negotiation: the obligations of professors were determined by the students, while the obligations of students were determined by the professors. It was a power-sharing scheme; the students, however, continued to act as the dominant partner, since they were the paying clients and collectively carried more clout."  Eventually, the city ended this, paying professors from tax revenues, and making it a chartered public university.
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, 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. Until modern times, the only degree granted at that university was the doctorate. Since 2000, the University's motto has been Alma mater studiorum (Latin for "nourishing mother of studies")
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. After second-level degrees are attained, one may proceed to 2nd level Master, specialisation schools (residency), or doctorates of research (PhD).
The 23 Faculties are:
Affiliates and other institutions
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 alumni and professors of the University of Bologna
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In 2010 QS World University Rankings 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. An overview of the THE-QS Rankings up to 2011:
|2006||207 ( 48)|
|2007||173 ( 34)|
|2008||192 ( 19)|
|2009||174 ( 18)|
|2010||176 ( 2)|
|2011||183 ( 7)|
Points of interest
Coordinates: 44°29′38″N 11°20′34″E / 44.49389°N 11.34278°E