Bologna named ‘Italy’s best’ university in new ranking

The University of Bologna is famous for being the oldest university in the western world, and a new ranking now says it's also the best of Italy's large universities.

Bologna named 'Italy's best' university in new ranking
The city of Bologna is famous for its university. Photo: Depositphotos

Bologna topped the chart in the 2019 edition of the annual Italian university rankings by poll company Censis.

In the ranking of universities with more than 40,000 students, Bologna reaches an overall score of 90.8 on a scale of 60-120.

It was followed by the universities of Padova, Florence, and Rome's La Sapienza.

The city of Bologna. Photo: depositphotos

The study rated universities on factors including the quality of student facilities, international relations, use of scholarships, digital services, and the future employability of graduates.

Bologna scored highly on most indicators, though lost points when it came to the provision of student services and on the use of scholarships to ensure the “right to study”.

Polytechnics were ranked seperately in the study. The Politecnico di Milano, which repeatedly tops international university rankings, took first place here too with an overall score of 95.8.

The rankings of Italy's biggest universities. Screenshot: Censis

The University of Perugia was number one in the ranking of Italy's smaller universities – those with between 20,000 to 40,000 students – followed by the Calabria and Parma.

The study's authors noted that the number of students enrolling at Italian universities continues to rise, with an increase of 1.3 percent recorded for the 2017-2018 academic year.

They reported that 47 percent of 19-year-olds in Italy are now choosing university education.

However, it noted regional differences with student numbers increasing by up to 4.1 percent in north-eastern regions, but falling in central (-1.2 percent) and southern (-0.1 percent) areas.

The study noted a continuing trend of declining student numbers and poor rankings for universities in the south of the country, as more than 23 percent of students from southern regions went to study in a region other than that of residence, compared to 8.5 percent of those from the north.

Bologna university rector Francesco Ubertini attributed its success to teachers and researchers, and said “the future of Italian universities is in the international dimension.”


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‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

Ranked: Italy’s best universities and how they compare worldwide

“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.