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EDUCATION

Rome’s La Sapienza ranked best university in Italy

La Sapienza in Rome has risen in the annual rankings to be named 'best in Italy' once again.

Rome's La Sapienza ranked best university in Italy
A statue of Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, in front of Rome's La Sapienza University. File photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The 2019 edition of the prestigious annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), by independent research organisation Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, named La Sapienza as Italy’s top university.

The ranking is based on criteria including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals and the number of highly-cited researchers.

The top 30 places in the international table were dominated by US and UK universities, with the top three places once again taken by Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge.

The highest ranking universities in Europe included ETH Zurich (in 19th place) and the University of Copenhagen (26th).

Rome came much further behind in 153rd place, closely followed by Italy’s University of Pisa and the Statale di Milano.

But it’s an improvement on last year’s ranking, where La Sapienza fell into the 201-300 range

The 2019 ranking was described by La Sapienza president Eugenio Gaudio as a “remarkable leap forward.”

ARWU ranks the world’s top 1,800 universities – out of a total of 17,000 – publishing an annual list of the top 1,000.

A total of 46 Italian universities feature in the 2019 ARWU ranking.

Another international ranking released in June 2019 also put La Sapienza in the top spot, while an Italian survey last month ranked Bologna’s historic campus as the best large university in the country

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BREXIT

‘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.

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