Why study in Italy
Italy has played an important role in European higher education: it is one of the four countries that first engaged to create the so-called “European Area of Higher Education” (Sorbonne Declaration, May 1998), thus starting that type of higher education reform which, known as “Bologna Process” (Bologna Declaration, June 1999) is being implemented all over Europe.
Today Italy ranks among the 8 most industrialised countries in the world. Alongside some big companies, both state-owned and private, it has developed a sound network of small and medium-sized undertakings, promoted a few scientific parks, and is incentivating basic and applied research in a great variety of fields (biology, ICT, medicine, physics, etc.).
Top universities in Italy
A total of 28 universities in Italy feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017, of which 12 make it into the world’s top 500. The highest-ranked of these is the Politecnico di Milano, at joint 183rd, having climbed four places from the previous year. The Politecnico di Milano ranks particularly well for its art and engineering courses, with places in the top 50 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 for art and design (10th), civil and structural engineering (14th), architecture (15th), and mechanical engineering (18th).
Close behind is Università di Bologna (UNIBO), which is ranked 208th overall in 2016-2017. UNIBO lays claim to being one of the first universities established, although the actual date of its founding is uncertain. If the name sounds familiar, that may be due to Italy’s continued leadership in higher education; the University of Bologna gives its name to the Bologna Process, the ongoing project to make academic systems and qualifications more compatible across Europe.
After Politecnico di Milano and the University of Bologna, Italy’s next representatives in the global rankings are:
Sapienza – Università di Roma (joint 223rd)
Politecnico di Torino (305th)
Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD, joint 338th)
Università degli Studi di Milano (joint 370th)
Università di Pisa (431-440)
Università degli Studi di Trento (441-450)
Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI, 451-460)
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (491-500)
Higher education in Italy
Overall, there are around 90 universities in Italy, of which the majority are publicly funded. There are also a number of specialized postgraduate centers, polytechnics and other academies that form part of the higher education sector.