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University of Bologna

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University of Bologna
Università di Bologna
Latin: Universitas Bononiensis
MottoAlma mater studiorum (Latin)
Motto in EnglishNourishing mother of the studies
RectorIvano Dionigi
Academic staff2,850
LocationBologna, Italy
Sports teamsCUSB
AffiliationsCoimbra Group, Utrecht Network

The University of Bologna is the oldest university in continuous operation. It was founded in Bologna, Italy in about 1088.[1]

The university received a charter from Frederick I Barbarossa in 1158. In the 19th century, a committee of historians traced the founding of the University back to 1088, which would make it the oldest continuous university in the world.[2][3][4] That is slightly earlier than the University of Oxford, where there is evidence of teaching in 1096.[5]

Bologna was also the first to use the term universitas for the corporation of students and masters which make up a university.


In the Middle Ages, the University of Bologna was famous in all Europe for its schools of humanities and law.

The poets Dante and Petrarca studied at this university. Called officially Alma mater studiorum, the university is an institution for students of both sexes, supported by the state. It offers courses in arts, law, medicine, pharmacy, mathematics, engineering, agronomy, veterinary medicine and pedagogy. The Italian semiologist and writer Umberto Eco is the holder of the chair of semiotics at the university. The former prime minister of Italy, Romano Prodi, is a professor in the Department of Economics.


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