The University of Bologna
Founded in 1088, the University of Bologna was the first and is the oldest continuously-operating university in the Western world. Its history is intertwined with that of the great names of science and literature, it is a keystone and a point of reference for European culture. Erasmus of Rotterdam, Nicolaus Copernicus, Paracelsus, Abrecht Dürer, Torquato Tasso, Carlo Goldoni, Giosué Carducci, Giovanni Pascoli, among many others, studied in Bologna. The University of Bologna admitted women teachers right from the 12th century. Among the most famous women teachers we may remember Laura Bassi: in 1732 she was given the chair in philosophy, and in 1776 the chair in experimental physics.
Today the University has about 85.000 students in its 11 schools and 33 Departments, making it the most popular university in Italy. The University has 5 campuses in Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini and a branch center abroad in Buenos Aires.
11.000 is the average number of research products, with 220 patents. The University hosts numerous PhD and professional master’s programmes, together with several specialisation schools among which many are international and taught in English.
The University Area
The University and the city of Bologna are deeply linked by an intense relationship which has been going on through the centuries. When visiting Bologna, it is interesting to see some of the historical places and to know some of the facts that have made the University of Bologna famous worldwide. The University of Bologna did not have its own building until the middle of the 16th century. Previously, doctors were holding lessons in their own houses or in rooms rented by the Comune (city council).
In 1561 the pope Pio IV requested the construction of the “Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio” (Archiginnasio Palace) intended to be the central seat of the University.
In 1802, by the will of Napoleon, the seat of the University was moved to “Palazzo Poggi” (Poggi Palace), built in the middle of the 16th century and located in
via Zamboni. Around this building developed and grew what is now called the “university zone”, between Via Belmeloro, Via Zamboni, Via Irnerio and Viale Filopanti.
Via Zamboni is now the true “headquarter” of the University. Here schools, departments and offices of the University have their main seat. At the number 33 of the street are located the Dean’s Office, the Museum of the Students and the Biblioteca Universitaria (University Library), opened to the public in 1756.
The Department of Education Studies “Giovanni Maria Bertin”
The Department consists of lecturers and researchers from the disciplines of Historical Sciences, Cultural Anthropology, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Psychology, Philological and Literary sciences, Medical Sciences, Law and Sociology that, since their establishment, have sought to pursue interdisciplinary research objectives. The lines of research cover different fields: developmental and educative processes; mass media as instruments of socialisation and diffusion of ideologies; didactic innovation and the new technological means; optimal strategies for the social inclusion of the disabled; education of adults; relations between the various socialisation agencies and the labour market; history of the school in Italy and comparisons with other educational systems; history of the family, educational models of teachers, social and hospital services; the dynamics of malaise and deviancy; Epistemological bases of the Education Sciences. The Department collaborates at the scientific and didactic level with many Institutes and Research centres in Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East.
Built in the 1920s, the building was originally intended for hosting the Higher Institute of Agriculture. Today is the headquarter of the Department of Education Studies and the School of Psychology and Education. The building is almost entirely used as the seat of the offices for the administrative and teaching staff of the Department and the School of Education, but it hosts as well several classrooms for almost 300 people.
The compound is one of the newest set of buildings of the University of Bologna and was inaugurated in the 2000s by the former President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. Located in front of the John Hopkins University and the tiny pretty garden “San Leonardo” is a very good place to study and relax. The building has 12 classrooms that can host 1.500 students.
The Church of Santa Lucia, in the centre of Bologna, offers an unexpected spectacle. In the second half of the sixteenth century, Pope Pius IV gave the small parish church of S. Lucia to the Jesuits, so that they might make it the centre of their spiritual formation activities. Today, this refined and stylish construction is a venue for high-profile meetings and events. It has a capacity of 900.
The building is set around a square “portico” (porch) located in front of the main gate of the Dean’s office, in Via Zamboni, the hearth of the university area. The compound is equipped with 12 classrooms that can host more than 1.000 students.