University of Milan
The University of Milan was founded in 1924, uniting two institutions that boasted a great tradition of medical, scientific and humanistic studies: the Accademia Scientifico-Letteraria (Scientific-Literary Academy), active since 1861, and the Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento (Clinical Specialisation Institutes), established in 1906.
At the time of its foundation, there were four “traditional” faculties – Law, Humanities, Medicine and Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences; then, in the 1930s, the Faculties of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture were introduced, after the aggregation of the old schools of Veterinary Medicine (1792) and Agriculture (1871).
At the end of the Second World War, the old Ospedale dei Poveri (Hospital for the Poor), known as “la Cà Granda” (the Big House), was assigned to the University. The building, one of the first Italian examples of civil architecture – commissioned in the 15th century by the Sforza family, the dukes of Milan – was seriously damaged by the bombings of 1943. In 1958, after a complex series of reconstruction and renovation works, it became home to the University Rector’s Office, the administrative offices and the Faculties of Law and Humanities.
The most recent phase of expansion concerned the fields of communication science, intercultural mediation and art, but there are also ongoing projects relating to the sectors of information technology, veterinary medicine and biomedicine.
At the present time, the University offers 8 faculties and 2 schools, 138 study programmes (divided between Undergraduate and Graduate courses), 31 doctoral schools (scuole di dottorato) and 76 specialisation schools (scuole di specializzazione).
Approximately 64,000 students are enrolled at the University. The teaching staff is composed of 2,000 tenured professors and researchers and approximately 500 adjunct professors.
The University of Milan was one of the institutions that helped to found LERU http://www.leru.org/index.php/public/home/, the League of European Research Universities, and is the only Italian University to be a member of the organisation.
Thanks to its commitment to basic and applied research, the University is among the top institutions in the main national and international rankings.
The University of Milan also possesses a remarkable artistic and cultural heritage that includes important historic buildings, inherited and acquired collections, archives, botanical gardens and the old Brera Observatory commissioned by Maria Teresa of Austria.
The University’s departments are housed in important historic edifices in the centre of Milan and in modern buildings in the area known as Città Studi (the City of Studies).
The book collection, which is one of the richest in the region, is preserved in 47 libraries, while the APICE Centre collects rare and valuable book stocks and archives.
The University also has a Choir and its own Orchestra, which actively contributes to the cultural life of the city and receives international acknowledgements on an increasingly frequent basis.