The Sapienza University of Rome, originally named Studium Urbis, was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, making it Rome’s oldest university. Its motto ‘Il futuro è passato qui’ translates as ‘the future was here.’
After relocating to a new building in 1660, the university began to be known as Sapienza because of the inscription on its main gate, which read ‘Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini’ (the beginning of wisdom is the feat of the Lord). Sapienza is situated in the very centre of Rome, within walking distance of the main rail station, Termini.
Sapienza is the largest university in Europe, supporting over 115,000 students, including 5,500 international students, and almost 4,000 academic staff. It offers 250 degree programmes and 200 specialist courses across 63 departments, with 59 libraries available for student use (the largest number of any Italian university) as well as 21 museums.
Through the Erasmus exchange programme, Sapienza is partnered with at least 400 other universities, and maintains a strong international presence.
The university’s tuition fees are relatively low compared to most European universities and its School for Advanced Studies extends training in specific courses every year to gifted high school students alongside free accommodation and tuition.
Sapienza also offers subsidised tuition fees for students from developing countries and provides financial support for enterprises designed to improve academic and student movement to and from developing countries. Projects already funded are located in Benin, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Palestine, Tanzania and Yemen.
The university counts six Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and alumni.