The University of Catania (Italian: Università degli Studi di Catania) is a university located in Catania, Italy, and founded in 1434. It is the oldest university in Sicily, the 13th oldest in Italy and the 29th oldest university in the world. With a population of over 60,000 students, it is the main university in Sicily.
Following the Italian Higher Education reform introduced by the law 240/10 and adopted by the University of Catania in its new Statute, Faculties have been disactivated and Departments have been reorganized. The University of Catania has now 23 Departments that, additionally to the traditional assignments of scientific research, are in charge of the organization and management of educational activities.
The university was founded by King Alfonso V of Aragon (who was also King Alfonso I of Sicily) on 19 October 1434. A charter was granted after two royal councillors (Adamo Asmundo and Battista Platamone) convinced the king to accept the founding of a "Studium Generale" in Catania, with the papal recognition arriving ten years later from Pope Eugene IV (18 April 1444). Alfonso V with this gesture wanted to compensate the city (in which there had been recently established the Royal Court) for moving the Sicilian capital from Catania to Palermo. The activity of the Atheneum actually started a year later, in 1445, with 6 professors and 10 students. The first four faculties were Medicine, Philosophy, Canon and Civil Law and Theology. Lessons were initially held in a building in Piazza del Duomo, next to the Cathedral of St. Agatha, and eventually moved to the Palazzo dell'Università in the late 1690s. This building remains the seat of the university to this day. The first degree was awarded to Antonio Mantello, from Syracuse, in 1449. During the course of the 16th century, approximately 20-25 degrees were awarded each year. The University (which from the 16th century was referred to as "Siculorum Gymnasium") was named "Studium Generale" because it was the only entity that could release degrees equal to those released in the old Studia of Salamanca, Valladolid, Bologna and this contributed to spread envy in the other Sicilian cities that in culture and traditions didn't feel inferior to Catania. In 1934, the university celebrated its 500th anniversary with King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy, and, in 1984 the 550th one.
In the early centuries of its existence, the university was administered by the comune (municipality) of Catania, overseen by the bishop of Catania and protected by the royal power. But with a reform operated by the viceroy in 1679 the authority of the bishop (who was "Gran Cancelliere" = "Great Chancellor") prevailed: he had the control over the lecturers, the freshmen and students' curriculum. This led to various conflicts between the civil and religious authorities. From 1818 the office of Gran Cancelliere was assigned to the President of the Great Civil Court, instead of the bishop.
The University Today
Today the university buildings are spread throughout the city, with a contrast between the modern, hi-tech “University City”, and numerous historical buildings in the old city centre. It offers an attractive portfolio of academic titles and is committed in the creation of a “laboratory” where the ancient Mediterranean culture meets
the new technologies, in order to offer advanced training experience.
Students wishing to take an undergraduate degree will find our university to be a high quality educational institution, with degrees specifically aimed at the labour market,
which prepare effectively for further studies. Excellent departments, schools and support services are offered throughout all of our university sites in Catania, Syracuse and Ragusa. Here, students may also discover a culturally dynamic environment suitable for growing as students and individuals as well. Those who are considering taking post graduate, masters or doctorate studies can choose among a wide range of academic fields, developed by internationally recognized research groups. Students have the opportunity to
commence their university career alongside the very best. The University of Catania is also attractive for those companies interested in transferring the technology generated from university departments and research centers.
You can find more informations about University of Catania on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Catania;
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