Rankings: what they are and how the University of Bologna fares

How they work, how the University of Bologna fares and on what scale.

What are rankings

Rankings are classifications of the world's universities drawn up by private agencies or by universities and research centres.

Rankings are based on data from public sources and information requested from participating universities themselves.

There are many rankings and each considers different parameters, the most important being academic reputation, scientific publications, number of students, educational offerings, environmental impact, and services to society.

These often fail to fully reflect the complex reality of academic institutions due to several factors, including the number of universities assessed which changes per ranking and the weightings and indicators used.

However, rankings are increasingly consulted because they offer a national and international overview of universities.

The University of Bologna in national and international rankings


The University of Bologna reaches excellent positions in the world’s major rankings every year. Such recognition confirms the university's commitment to continuous improvement.

Ranking results 

Sustainability rankings

Sustainability rankings

Sustainability, a highly relevant topic, has three main dedicated rankings that compare the universities' commitment to the environment (care of buildings, greenery, people's health), social issues (e.g. attention to gender equality), culture (courses on environmental issues, cultural activities) and economic concerns (research funding in the field of sustainability, start-ups in the sustainability sector).


Discipline Rankings

Discipline RankingsA tool for comparing global universities based on the 5 major disciplinary areas: Scienze Umanistiche, Scienze Sociali & Management; Scienze Naturali; Scienze della vita e Medicina; Ingegneria e Medicina.


Research and Reputation Rankings

Research and Reputation RankingsThe four most relevant rankings for comparing universities in research, dissemination of scientific knowledge, internationalization, publications, alumni and faculty Nobel laureates and Fields Medalists, and the social and environmental impact of universities as centres of education and research.

Italian Universities Rankings

Italian Universities RankingsThe ranking of disciplinary areas of Italian universities prepared by Censis, the Centre for Social Investment Studies.