Best Italian universities: the ranking | April 2021

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021

mThis ranking of the best Italian universities is intended to help those who do not know how to choose their course of study, but also to satisfy the simple curiosity of many of our compatriots. Our ranking of the best Italian universities is based on national and international rank, to be as transparent and objective as possible

Arriving at a certain point in life, many young boys ask themselves the fateful question: how to choose the university? Nowadays an increasingly specific and in-depth preparation is required in order to enter the world of work with good prospects for the future. And in any case, the university experience can also be formative from the human point of view: we are confronted with a much larger world than we were used to, we make new acquaintances and we understand what work and sacrifice means. For this reason we have decided to compile this ranking of the best Italian universities; our small contribution to making this experience as useful as possible.

How we evaluated the universities

First of all we would like to clarify that the choice can be influenced by many factors, for example the thematic branch of studies or the geographical area of ​​residence; in our ranking it takes into account objective and global factors, but the final choice must take into account personal aptitudes. In any case, this guide can be a good start and a good point of reference for starting the evaluation.

As anticipated, we based our evaluations to draw up the ranking of the best Italian universities on the different ones national to international rank made by important research institutions that we list below.

  • QS World University Rankings: one of the rankings of the best and most prestigious universities in the world, drawn up by Quacquarelli Symonds. QS uses 6 metrics that evaluate the best universities in the world:
    • Academic Reputation: this is the metric that weighs the most on the final score (40%). It collects the views of over 94,000 higher education experts regarding the quality of teaching and research at universities around the world.
    • Employer Reputation: Students perceive university education as a means by which to receive valid preparation for the job market. It follows that assessing how successful institutions are providing this type of preparation is a key parameter. This metric is based on nearly 45,000 responses to our survey and asks employers to identify the institutions from which the most competent, innovative and valid graduates come.
    • Faculty/Student Ratio: Teaching quality is typically cited by students as the most important metric when comparing institutions using a ranking. It is notoriously difficult to measure, but QS has determined that the teacher / student ratio is the most effective metric for teaching quality. It assesses the extent to which institutions are able to provide students with meaningful access to faculty and tutors and recognizes that a large number of faculty members per student will reduce the teaching burden for any single academic.
    • Citations per faculty: Another key aspect is the search output. The quality of institutional research is measured using the total number of citations received from all documents produced by an institution over a five-year period, normalizing by the number of researchers present within the university.
    • International Faculty Ratio/International Student Ratio: a highly “internationalized” university acquires and confers a series of advantages. It demonstrates the ability to attract teachers and students from all over the world. It provides students and staff with a multinational environment, facilitating the exchange of good practices and beliefs. In this way it fosters the birth in students of a feeling of internationalism and global awareness, transversal skills that are increasingly precious for employers.
  • THE Europe Teaching Rankings: The Times Higher Education is an English periodical dealing with higher education, its ranking aims to assess the quality of the teaching environment and the effectiveness of student learning and student achievement. Here are the main criteria used in the evaluation:
    • Engagement: Does the institution engage effectively with its students?
    • Resources: Does the institution have the capacity to deliver teaching effectively?
    • Outcomes: does the institution generate appropriate outcomes for students?
    • Environment: Is the teaching and learning environment inclusive?
  • Censis ranking: naturally in the ranking of the best Italian universities a national body could not be missing in the evaluation. Censis is one of the most important statistical research institutions in Italy and among other things it also deals with training. Each year it produces an articulated analysis of the Italian university system through the evaluation of universities (state and non-state, divided into homogeneous categories by size) in relation to the structures available, the services provided, the level of internationalization and the communication capacity 2.0.

Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

To draft this ranking of the best Italian universities the best Italian universities are selected from the QS ranking and then assigned a normalized score in hundredths and weighted on the basis of the data provided by the aforementioned bodies, in order to provide a global but complete measure of the prestige of the university as a research institute and educational center. More weight will be given to the Censis and QS ranks because they are more complete with data. The areas of excellence are based instead on ANVUR surveys.

Politecnico di Milano – Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

Score: 86.5


In the ranking of the best universities in Italy, the Politecnico di Milano, the most appreciated Italian university at international level, could not fail to appear. The Politecnico di Milano is a scientific-technological university that trains engineers, architects and designers. It has always focused on the quality and innovation of teaching and research, developing a fruitful relationship with the economic and productive reality through experimental research and technology transfer.

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021
Sant’Anna – Scuola Universitaria Superiore Pisa – Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

Score: 82.9


The Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna is a public university institute with a special statute, which operates in the field of applied sciences: Economics and Management Sciences, Legal Sciences, Political Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Plant Biotechnologies, Medical Sciences and Industrial and Information Engineering. It is a very selective Athenian which however offers a specialized preparation of great quality.

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021

Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna – Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

Score: 84.5


Historians agree in classifying Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna as the first university in the Western world founded in 1088 and still deserving to enter the ranking of the best Italian universities. It is a large university that hosts numerous faculties spread over 5 campuses ((Bologna, Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini) and is internationally recognized and will also be home to one of the new generation European supercomputers.

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021

Sapienza University of Rome – Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

Score: 83.6


With over 700 years of history, a total of 112,000 students, 4,000 teachers and 2,000 officials, technicians and librarians as well as 2,000 administrative staff in hospitals, Sapienza is the first university in Europe. Its mission is to contribute to the development of the knowledge society through research, training of excellence and quality and international cooperation. It is therefore a huge reality, where you will be able to deal with many different and prepared people.

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa – Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

Score: 82.7


The Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa was born in the Napoleonic period on the models ofÉcole Normale Supérieure. The Normal was reserved for the best students selected at the end of high school courses, who during the two years of studies also obtained degrees in the faculties of Arts and Sciences of the imperial university. The students had special commitments and were required to take additional courses. They were supported by tutors and had to attend seminars.

It still is today one of the most selective Italian universities and to enter you need a brilliant career as well as a strong aptitude for study. The Normal School wants identify and cultivate the talent and qualities of their pupils, guaranteeing teaching aimed at developing individual potential and abilities, in a context of coexistence, dialogue and collaboration. Dozens of girls and boys are selected every year, through a competition, on the sole basis of their talent and potential. Once they enter Normale they are housed in boarding schools, they live and work together: with them, every year the Normale chooses its future, and every day it feeds it with an investment that is unparalleled in Italy and in Europe.

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021

University of Padua – Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

Score: 79.6


In a small town with just over 200,000 inhabitants, more than a quarter are students from the University of Padua. We can say that the whole city revolves around this great university which offers a complete and excellent educational offer in many areas, as well as being very active on the international scene. Legend has it that it was born in 1223, when a group of students and professors decided to migrate from the University of Bologna to have greater academic freedom.

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021

University of Milan – Ranking of the best Italian universities in 2020

Score: 74.2


In 1924 the University of Milan took shape with the establishment of the first four faculties: Law, Humanities, Medicine and Surgery, Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences and its birth was officially celebrated on 8 December with a ceremony to the Castello Sforzesco. It is the largest university in Milan and in the whole of Lombardy.

Best Italian universities: the ranking |  April 2021

Polytechnic of Turin – …