University of Catania

University Information, Campus and History
(Catania, Italy)

The University of Catania is a leading research university in Sicily, Italy. It is the primary university in Sicily, attracting a large part of the island's student population, as well as one of the largest. It has over 55,000 students and 3,000 staff, and maintains strong ties with major community service programmes in Italy and research institutes around Europe.

The University was founded in 1434, making it the oldest university in Sicily. Its founding is credited to Alfonso of Aragon and Popoe Eugene IV, who were dissatisfied with the educational system at the time. None of the three main centres of education - Palermo, Messina, and Trapani - were allowed to grant degrees, a right granted only by the Pope. Alfonso of Aragon and Eugene IV authorised the foundation of the university in 1434, but it was only ten years later that the first faculties were established. These were the Faculties of Medicine, Philosophy, Canonic and Civil Law, and Theology and Arts. The first degrees were granted to ten students at the Cathedral, where the new graduates were given gold rings and a personal blessing from the Archbishop.

Although the University has done away with such traditions, it has maintained its reputation as a premier university and remains at the forefront of research and education in Sicily. Its units and constituents are now spread throughout the city, giving it the feel of a university town within Catania. Many of its older building can be found in the city centre and are well preserved by the government, and it continues to expand with more modern facilities to create a diverse academic community.


The university has a comprehensive information resource centre, with a Central Library and 12 dependent libraries. The libraries are further divided into specialised libraries for every department, adding up to over 30 libraries. Each library focuses on a specific area of study and is located in the appropriate Faculty. The Central Library is linked to its constituents by a state-of-the-art electronic network, where a database of all available resources is available to students and staff. There are also viewing theatres for plays and musical performances, as well as audio-video rooms for playing multimedia materials.

The University also offers several facilities for sports and recreation. It has its own sports association, Centro Universitaria Sportivo (CUS) Catania, which manages the University's sports facilities for instruction and free use. Facilities include pool, track ovals, and playing fields for several outoor sports and ball games.

Famous Students

Many graduates from the University of Catania have found fame and recognition in their own areas of study, both within and outside Italy. Although a large number of them are in the fields of science and medicine, the university has also produced prominent graduates in the arts, social sciences, and public service.

Some famous University of Catania alumni are public finance expert Romilda Rizzo, STMicroelectronics vice president Mario Licciardello, agriculture business expert Massimo Amico, and Napoleone Ferrrara, inventor of potential cancer drug Avastin.

The University of Catania offers courses for international master's degrees and foreign Erasmus students, as well as foreign study programmes in Japan, India, the United States, and Latin America. It also offers the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to outstanding bachelor's degree holders. The Asia Link programme, which offers courses in nuclear physics and astrophysics, is also available.

Those interested in the US Fulbright programme can call the Commission for the Cultural Exchanges between Italy and the United States at 06,4888211 or send a fax to 06.4815680.

For the Asia Link programme, interested parties can send application forms to Università degli Studi di Catania, Piazza Università 2, 95124 Catania,. Italy. Additional information can be obtained by calling +39 095 542 277 or sending a fax to +39 095 378 5231.

Contact University of Catania:
Address: Office of Public Relations, Via Antonino di Sangiuliano 44, Catania, 95131, Italy
Tel: +39 095 311022
Fax: not available
Catania University

Catania University

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