University of Naples Federico II

Naples University of Bologna Nicola Fusco

University of Naples Federico II
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Logo unina.gif
MottoAd Scientiarum Haustum et Seminarium Doctrinarum
Motto in English
For the inculcation of the sciences and the dissemination of knowledge
Established5 June 1224; 796 years ago (5 June 1224)
Endowment€473 million
RectorProf. Gaetano Manfredi
Administrative staff
5,517 (2013)
Sports teamsCUS Napoli
AffiliationsCampus Europae, UNIMED, PEGASUS
Main building, university of Naples, Federico II

The University of Naples Federico II (Italian: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) is a university in Naples, Italy. Founded in 1224, it is the oldest public non-sectarian university in the world, and is now organized into 26 departments. It was Europe's first university dedicated to training secular administrative staff,[1] and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation. Federico II is the third University in Italy by number of students enrolled,[citation needed] but despite its huge size it is still one of the best universities in Italy,[citation needed] being particularly notable for research; in 2015 it was ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by citations per paper.[2] As of 2016 it is the only generalist Italian university in the Times higher education reputation, which considers the 200 best universities in the world.[citation needed] The university is named after its founder Frederick II. In October 2016 the University hosted the first ever Apple IOS Developer Academy and in 2018 the Cisco Digital Transformation Lab.[3]


The University of Naples Federico II was founded by emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Frederick II on 5 June 1224. It is the world's oldest state-supported institution of higher education and research. One of the most famous students was Roman Catholic theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas.

Political project of Fredrick II

Fredrick II had specific objectives when he founded the university in Naples: first, to train administrative and skilled bureaucratic professionals for the curia regis (the kingdom's ministries and governing apparatus), as well as preparing lawyers and judges who would help the sovereign to draft laws and administer justice. Second, he wanted to facilitate the cultural development of promising young students and scholars, avoiding any unnecessary and expensive trips abroad: by creating a State University, Emperor Frederick avoided having young students during his reign complete their training at the University of Bologna, which was in a city that was hostile to the imperial power.[4][5][6]

The University of Naples was arguably the first to be formed from scratch by a higher authority, not based upon an already-existing private school. Although its claim to be the first state-sponsored university can be challenged by Palencia (which was founded by the Castilian monarch c.1212), Naples certainly was the first chartered one.[7]

The artificiality of its creation posed great difficulties in attracting students; Thomas Aquinas was one of the few who came in these early years. Those years were further complicated by the long existence, in nearby Salerno, of Europe's most prestigious medical faculty, the Schola Medica Salernitana. The fledgling faculty of medicine at Naples had little hope of competing with it, and in 1231 the right of examination was surrendered to Salerno. The establishment of new faculties of theology and law under papal sponsorship in Rome in 1245 further drained Naples of students, as Rome was a more attractive location. In an effort to revitalize the dwindling university, in 1253, all the remaining schools of the university of Naples moved to Salerno, in the hope of creating a single viable university for the south.[8] But that experiment failed and the university (minus medicine) moved back to Naples in 1258 (in some readings, Naples was "refounded" in 1258 by Manfred Hohenstaufen, as by this time there were hardly any students left). The Angevin reforms after 1266 and the subsequent decline of Salerno gave the University of Naples a new lease on life and put it on a stable, sustainable track.[7]


The university has 13 faculties:

Noted people

Notable alumni

Among those who have attended the University of Naples Federico II are Italian presidents Enrico De Nicola, Giovanni Leone and Giorgio Napolitano; Italian political leader Luigi de Magistris; business executive Fabrizio Freda; and philosophers Benedetto Croce and Nicola Abbagnano.

Presidents of the Italian Republic

Notable professors

Honoris Causa graduates


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[10]301-400 (2019)
CWTS World[11]168 (2019)

Several professors from various disciplines are among the top Italian Scientists by H-index.[citation needed] According to the 2016 QS World University Rankings by subject the University of Federico II ranks in the following ranges respectively: 51–100 for civil engineering, 101–150 for mechanical engineering, pharmacy and pharmacology, agriculture and forestry and physics and astronomy, 151–200 for law and legal studies, medicine and chemical engineering, 201–250 for electrical and electronic engineering, mathematics, economics and econometrics, 251–300 for biological sciences, computer science and chemistry. In November 2018 Expertscape recognized it as No. 10 in the world for expertise in Celiac Disease.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Astarita, Tommaso (2013). "Introduction: 'Naples is the whole world'". A Companion to Early Modern Naples. Leiden: Brill. p. 2.
  2. ^ "University of Naples – Federico II". Top Universities. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Polo Universitario di San Giovanni a Teduccio: inaugurato il Cisco Digital Transformation Lab – Primo Piano – Regione Campania". Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  4. ^ Capitani, Ovidio (1981). Storia d'Italia. 4. Turin: UTET. p. 122.
  5. ^ "Cenni storici (English version)". Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  6. ^ Kamp, Norbert. "Federico II di Svevia". Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b Rashdall, Hastings. The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages. 2. p. 22ff. Archived from the original on 30 April 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  8. ^ Briggs, C.A. (1916). History of the Study of Theology. 2. p. 48. Archived from the original on 1 May 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Marta Filizola – The Mount Sinai Hospital". The Mount Sinai Hospital. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  10. ^ [Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019]
  11. ^ [CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019]
  12. ^ "Expertscape: Celiac Disease, November 2018". November 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2019.