University of Parma

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Group.png University of Parma  
Formation13. March, 962
HeadquartersParma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Claims to be the oldest university in the world

The University of Parma (UNIPR) is a public university in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It is organised in nine departments. As of 2016 the University of Parma has about 26,000 students.


The University of Parma was founded by imperial decree of the year 962, conferred by Emperor Otto I to Uberto, the bishop of Parma. It was closed in 1332 by Pope John XXII and, from then on, opened and closed again several times. It began offering studies in the liberal arts and in the 13th century it incorporated studies in law and medicine.

A refoundation occurred in 1502 and from 1545 it was under the patronage of the Ducal House of Farnese. Duke Ranuccio I of Farnese endowed the university with prestige among the nobles of the time, but between 1731 and 1748 the university entered a new decline. Under the supervision of Duke Ferdinand I of Bourbon, in 1762, a large "State University" was founded with new materials and new studies. From then on it experienced rapid growth and an astronomical observatory, a botanical garden and several laboratories for anatomy, chemistry and experimental physics were established in Parma.

The university was closed to foreign students in 1831 and went into further decline. It was reestablished in 1854 by the regent of the Duchess María Luisa and, in 1859, there was a renovation of it.[1][2]