In 1806, Ferdinand III of Bourbon, King of Naples and the Two Sicilies, transformed the Palermo Academy of Studies into a University, granting it the power to confer degrees in Theology, Medicine, Law, and Arts. From its foundation to nowadays, the University of Palermo (UniPa) has become increasingly relevant in the field of higher education, research and innovation.
Since the 1990s, it has focused on the improvement of its international outlook by taking part in European Funding Programmes of student and staff mobility, like the Erasmus+, as well as in the field of scientific research, such as Horizon 2020. Today the greatest challenge for UniPa is to create a European campus, suitable for physical and virtual mobility.
UniPa is one of the biggest campus in Italy and a consolidated cultural, scientific, and teaching presence in central-western Sicily. It has more than 42,000 students and its 16 Departments cover the most important domains of contemporary scientific and technological knowledge.
Since 2021 Professor Massimo Midiri is the Rector of the University of Palermo.