The Bologna “Stadium” was founded by students and for students in 1088. It is the oldest university in the Western. In 1888, the celebrations of the Eighth Centennial restart the role of the University of Bologna within Europe, thanks to the work of Giosuè Carducci, who in 1906 won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
On 18 September in Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, the rectors of 430 universities from all the continents signed the Magna Charta Universitatum Europaeum during the nine hundredth anniversary of the University of Bologna, formally recognized as the Alma Mater of all universities in 1988. Subsequently signed by another 400 rectors, the Magna Charta affirms the autonomy of universities, the solid ties between teaching and research, rejecting any limits posed by “all geographical and political boundaries”.
Previously limited to the province of Bologna, the Alma Mater initiated a programme of decentralization throughout Romagna, becoming the most extensive of all Italian universities in 1989. In 2000 the University recognized special forms of autonomy for the Romagna campuses, establishing the scientific and teaching campuses of Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna, and Rimini. The first reform of the University Statute, inspired by the principle of autonomy of the university in 1993. On 19 June in the Aula Magna of the University of Bologna, 29 European Ministers of Higher Education signed the Bologna Declaration, establishing a European Higher Education Area in 1999. This was the start of a reform known as the Bologna Process, committing the signatory countries to a project to restructure the university systems with a view to convergence, ending in 2010. The entry into force of the new Statute (11 January) concluded the process of university reform which began in 2010, and the implementation of the new university organization begins in 2012.