University of Milano - Bicocca
The University of Milano – Bicocca, or simply Bicocca, was established in 1998 and is located in Bicocca, the northern outskirts of the city of Milan, on the former industrial site of the Pirelli tire company. Bicocca is part of a new urban centre in Milan, which includes the new headquarters of the Pirelli Group, Pneumatici Pirelli; the National Research Council (CNR); offices of multinational companies and the Arcimboldi Theatre, as well as a sports centre and shops.
Milan, and its surrounding area, is known as the economic heart of Lombardy, as well as “one of the four driving engines of Europe.” In the 20th Century, Northern Milan was the most significant industrial centre of Italy, due to its mechanical and heavy metal industries. However, because of the decline in the field of heavy industries, Milan’s economic transformation gradually revolved around innovation and technology-based activities.
Alhough Bicocca was officially opened in 1998, it did not initially hire a permanent teaching staff, but instead groups of professors and researchers chose to broaden the university’s academic horizons without having their work limited by traditional educational methods. Thus, the university became a training ground of sorts even for the most traditional disciplines, and included a campus open not only to students, but to everyone. Bicocca features large open spaces, lecture rooms, study areas, equipped laboratories and a central library, as well as specialised libraries. The university also provides student services, a sports centre, medical centre, dining hall, a bank, housing and handicap assistance.
The university boasts eight faculties which encompass the fields of humanities and sciences, with each offering first- and second-level degree programmes in Economics, Educational Sciences, Law, Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery, Psychology, Statistical Sciences, and Sociology. The Department of Biotechnologies and Biosciences, established in January 1999, is one of the most significant Italian university departments and hosts the Doctorate and Masters programmes. Bicocca also plays a significant role in the international scientific community, with most of the university’s researchers and scientists having conducted research at other Milan universities, including the University of Milan (Statale) and Politecnico of Milan, the largest technical university in Italy.
Bicocca quickly embraced such European research and training programmes as the Socrates Programme, an educational project of the European Commission (EC) which included 31 countries.
This programme was replaced by the Socrates II programme in 2000, and again replaced by the Lifelong Learning Programme, which is to operate from 2007 until 2013. The university’s international programmes offer the participation of researchers in international projects, publication of the works of professors and researchers in international journals, and the organisation of PhD research programmes in collaboration with universities abroad. More information about the University of Milano – Bicocca can be found at www.unimib.it.