The University of Padua was established in 1222 and it’s the second oldest Italian University after Bologna. Prominent scientists like Galileo Galilei studied in Padua and the university prides in hosting the first woman - graduate in the world in 1678.
In the academic year 2001-2002 the university admitted over 12 000 students while their total number reached 60.000. Every year 7.000 students graduate from the studies. There are 2.195 professors teaching at 13 faculties at the University of Padua. A student can choose among 90 general courses (triennial degree) and 91 courses for a specialist degree. After completing the specialist degree many possibilities are available: the offer includes 103 specialisation courses, of which many lead to the master degree, 101 Ph.D. courses and 1 400 internship conventions for graduates and diploma holders. The University’s structure embraces 67 departments, 3 institutes, 58 libraries, 25 research centres and 37 inter-university centres.
The University of Padua is involved in national and international research projects; at the same time it contributes to funding local projects to promote new research fields. The international relationship office aims to build a network with other research centres in the world and promote the exchange of academic staff and students. Another important service contributing to the spreading of know-how which has been developed at the University is cooperation with economic enterprises.
The Faculty of Political Sciences is one of the historical faculties in Padua. The activities of the Faculty are shared among 6 departments: sociology, economy, international studies, political and historical studies, statistics and comparative law. This wide spectrum of activities gives students an opportunity to choose among a variety of approaches and disciplines. The Department of Political and Historical Studies participates in national and international research projects, some of which are financed by the European Commission. The main topics of the research projects carried out at the Department are European and local policies, gender studies, political philosophy, economics and social history.