History and Mission
Università Bocconi was established in Milan in 1902, with a generous endowment from Ferdinando Bocconi, a wealthy merchant. Named for his lost son, Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi thus became the first Italian institution of higher education to grant a degree in economics.
Since its inception, Bocconi has stood for liberalism, pluralism, and social and economic progress. While a private institution, Bocconi has traditionally been more than an elite university. It has consistently promoted and practiced equality of opportunity among its many generations of students, by actively subsidizing the education of disadvantaged and deserving students. In the words of its first Rector and President, Leopoldo Sabbatini, Bocconi’s mission is to “promote harmony between school and life.”
Today, Bocconi is a research university of international standing in business, economics, and law. Its research projects are funded by national and supranational institutions. By virtue of being a major node in the European and global network of business and economics universities, Bocconi exchanges faculty and cooperates on large projects with like-minded European and American universities and business schools. Bocconi has close relations with major corporations and international agencies, as well as their managers and officials, and constantly interacts with the business and economic environment to assess new issues, implement new techniques, and start new research endeavors.
Università Bocconi has an Undergraduate School, a Graduate School, a School of Law and a PhD School. SDA Bocconi School of Management, founded in 1971, takes care of the post-experience management education.
Bocconi grants Bachelor, Master of Science, and PhD degrees in Management, Economics, Law and other disciplines. It also offers a number of post-experience programs, and administers hundreds of advanced courses to managers and professionals in all realms of private and public management.
In keeping with the ideals of its founders, Bocconi seeks to address the research and education needs of the European and global economy, by favoring cultural progress, international exchange, and economic integration. Bocconi conceives higher education as a continuous process that spans the entire professional life of an individual. The University promotes both economic advancement and civic values, by instilling in Bocconians solid analytical skills and a strong emphasis on ethics, so that they can contribute to the innovation and development of European business and society.
International rankings of universities have become popular in the last ten years or so. They can provide some useful advice to prospective students, especially those wishing to study abroad. However, students should bear in mind that rankings are distillations of a great diversity of information, and all of them present methodological peculiarities in terms of the emphasis placed on the various factors considered.
All the main international rankings are usually based on a direct or indirect measure of a combination of the following five main factors:
- Teaching quality, which can be either indirectly measured through the student/faculty ratio or directly estimated through interviews to graduates;
- Scientific productivity, usually proxied by the number of publications and/or citations of the permanent faculty members;
- Placement and career development, either directly estimated through the average graduate salary after a number of years from graduation, or indirectly measured by interviewing major recruiters;
- Internationalization, usually proxied by the percentage of foreign students and of foreign faculty members;
- Faculty quality and diversity, usually indirectly estimated through the percentage of permanent faculty members with a PhD and the percentage of female faculty members.
Particular attention is given to pure research, which is fundamental not only for the evolution of knowledge but also for its ability, over time, to have a profound effect on the real world. Applied research considers issues more closely aligned to operative values and issues which organizations and business are particularly interested in. It aims to provide rigor and technical content to management activities in businesses and organizations.
The Research Division offers assistance to Università Bocconi teaching faculty and researchers who intend to participate in MIUR, European Union and other International Organization research projects and competitions:
- identification and dissemination of public calls of potential interest to the University;
- identification of financing options for project ideas;
- assistance in preparing competition bids;
- support in creating international consortiums;
- consults on procedures, contractual aspects and accounting.