Monash to collaborate with world's oldest university

The University of Bologna in Italy

Monash University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the world’s oldest university, the University of Bologna. The Italian university was founded in 1088, making it the longest-running university in the world.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will help grow the collaborative relationship between the two universities and will involve a PhD student exchange program, with the first student exchanges to begin before the end of this year.

The MoU was driven by Monash researcher Professor Marcello Rosa, Head of the Neuroscience Program at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, in conjunction with Professor Claudio Galletti, President of the School of Pharmacy, Biotechnology and Sport Science at the University of Bologna.

Professor Rosa said he had been working toward a MoU with the University of Bologna for more than six years. He said collaboration with the Italian university started when he was asked by a scientific journal to write a paper commenting on research by Professor Galletti.

“After that we realised we were working on very similar areas of research, which has already led to us being collaborators on two large grants together and sharing data,” Professor Rosa said.

“Our aim with this MoU is for our students to benefit from this collaborative relationship in the same way we have.”

As the University of Bologna participates in the European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus) Programme, PhD students from the two universities will be able to access European Union-funded scholarships.

Professor Rosa said the first exchange student from the University of Bologna would be coming to Monash in October this year. Students from Monash University should be at the University of Bologna to start a six-month exchange by the end of this year.