Bologna topped the the 2019 edition of the annual Italian university rankings by poll company CENSIS.

Bologna university rector Francesco Ubertini attributed the university’s success to teachers and researchers, and said “the future of Italian universities is in the international dimension”.

In the ranking of universities with more than 40,000 students, Bologna reaches an overall score of 90.8 on a scale of 60-120.

It was followed by the universities of Padova, Florence, and Rome’s La Sapienza.

Torino, Pisa, Milano, Bari, Catania and Napoli Federico II rounded out the top 10.

The study ranked universities based on factors including the quality of student facilities, international relations, the use of scholarships, digital services, and the employment rates of graduates.

Bologna scored highly in most areas, though lost points when it came to the provision of student services and on the use of scholarships to ensure the “right to study”.

Polytechnics were ranked separately in the study.

The Politecnico di Milano, which repeatedly tops international university rankings, took first place this year with an overall score of 95.8.

The University of Perugia was number one in the ranking of Italy’s smaller universities – those with between 20,000 to 40,000 students – followed by the Calabria and Parma.

The study’s authors noted that the number of students enrolling at Italian universities continues to rise, with an increase of 1.3 per cent recorded for the 2017-2018 academic year.

They reported that 47 per cent of 19-year-olds in Italy are now choosing to go to university.