The origins of the University of Florence go back to the Studium Generale set up by the Florentine Republic in 1321. The University of Florence is one of the largest organizations for research and higher education in Italy with over 50,000 students, 1,800 teaching and research staff, 1,600 technical and administrative staff and 1,600 PhD students and research fellows.
It offers a wide range of study programmes at various levels and in all areas of knowledge. In fact, the University of Florence has 126 Degree courses (First and Second Cycle, corresponding to Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees) organized in 10 Schools and 24 Departments, with a population of about 51,000 enrolled students, one-fourth of which come from outside of Tuscany.
Thanks to its educational programmes, the University of Florence attracts not only students from every Italian region but from all over the world. This shows its natural international vocation and the development of internationalization as one of its strategic priorities. Therefore all the academic activities have a strong international dimension: there are 3,400 foreign students and about 300 cooperation agreements in place with as many universities in 75 different countries; there are also study curricula that lead to joint or double titles with other universities and, since 1999, the acknowledgement by the EU of Florence as a “European Centre of Excellence Jean Monnet” for its specialization in European integration studies.
As part of the LLP/Erasmus programme, the University of Florence has more than 700 agreements with an equal number of foreign universities.
The University has also submitted several proposals with a high success rate in the framework of the ERASMUS PLUS programme. As of December 2017, the University of Florence has over 30 Erasmus Plus ongoing projects and more than 100 other EU projects in the field of research, cooperation and joint initiatives.
The Department of Education and Psychlogy of the University of Florence id made up of about 50 scholars, including full and associate professors, assistant professors and researchers. Among its main institutional tasks there are: a) research and knowledge transfer; b) education; and c) internationalization.
In terms of research and knowledge production, the Department is focused in the sectors of schools, teaching, educational and social relations, and training. Within this context, it is the Department’s task to carry on research to investigate training processes, individual—couple—group—organization—community relations, people’s development during the lifespan and in cultural contexts, and individual and group behaviour and mental activity in both normal and vulnerable situations. Particular interest is placed on individual, relational, social and environmental wellbeing; on building social, health and educational services based on cultural, legal and scientific evidence, and the emerging needs of civil society; on developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning with a particular focus on the use of digital media and the promotion of media and digital literacy; on supporting research and training in intercultural contexts to promote equity, social inclusion and democratic citizenship.
As far as education is concerned, it ensures excellence in the training of nursery school educators (0-3), kindergarten teachers (3-6), primary school teachers (6-10), middle school (11-14) and secondary school (15-19) teachers, support teachers for the disabled, social educators, and professional and life-long learning trainers.
Coming to internationalization, all training and research activities, from the lower order and higher order degrees, to the first-level and second-level masters, the higher-education courses in general, national and international PhDs, are delivered taking care of internationalization. Both in terms of research and partnerships with foreign universities, the Department particularly championed the topic of internationalization. Besides the organizations of courses and conferences addressing international audience, the Department has a long successfull experience in the coordination of international projects and participated in dozens of European projects.