Italy: Rome’s Sapienza University elects female rector for first time in 700 years

Rome: La Sapienza University in Rome has appointed Antonella Polimeni as its new rector, the first woman to hold the top position at the university since it was founded by Pope Boniface VIII in 1303.

Current dean of the faculty of medicine and dentistry, full professor in the dental diseases scientific-disciplinary sector, Polimeni will be the rector of Sapienza for the sexennium 2020-2026.

Polimeni is the first female rector elected to a major Italian university. She succeeds Eugenio Gaudio, who led Sapienza from 2014 to 2020.

La Sapienza is the largest university in Europe and one of the oldest in the world. With 11 faculties, it welcomes 120,000 students every year, of which 8,000 are foreign, and employs over 4,700 professors and researchers.

Earlier this year La Sapienza was ranked top university in Italy, according to the 2020-21 ranking by the Center for World University Rankings.