Magna Charta Universitatum

Bologna, Italy

September 18, 1988



The undersigned Rectors of European Universities, gathered in Bologna for the

ninth centenary of the oldest University in Europe, four years before the definitive

abolition of boundaries between the countries of the European Community; looking

forward to far-reaching co-operation between all European nations and believing

that peoples and States should become more than ever aware of the part that

universities will be called upon to play in a changing and increasingly international

society, Consider:


1) that at the approaching end of this millenium the future of mankind depends,

largely on cultural, scientific and technical development; and that this is built up in

centres of culture, knowledge and research as represented by true universities;


2) that the universities' task of spreading knowledge among the younger

generations implies that, in today's world, they must also serve society as a whole;

and that the cultural, social and economic future of society requires, in particular, a

considerable investment in continuing education;


3) that universities must give future generations education and training that will

teach them, and through them others, to respect the great harmonies of their

natural environment and of life itself The undersigned Rectors of European

universities proclaim to all States and to the conscience of all nations the

fundamental principles which must, now and always, support the vocation of





1. The university is an autonomous institution at the heart of societies differently

organized because of geography and historical heritage; it produces, examines,

appraises and hands down culture by research and teaching. To meet the needs of

the world around it, its research and teaching must be morally and intellectually

independent of all political authority and intellectually independent of all political

authority and economic power.


2. Teaching and research in universities must be inseparable if their tuition is not to

lag behind changing needs, the demands of society, and advances in scientific



3. Freedom in research and training is the fundamental principle of university life,

and governments and universities, each as far as in them lies, must ensure respect

for this fundamental requirement. Rejecting intolerance and always open to

dialogue, the university is an ideal meeting-ground for teachers capable of

imparting their knowledge and well equipped to develop it by research and

innovation and students entitled, able and willing to enrich their minds with that



4. A university is the trustee of the European humanist tradition; its constant care

is to attain universal knowledge; to fulfil its vocation it transcends geographical and

political frontiers, and affirms the vital need for different cultures to know and

influence each other.




To attain these goals by following such principles calls for effective means, suitable

to present conditions.


1. To preserve freedom in research and teaching, the instruments appropriate to

realize that freedom must be made available to all members of the university



2. Recruitment of teachers, and regulation of their status, must obey the principle

that research is inseparable from teaching.


3. Each university must - with due allowance for particular circumstances - ensure

that its students' freedoms are safeguarded and that they enjoy conditions in which

they can acquire the culture and training which it is their purpose to possess.


4. Universities - particularly in Europe - regard the mutual exchange of information

and documentation, and frequent joint projects for the advancement of learning, as

essential to the steady progress of knowledge. Therefore, as in the earliest years of

their history, they encourage mobility among teachers and students; furthermore,

they considere a general policy of equivalent status, titles, examinations(without

prejudice to national diplomas) and award of scholarships essential to the fulfilment

of their mission in the conditions prevailing today.

The undersigned Rectors, on behalf of their Universities, undertake to do everything

in their power to encourage each State, as well as the supranational organizations

concerned, to mould their policy sedulously on this Magna Charta, which expresses

the universities' unanimous desire freely determined and declared.