Magna Charta Universitatum

The Magna Charta Universitatum (Great Charter of Universities) is a short two-page document signed in Bologna, Italy in 1988 explicitly defining key principles underpinning the existence of universities such as academic freedom and institutional autonomy.[1] The document is signed by higher education institutions with the aim to recognize and celebrate university traditions and to encourage cooperation among European universities.[2] The document is intended to serve as a universal inspiration and is as such open to universities throughout the world and not only those located in Europe.[2]

Magna Charta Universitatum
Ratified18 September 1988
LocationEngrossed copy: University of Bologna
Signatories904 Universities
Purposereference for the fundamental values and principles of the university, in particular institutional autonomy and academic freedom

The charter was established by the University of Bologna and the European Rectors' Conference (now EUA) in 1988, to mark the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna, with 388 original signatories.[2][3] As of 2018 it has been signed by 889 universities from 88 countries.[4]


The Magna Charta Universitatum Europaeum was formally signed by 388 university rectors on 18 September 18 1988 at Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the founding of the University of Bologna.[5] The final text of the document was drafted in January 1988 in Barcelona.[6]

The Observatory Magna Charta Universitatum was established in 1998 and incorporated in 2000. It organised the first convention in 2001.[6] 73 universities signed the charter at the annual convention on 18 September 2018, bringing the total to 889, with 13 more having been accepted in 2019.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lee Adendorff (30 September 2021). "Is the Magna Charta Universitatum still relevant?". University World News. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Read the Magna Charta Universitatum". Observatory Magna Charta Universitum. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  3. ^ Stefan Collini (24 April 2018). "In UK universities there is a daily erosion of integrity". The Guardian.
  4. ^ "Signatory Universities". Observatory Magna Charta Universitum. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Report of the Secretary General". Observatory Magna Charta Universitatum. September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "History". Observatory Magna Charta Universitatum. Retrieved 17 August 2019.

External linksEdit