Romes Sapienza University, which is part of the University of Rome, is number 100 in the academic ranking of the world universities. Harvard came top, followed by Cambridge and then Stanford in third place.

Compiled by researchers from Shangai's Jiao Tong's university and published each year in August, criteria used to make the selection of the top 500 universities on the planet includes the emphasis placed on scientific research, the quality of the lecturers and the number of researchers employed on campus.

The number of Nobel prizes awarded to students and staff and the quantity of articles published in nature and science journals are also taken into consideration. There has been criticism that the survey does not focus sufficiently on the arts.

La Sapienza is the only Italian university that has made it in the top international universities' list.

Italy fared better in the European rankings, which included La Sapienza (in

34th place), the universities of Pisa and Milan (in the top 60) and Florence, Padoa, Turin and Bologna (in the bottom half of the top 100 list).