Rome’s La Sapienza ranked best university in Italy

La Sapienza in Rome has risen in the annual rankings to be named 'best in Italy' once again.

Rome's La Sapienza ranked best university in Italy
A statue of Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, in front of Rome's La Sapienza University. File photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The 2019 edition of the prestigious annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), by independent research organisation Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, named La Sapienza as Italy’s top university.

The ranking is based on criteria including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals and the number of highly-cited researchers.

The top 30 places in the international table were dominated by US and UK universities, with the top three places once again taken by Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge.

The highest ranking universities in Europe included ETH Zurich (in 19th place) and the University of Copenhagen (26th).

Rome came much further behind in 153rd place, closely followed by Italy’s University of Pisa and the Statale di Milano.

But it’s an improvement on last year’s ranking, where La Sapienza fell into the 201-300 range

The 2019 ranking was described by La Sapienza president Eugenio Gaudio as a “remarkable leap forward.”

ARWU ranks the world’s top 1,800 universities – out of a total of 17,000 – publishing an annual list of the top 1,000.

A total of 46 Italian universities feature in the 2019 ARWU ranking.

Another international ranking released in June 2019 also put La Sapienza in the top spot, while an Italian survey last month ranked Bologna’s historic campus as the best large university in the country


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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime