The University of Pisa is a public institution boasting twenty departments, with high level research centres in the sectors of agriculture, astrophysics, computer science, engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine. Furthermore the University has close relations with the Pisan Institutes of the National Board of Research, with many cultural institutions of national and international importance, and with industry, especially that of information technology, which went through a phase of rapid expansion in Pisa during the nineteen sixties and seventies.
The University of Pisa was officially established in 1343, although a number of scholars claim its origin dates back to the 11th century.
After the second world war the University of Pisa returned to the avant-garde in many fields of knowledge. To the faculties of Engineering and Pharmacy, established pre-war, were added Economics, Foreign Languages and Literature and Politics. In 1967 the 'Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento S. Anna' was founded which, together with 'La Scuola Normale', formed a highly prestigious learning and teaching centre.