Since 1990, Italian universities have developed systems of administrative, scientific and didactic autonomy.
This autonomy allows each university to create its own statute and regulations for the organisation of the various activities; autonomy is guaranteed by the fact that the Ministry no longer operates any form of merit check on the statutes and regulations, but only on legitimacy.
The universities are thus in a position to adopt their own procedures and to create a new organisation, as well as to establish systems of self-assessment.
The University of Florence adopted its own Statute in 1995 together with regulations for didactic activities and regulations for finance and accounting in 1994; all these were subsequently amended.
According to the Statute, the University operates as an educational institution and awards degrees.
The goals and missions of the University are defined in Article 1 of the Statute of the University of Florence (pdf - Italian) as follows:
Article 1 - Nature and Purposes
I. The University of Florence is a public institution representing the scientific community, whose autonomy is guaranteed by the Constitution. Its purposes are the unhindered processing and transmission of knowledge and advanced learning, in accordance with the freedoms of research, teaching and learning set forth in Art. 2 hereinafter.
II. It affirms its pluralist nature, which is independent of any religious, ideological, political or economic conditioning.
III. Through the conscientious cooperation of teachers, students and technical/administrative staff, it favours the development of critical knowledge open to the exchange of information, cultural cooperation and interaction, and which is a vehicle for progress and a tool for the affirmation of the dignity of all mankind and of just and peaceful cohabitation among nations.
IV. It promotes the internationalisation of scientific and educational programmes. It cooperates with the other university institutions of the European Union in the creation of a community forum for research and higher learning.
V. It cooperates with other universities at regional, national and international level to increase the quality and effectiveness of its institutional activities.
VI. It intervenes in favour of the right to study as defined and guaranteed by Art. 34 of the Constitution.
VII. It regards the furthering of knowledge as a qualifying characteristic of its activities and a foundation of cultural and professional education. It promotes research training.
VIII. It considers the particular characteristics of the various disciplinary areas into which its research and teaching activities are divided as a source of common wealth to be put to the best possible use.
IX. It ensures that the processing of knowledge, its innovation, enhancement and transfer go to the advantage of both single individuals and the entire society.
X. The University guarantees the contribution of its biomedical research structures to achieve the right to health as set forth in Art. 32 of the Constitution, pursuing actions which are coordinated by and integrated with the Italian Health System, with priority given to the Regional Health Service.
The cooperation between the University and the Health System is operated considering the university's autonomy but as a joint action to support the activities of research, teaching and care in compliance with the relevant regulations.
XI. The University is governed by this statute. Any regulations issued in accordance with Art. 5 below must comply with it.
Here is a summary of the entire Statute in English.