About us


An anniversary, a new driving force for the future

Twenty-five years. An anniversary almost over, as we march on towards the next chapter in our history. UPO was founded on 31 July 1998, removing structures, assets, equipment, staff, students, and legal entities from the University of Turin according to the decentralisation and university autonomy model created in the 1980s and 1990s.

For those years, the idea of creating an autonomous university in the three hub-cities of Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli, where the detached structures of the mother university were already based, was very courageous; at that time almost all Italian and European universities were monocentric, expressions of a city, and not of a territory. There was tenacious, sometimes obstinate, opposition to the creation of a new university, but also the proud desire of local authorities to have their own productive system of higher education and research.

Driving force of the territory, a social elevator

Since that time, UPO has become a successful experiment. We have established original teaching and research paths; we have established networks of relationships with local, national and international partners, both public and private. We have become a real driving force in the region, creating a significant impact on the local economy.

We have increased employment, investments, and incomes; but above all we have significantly increased the level of education and socio-professional training of the population. One statistic suffices: even today, 76% of our graduates come from families where they are the first member to gain a university degree. We have acted as an irresistible social elevator for almost 50 thousand graduates, who, according to AlmaLaurea data, find work more easily than in the rest of Italy, and receive better salaries; they express a very high degree of satisfaction with their university career.

Glocal and open

We are, therefore, a young, enterprising, inclusive and open university, always ready to welcome young people in an exciting and comfortable study environment, where the teaching staff carefully cultivate the path of each fresher, enhancing the person and their talents. It is no coincidence that for some years we have defined ourselves as a glocal open campus: proud of our roots, but also capable of seizing wider opportunities and building networks on a global level.

Proof of this can be found in the current 10% of international students who choose to study with us, the hundreds of collaboration agreements with universities on all continents and, equally, with the most appreciated national and international institutions. Exchange, sharing, collaboration, variety and diversity are present every day in our physical and virtual classrooms, offices, laboratories, research centres and in the development of relationships with companies, incubators, authorities and institutions.

Proudly sustainable

There is yet another concept of which we are convinced supporters: sustainability. The urgent demands of the present define the future of the planet and the destiny of human life. The sustainable development of societies depends not only on indispensable technical and scientific skills (that we are able to foster), but also on the awareness and ability of people, disciplines and countries to work together.

In this field, UPO expresses all its potential, offering each student not only a solid interdisciplinary preparation but also a vision of knowledge and mankind inspired by the values of integration, inclusion, equality and integrity.