The Scuola Normale is federated with the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and the University School for Advanced Studies (IUSS) in Pavia, the only other two Italian university institutions with special status that, according to standards of excellence, carry out education activities for both undergraduates (Allievi ordinari) and postgraduates (Allievi Perfezionandi and PhD students).
With the Federation between Normale, IUSS and Sant'Anna, therefore, a unique scenario in the Italian university panorama has been established, combining quality with quantity and making this union a particularly virtuous one.
The quality lies in the research and teaching syllabus, distinctive and founding elements of each of the three Scuole; although the latter maintain their specific characteristics and their own scientific areas, it is through the pooling of teachers, skills and spaces, and by creating research centres and ad hoc educational programmes, that they can expand, strengthen and interconnect their disciplinary range, promoting new topics and innovative methodologies.
The Normale, the Sant'Anna and the IUSS collaborate in the joint promotion of their respective study courses; they carry out, in synergy, orientation courses aimed at the best students from educational institutions; they implement shared policies regarding the placing of their respective institutions within the national university system.
Within the Federation each Scuola maintains its autonomy; however, a common governance has been established - a single Executive Council, a single Auditors’ Board and a single Evaluation Team - to develop joint initiatives in the fields of teaching, research and administration, initiatives that aim to create a vast and integrated federal community able to influence the teaching syllabus, the progress of research, the structure and the international visibility of the Italian University system.