Interesting Fact:There is a library bell at Oxford Universitythat has not stopped ringing for more than 175 years.
Can you believe that the origin of universities will trace back to the early fifth century, and many of these universities are functioning even today? There are universities like the University of Bologna, which was established in1088-1190 and holds its head higheven today. How cool would it be to be a part of such a university that offers much more than education but also is an epicentre culture, historical lineage and the one that stood the test of time?So, today let us cover something really fascinating; let’s look at the oldest universities around the world and their current ranking.
Note: This is not a list of the oldest universities in order of establishment, but instead an article on the oldest universities, which also have a high international ranking according to the QS University ranking.
Al-Qarawinyyin is considered to be the oldest university in the world; this university was founded in 859 CE, over 1162 years old, and is located in Fez, Morocco. Al-Qarawinyyin was started as a madrasa, a school primarily for the studies of the Islamic religion. Many people do not consider it a university as its history is of a religious institution and as it did not officially become a university until 1965. However, the UNESCO and Guinness world records consider Al-Qarawiyyin as the world’s oldest existing continuously operating institute of higher education.
The oldest university in Asia is the University of Santo Tomas, located in the Philippines. This university was established in the year 1611, and the oldest US university is Harvard University, Massachusetts, which was established in 1636.
Most of the oldest universities are located in Europe, two in the UK and one university is in Africa. When we look back at history, we will find that many of the oldest universities have split into different colleges or have modernised beyond all recognition. Almost all of the universities were once a religious institution or part of a religious institution in their respective country. The buildings were part of churches, cathedrals or mosques once. With time religious studies took the back seat in these universities, and these universities expanded their curriculum to every other fieldof studies.
Here is a list of theoldest universities in the world, which also has a high international ranking according to the QS University ranking and their year of establishment :
|University of Bologna||1088||Italy|
|University of Oxford||1096-1167||United Kingdom|
|University of Salamanca||1134||Spain|
|University of Paris||1160-1250||France|
|University of Cambridge||1209||United Kingdom|
|University of Padua||1222||Italy|
|University of Naples Federico II||1224 (1258)||Italy|
|University of Siena||1240||Italy|
|University of Coimbra||1290||Portugal|
|University of Perugia||1293||Italy|