Top 10 Oldest Universities In the World

Have you been searching for Oldest universities in the world ??. In this article we’ll be bringing the top 10 Oldest universities in the world.

Do you know some universities around the globe are 1000+ years old? Many of them were established in the earlier 5th century and continue to function greatly even today.

Universities that survived the war of time and still withstand as leading education centres, have a lot more to offer than just a degree. They represent perseverance of culture, historic lineage, and the ability to adapt to changes that occurred over the years.

How wonderful would it be to be a part of such a university? Let us explore the survival journey of the 10 oldest universities in the world.

In this article you’ll find oldest universities in the world

Oldest Universities in The World

    1. University of Bologna
    2. University of Oxford
    3. University of Cambridge
    4. University of Salamanca
    5. University of Padua
    6. University of Siena
    7. University of Florence
    8. University of Paris
    9. University of Vienna
    10. University of Al-Karaouine
University Established In
University of Bologna 1180-1190
University of Oxford 1200–1214
University of Cambridge 1209–1225
University of Salamanca 1218–1219
University of Padua 1222
University of Naples Federico II 1224
University of Coimbra 1224
University of Valladolid 1290
University of Perugia 1293
Charles University 1308
University of Siena 1347
University of Pavio 1361
Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg 1385
Jagiellonian University 1397
University of Pisa 1400
University of Turin 1404
University of Leipzig 1409
University of St. Andrews 1410
University of Rostock 1419

Oldest Universities in the World

University of Bologna

YouTube: University of Bologna

Situated in the city of Bologna in Italy, the University of Bologna is among the top 10 oldest universities in the world. Founded by an organised guild of students in 1088, it is one of the most popular universities in Europe today. According to the QS World University Rankings 2021, the University of Bologna’s ranking stands at the 160th position. The university currently offers around 232 degree programs in the areas of  Agricultural and Food Sciences, Education, Law, Medicine, Humanities, Engineering and Architecture, Sociology, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, etc. The University of Bologna also runs some specialisation schools in the areas of Medicine, Cultural Heritage, Psychology, Health and Law and Veterinary Medicine.

Notable Alumni: Nicolas Copernicus, Albrecht Durer, Francesco Petrarch

Do you know? The University of Bologna was established as a Corporation of Professors in which the disciples had to obey the orders as a corporation of students.

University of Oxford 

Credits – M. Laser History

Ranking 5th in the QS World University Rankings 2021, the University of Oxford is the oldest university in England and the second oldest university in the world in constant operation. According to evidence, the university was operational from as early as 1096. The university comprises 39 autonomous colleges and 6 permanent private halls presently. There are around 100 major academic departments divided between the four academic divisions of Social Sciences, Humanities, Medical Sciences and Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences. Around 43 percent of the total students studying in the University of Oxford are international students.

Notable Alumni: Emma Watson, Stephen Hawkings, Oscar Wilde

You will be thrilled to know that the Balliol College of Oxford was built as a punishment!

University of Cambridge

YouTube: Leverage Edu

Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is the second oldest university in England. Located in the county town of Cambridge, it also houses the Cambridge University Press, which is the second-largest university press in the world. Ranking 7th in the QS World University Rankings 2021, the University of Cambridge is one of the best universities in the world today. The university is made up of 31 autonomous colleges and 6 schools, along with multiple faculties and departments. The six schools in the University of Cambridge include the Arts and Humanities, Physical Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Biological Sciences, and Technology.

Notable Alumni: Charles Darwin, Charles; Prince of Wales, Emma Thompson

The University of Cambridge houses more than 100 libraries and has produced the maximum number of Noble Prize winners than any other academic institution. So are you all set to add up your name in the list as well!

University of Salamanca

Credits – UNESCO

The oldest university in Spain and the third oldest operational university in the world, the University of Salamanca was founded by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It has a total of 26 faculties and schools comprising various departments and offers around 81 courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The university also has various University Research Institutes which are dedicated to research in the scientific, artistic and technical fields, along with offering specialized teaching. The most popular courses in this university are in the field of social and legal sciences. The university ranks between the 601 and 650th positions according to the QS World University Rankings 2021.

Notable Alumni: Luis de León, Luis de Góngora, John of the Cross

It is believed the Christopher Columbus has walked in down the halls of the University of Salamanca.

University of Padua

Oldest universities in the world

Credits – DECAMP Project

Founded in 1222 in the northern Italian city of Padua, the University of Padua is the second oldest university in italy and the fifth oldest university in the world. The university is divided into 8 major schools, namely the School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, School of Economics and Political Science, School of Engineering, School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage, Law School, School of Medicine, School of Psychology and the School of Science which together have a total of 32 departments under them. The University of Padua holds the 234th rank in the QS World University Rankings 2021.

Notable Alumni: Nicolaus Copernicus, Andreas Vesalius, William Harvey

The University of Padua have claimed to build the first ever astronomical theatre in the Europe.

University of Siena

Credits – University of Siena

One of the oldest public-funded universities in Italy, the University of Siena is located in the city of Siena in central Italy. The university currently ranks between the 651st to 700th position according to the QS World University Rankings 2021. The University of Siena has a total of 15 departments divided into the four major divisions of Biomedical and Medical Sciences, Economics, Law and Political Sciences, Experimental Sciences and Literature, History, Philosophy and the Arts, along with various inter-university and inter-departmental research centres. It is best known for its courses on law, economics, management and medicine.

Notable Alumni: Emanuele Montomoli, Andrea Scanzi, Rino Rappuoli

University of Florence

Credits -Università degli Studi di Firenze

The University of Florence was established in 1321 by the republic of Florence in Italy. At its inception, the subjects taught in the university included Civil and Canon Law, Literature and Medicine. The University of Florence currently holds the 432 rank according to the QS World University Rankings 2021. The university has a total of 10 schools comprising 21 departments which offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The 10 schools are – the Agricultural School, School of Architecture, School of Economics and Management, School of Law, School of Engineering, School of Psychology, Sciences School of Human Health, School of Mathematical Sciences, Physical and Natural Sciences, School of Political Sciences and the School of Humanities and Education.

Notable Alumni: Enrico Fermi, Giovanni Gentile, Giovanni Sartori

Do you know? The University of Florence was earlier a center of Renaissance Humanism.

University of Paris

Credits –

Founded in 1150, the University of Paris is the second oldest university in Europe. The university was shut down for a brief period between 1793 and 1806 during the French revolution and its aftermath. The university was divided into 13 autonomous units in 1970. It offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses to students around the world. The University of Paris has a total of 26 departments which are divided between the three broad faculties of Sciences (5 departments), Health (9 departments) and Humanities and Social Sciences (12 departments).

Notable Alumni: Pierre Curie, Roland Barthes, Sérgio Vieira de Mello

As the number of students flooded in the university, it was split into 13 independent universities in 1971!

University of Vienna

Credits – University of Vienna

Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna is one of the top 10 oldest universities in the world. It is a public university in Austria famous for studies in humanities. Ranking 150th in the QS World University Rankings 2021, this university offers around 178 different degree programs. The university offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in the fields of Art, Culture & Media, Economics, Social Sciences & Law, Education, Philosophy & Religion, History Languages & Cultures, Mathematics, Computer Science & Technology, Natural Sciences, Psychology, Health & Sports and Society & Politics. PhD programs are offered in the areas of Law/Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, Humanities, Philosophy and Education, Social Sciences, Business, Economics and Statistics, Natural Sciences and Life Sciences.

Notable Alumni: Michael Ludwig, Money Boy, Heinz-Christian Strache

The University of Vienna is the largest university in Austria.

University of Al-Karaouine

Credits – Danilo Marraffino

Located in Fez, Morocco, it is the oldest continuously operating higher educational institution (not to be confused with the oldest university) in the world. It was founded by an arab woman, Fatima al-Fihri in 859 along an associated madrasa. Initially the subjects taught at this institution included Islamic religious instruction, Arabic grammar, music, Sufism, medicine and astronomy. In 1947, the institution was integrated within the education system of the state, and from 1957, subjects like physics, chemistry, and foreign languages were introduced. The University of Al-Karaouine still follows a traditional style of instruction for its students, who come to study in the university from Morocco, Islamic West Africa and Muslim Central Asia.

Notable Alumni: Allal al-Fassi, Ibn Khaldun, Maimonides

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