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Oldest universities in the world: what are they

abril 4, 2021
universidad mas antigua del mundo scaled Oldest universities in the world: what are they

The oldest universities in the world have contributed significantly to building the society in which we live. In this article we will discover which are the top universities in the world and where they are located.

The importance of knowledge

Since ancient times, human beings have valued knowledge and education. The construction of educational centers has allowed that knowledge to pass from one generation to another. In addition, it has also made it possible for it to accumulate gradually. This has led to countless scientific advances.

Oldest university in the world

Al-Qarawiyyin University

The dean on our list is the University of al-Qarawiyyin. It was founded in the year 859 of our era. This makes it the first university in the world that is still in operation today. This is attested by both UNESCO and the famous Guinness Book of Records. There are two facts about the oldest university in the world that will surprise you. The first is that it is in Africa and not in Europe, as we might expect. Specifically, it is in the Moroccan city of Fez. The second interesting aspect is related to the person who founded it, Fatima al-Fihri who was a woman, something atypical for the time.

What are the oldest universities in the world

Al-Azhar University

Without leaving Africa, we now move to Egypt, where we will find the University of Al-Azhar, whose headquarters is located in Cairo. It was founded in 975. It has a wide educational offer, which mainly focuses on the Arab world and the teachings of Islam.

universidades mas antiguas del mundo Oldest universities in the world: what are they

University of Bologna

The first European institution on the list of oldest universities in the world is the University of Bologna. You have to go back to the year 1088 to find its foundation in Italy. You may not know it, but it was this very institution that coined the term “university”. For this reason, many experts give it the recognition of being the first university in the world, ignoring that of al-Qarawiyyin.

If you want to know a little more about the history of education in the old continent, I invite you to take a look at our article on the oldest universities in Europe.

Oxford University

Preceded by its great reputation, the University of Oxford is considered the oldest in the Anglo-Saxon world. Its foundation year is set at 1096. It stands out for its high educational quality.

University of Paris

Established around 1150 in the capital of France, its university degree was received in 1200 by King Philip Augustus. It is currently known as the Sorbonne and is divided into several centers.

Other oldest universities in the world

  • Cambridge University: Founded in England in 1209 by former members of its Oxford counterpart.
  • University of Salamanca: the first in Spain. Created in 1218.
  • University of Padua: Founded in Italy around 1222 by ex-students and ex-professors from Bologna.

World’s first universities

After having analyzed this list, you will have realized that the oldest universities in the world have many years behind them. Imagine all the things that have been experienced in their classrooms. How many important people have spent their student days there.

If you have the privilege of studying in any of them, congratulations. You are very lucky. However, if your university is relatively recent, it does not mean that it is a bad place to study. By putting all your effort and becoming a great professional, you will contribute to making the name of your alma mater bigger.