The 10 Oldest Universities in the World

University education has existed for centuries, surely much more than is usually thought.


University education has existed for centuries, surely much more than is usually thought.

Of course, over time they have been perfected and updated, but many of them even conserve the original buildings and infrastructures. We show you a list of the 10 oldest universities in the world:

University of al-Qarawiyyin

Recognized as the first higher education institution to award degrees by UNESCO and the Guinness Book of World Records, the University of al-Qarawiyyin was founded in 859 by none other than a woman, Fatima al-Fihri.

Currently it is one of the best centers in the world in Natural Sciences, but offers studies in other fields, such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Foreign Languages. It is located in Fez, Morocco.

University of Al-Azhar

Located in Egypt, the University of Al-Azhar was founded in 970-972 and is a center of Arabic literature and teaching of Sunni Islam.

Its programs are fundamentally religious, although it also teaches all modern branches of science.

Nizam al-MulkNizamiyya

This series of universities was established in the 11th century by Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk, in what is now Iran.

The Nizam al-MulkNizamiyya universities are a model for the universities that emerged in later years and house some of the brightest minds in the world.

University of Bologna

The first European center of the ranking, the University of Bologna was established in 1088 in Italy, and in fact it was the one that coined the term “university”. At the moment it is a center of advanced education of vanguard.

Oxford University

Although its date of creation has not been clearly determined, there is evidence of its classes dating from 1096. The University of Oxford is the oldest in the English-speaking world and acquired more strength with King Henry II in 1167, who banned young people attend classes at the University of Paris.

It currently has 38 faculties and has produced some of the most outstanding scientists and thinkers in the history of mankind.

University of Paris

Although its date of foundation has not been clarified, it is estimated that it was founded between 1096 and 1150.

In 1970 the University of Paris was divided into 13 autonomous universities, today it is known as the Sorbonne, and is one of the most outstanding centers of Theology and Philosophy in the world.

University of Cambridge

This center was formed in 1209 by academics who left the University of Oxford after a great dispute, which has led to a legendary rivalry between them.

The University of Cambridge is one of the 10 best in the world and has produced 85 Nobel prizes.

University of Salamanca

The oldest university institution in Spain, the University of Salamanca was founded in 1218 and obtained its official title of “university” in 1225.

It was established by the King of León, Alfonso IX, so that the locals could study in a place other than Castilla. Until today it is the favorite center of the country for students interested in Humanities and Languages.

University of Padua

The 2nd oldest center in Italy, founded in 1222 by a group of students and professors who left the University of Bologna in search of greater academic freedom.

The University of Padua is renowned for its incredible anatomical theater and its gardens and centennial museums have led it to position itself as one of the best in the world in botany and history.

University of Naples Federico II

It is the first public university in the country, founded by Federico II, emperor of the Roman Empire.

Likewise, the University of Naples Federico II is the 3rd largest in the country and one of the 100 best in the world in the number of citations received by scientific publication.

These uiversities have known how to adapt to the times and be an essential element for the progress of society and of many fields of knowledge.

The digital age is putting on the table, the utility and purpose of higher education, in a changing world, marked by new technologies and democratized access to content and knowledge.

Although many believe that the University has lost steam in the era of technologies, continues to be a determining agent to train and guide professionals who will face new work contexts.