This post features ten of the oldest existing universities in continuous operation from around world. Like fine wines, these universities of higher learning have only improved with age and while old some of them are also considered the best universities in the world…
The Top 10 Oldest Universities in the World (Based on Founded Year)
10 – The University of Alcalá, Spain (Founded Year: 1293)
Wiki Info: The Complutense University of Madrid is a public research university located in Madrid, and one of the oldest universities in the world. The university enrolls over 86,000 students and consistently ranks as one of the top universities in Spain.
9 – The University of Valladolid, Spain (Founded Year: 1293)
Wiki Info: The University of Valladolid is a public university in the city of Valladolid, province of Valladolid, in the autonomous region of Castile and Leon, Spain. The university has 32,000 undergraduate students and more than 2,000 teachers.
8 – University of Macerata, Italy (Founded Year: 1290)
Wiki Info: It was founded in 1290 and is one of the oldest in Italy. The various Departments and Offices of the University are in the old centre within its medieval walls. The average age of UNIMC teachers, who are used to discussing both academic and current events with their students, is 40.
7 – The University of Coimbra, Portugal (Founded Year: 1224)
Wiki Info: The University of Coimbra is a Portuguese public university in Coimbra, Portugal. Established in 1290 in Lisbon, it went through a number of relocations until it was moved permanently to its current city in 1537, being one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest university of Portugal and one of the country’s largest higher education and research institutions.
6 – University of Naples Federico II, Italy (Founded Year: 1224)
Wiki Info: The University of Naples Federico II is a university located in Naples, Italy. Founded in 1224 it is the oldest public non-religious university in the world and is now organised in 13 faculties. It was Europe’s first university dedicated to training secular administrative staff and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation.
5 – University of Padua, Italy (Founded Year: 1222)
Wiki Info: The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. Padua is the second-oldest university in Italy and the world’s fifth-oldest surviving university.
4 – The University of Salamanca, Spain (Founded Year: 1218)
Wiki Info: The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the city of Salamanca, west of Madrid, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218.
3 – University of Cambridge, UK (Founded Year: 1096)
Wiki Info: Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent colleges and over 100 academic departments organised into six schools. Cambridge University Press, a department of the University, is the world’s oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world.
2 – The University of Oxford, UK (Founded Year: 1209)
Wiki Info: The University is made up of a variety of institutions, including 38 constituent colleges and a full range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the University, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities
1 – University of Bologna, Italy (Founded Year: 799)
Wiki Info: It was the first place of study to use the term universitas for the corporations of students and masters which came to define the institution, located in Bologna, Italy. As of 2013, the University’s crest carries the motto Alma mater studiorum and the date A.D. 1088. The University has about 85,500 students in its 11 schools.