20 Oldest Universities In The World

The word “university” is a long-standing symbol of humanity’s desire to learn. for thousands of years. See Oldest Universities In The World and when they were formed. some were formed more than a century ago, read on.

The Oldest Universities In The World

1. University of Bologna (1088)

First on our list of the Oldest Universities In The World is Bologna University (1088), founded in 1088 and located in Bologna, Italy. The University of Bologna is the oldest university in the world.

Many people believe the institution just became a university-standard organization in the 1150s, despite its long history of excellence in the study of law. It is consistently listed among the world’s top 200 universities.

Renaissance students at the University of Bologna included Petrarch, Albrecht Dürer, and Erasmus, among others.

2. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford was founded in 1096 and is located in Oxford, England. Oxford University is the oldest English-speaking university and one of the most prestigious in the world. Since its founding in 1660, Oxford has made numerous notable contributions to human progress.

Since its founding in 1660, Oxford has made numerous notable contributions to human progress. 

3. University of Salamanca

Founded in 1134, the University of Salamanca is located in Salamanca, Spain. Alfonso IX established the Institution of Salamanca in the medieval Kingdom of Leon, making it the oldest university in the Spanish-speaking world.

University geographers played an important role in Christopher Columbus’ exploration of the New World during his lifetime. As of right now, Salamanca is one of Spain’s leading teaching and research institutions.

4. University of Paris

After France’s national education reforms in 1970, the University of Paris was separated into 13 autonomous universities.

As a model for other institutions and humanities programs, the University of Paris is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. The history of the University of Paris is as extensive as that of France as a whole.

Napoleon Bonaparte reopened it in 1806 after it was shut down in 1793 during the French Revolution. Voltaire, Honoré Balzac, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Marie Curie are just a few of the notable Frenchmen who attended the university.

5. Cambridge University

Founded in the year 1209.  Similar to Padua, the University of Cambridge was created by academics from a rival institution. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning that dates back to the 16th century.

Cambridge has had a significant impact on the fields of science, art, and politics, and the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was founded in 1636 by Cambridge graduate John Harvard and named Harvard after him, owes its existence to the institution.

6. Padua University

Since many historians believe the University of Padua was formed much earlier than 1222, it is difficult to establish a precise date for its founding.

Founded by a group of academics and students from the University of Bologna, Padua is located in Padua, Italy. There are approximately 30 departments at the university, and its alumni include some of medieval Europe’s most significant thinkers in the fields of science and the arts.

7. Naples University

The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II founded the University of Naples Federico II with the goal of training an elite cadre of attorneys and administrators to design and enforce laws.

The University of Naples has grown through the years to become one of the largest, most influential, and most venerable institutions of higher learning in contemporary Italy and the world.

Thomas Aquinas, the venerable philosopher, and theologian was a graduate of the school, having entered as one of its first students.

8. University of Siena

The University of Siena was founded in 1240 and is located in Siena, Italy.

Siena’s student population makes up about half of the city’s total population, making it the city’s most important academic hub by far. The university’s programs in medicine, law, and economics are among its most popular offerings.

9. Valladolid Metropolitan University

Founded in Valladolid, Spain, in 1241. The Gothic and Baroque architecture of the University of Valladolid’s buildings, as well as its strong ties to local music and theater, make it a distinctive Castilian institution.

There are approximately a million documents in its library system, making it both essential and popular. Many of these materials are considered culturally and historically significant.

10. University of Coimbra 

The University of Coimbra was first formed in Lisbon in 1537 and has subsequently moved multiple times before settling in Coimbra, where it has remained ever since.

UNESCO inscribed the university’s buildings, customs, and histories as a World Heritage Site in 2013. University of Coimbra alumni include many well-known Portuguese (and Brazilian) individuals.

11. University of Macerata (tie)

The University of Macerata was founded in Macerata, Italy, in 1290.

Located within the gorgeous medieval walls of the town’s historic center, Macerata is a tiny university close to the Adriatic Sea on the Italian Riviera.

They focus on the humanities and social sciences. Students who want to study abroad can take advantage of the university’s English-language courses.

12. Complutense University of Madrid

Madrid’s Complutense University dates back to the year 1293 and is located in the capital city of Spain.

King Sancho IV of Castile, one of Europe’s most powerful kings, established this university by royal edict, and it is usually recognized as Spain’s most distinguished educational institution.

This university is home to many Nobel Prize winners and worldwide politicians, as well as strong ties to business and the community at large.

13. Sapienza University of Rome

One of the oldest universities in the world and known as “La Sapienza” or “The University of Rome,” Sapienza University of Rome is on our list. One of Europe’s largest colleges, it enrolls more than 112,000 students.

Federico Fellini and Bernardo Bertolucci, two of the most prominent directors of the 20th century, were both graduates of the university’s modern-day campus.

14. University of Perugia

Perugia University was founded in 1308 and is located in Perugia, Italy. Due to its status as a free public university in Italy, the University of Perugia is among the oldest universities in the world.

The arts, medicine, and law are all well-represented at the university.

15. University of Florence

Florence University was founded in 1321 and is located in Florence, Italy.

According to the Florentine Republic’s formal name (the StudiumGenerale), the University of Florence is located in Italy and has a strong Renaissance link. Among its alumni are Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy, and Leonardo da Vinci, who studied anatomy on campus.

16. University of Pisa

The University of Pisa was founded in 1343 and is located in Pisa, the capital of Tuscany in southern Italy.

A technical peculiarity in the city’s bell tower has made it an international tourist attraction, and it is also home to one of the world’s oldest universities.

The university has produced two Italian presidents, five Popes, and three Nobel Laureates, making it one of Italy’s most prestigious academic institutions.

17. Charles University

Pope Clement VI ordered the construction of Charles University in the Kingdom of Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Charles University is one of the world’s most esteemed universities. Due to both the Nazi occupation and Soviet tyranny, the University was significantly harmed.

However, the 1989 student protests were essential in triggering the Velvet Revolution, which led to the collapse of the Communist Party.

18. University of Pavia

Pavia University, founded in 1361, is located in Pavia, Italy, and is the oldest university in Italy.

In addition to being one of the world’s oldest universities in the world, the University of Pavia in Italy is another. Originally, it was the educational center of medieval northern Italy, and it continues to be now, as well. Despite several forced closures, the university’s enrollment has grown. A total of 20,000 students are currently enrolled.

19. Jagiellonian University

It was founded in 1364.

Krakow, Poland is the location.

Casimir III the Great established Poland’s oldest educational institution, the Jagiellonian University. The purpose of the university was to create an educated class in Poland.

All of the university’s faculty members were taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of the university between 1939 and 1945. Jagiellonian University graduates include Nicolaus Copernicus, one of the most influential astronomers and mathematicians of the Renaissance period, who was educated there.

20. Vienna University

Location: Vienna, Austria, founded in 1365

Duke Rudolph IV of Austria created Vienna University in 1814. It is the world’s oldest university (under the papal jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Empire)

According to the University of Vienna, it is the world’s oldest and longest enduring university in Germany. Over time, the university has survived the Protestant Reformation, Ottoman sieges of the 1600s, and German annexation. There are more than 180 degrees in a wide range of areas, divided among 15 faculties and four centers.

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