The article below ”Top 10 Oldest Universities In The World – Ancient Universities” explores ten of the ancient and the oldest universities in the history of world.
1. University of Bologna: 1088
The history of the founding of the oldest university in the world is fascinating: the university first appeared in the form of groups of foreign students called ‘nations’. These foreign students stuck together to avoid punishment for the crimes of their nations, which at the time was a viable threat. Eventually, these groups of ‘nations’ started to form together to create a ‘universitas’, which would afford them greater protection.
Despite Bologna’s alumni including three Popes, and the work of the celebrated author Umberto Eco at the university, Bologna has failed to stay on top of the modern world rankings as Oxford and Cambridge have, and it currently places at around 176 in the QS Rankings. It would appear that age is no guarantee of quality, and that it takes more than just a thousand years of teaching to produce a top university.
2. University of Al Karaouine – Morocco (founded 859 AD)
Morocco’s University of Al Karaouine or Al Quaraouiyine is considered the oldest university in the world, having been established in 859 AD in Fez. It was originally a university for natural science, but in 1957 other subjects such as mathematics and foreign languages were added. This university is considered the oldest continuously-operating degree-granting university in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.
3. University of Oxford – United Kingdom (founded in 1096)
The world-famous University of Oxford is said to have been founded in 1096, although some of its teaching pre-dates this. Originally studies were held in rented churches and halls but it rapidly developed when Henry II banned students in England from studying at the University of Paris. Over the years it has boasted some famous alumni, including C.S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde and Hugh Grant.