The oldest universities in the world have been around for many centuries and even close to a millennium for some. In spite of their establishment which dates back to hundreds of years, they remain not only relevant but also are proven centres of excellence and prestige, thereby offering a rich mixture of contemporary thought process and historic heritage.
This is precisely the reason students from all over the world must consider to study at the oldest universities in the world. Their reputation and heritage mean that you will not only study with the best but also add your name to the list of graduates of these centres of excellence.
University of Oxford
Established in the years ranging from 1096 to 1167 AD, the University of Oxford is an institution of international repute, ranking consistently among the global top 5 universities. A student population of nearly 24000 and an alumni list that inspires awe, with its inclusion of 27 Prime Ministers of UK, 50 Nobel prize winners and 12 Saints.
These metrics are proof enough of the prestige and excellence associated with the University of Oxford, making it worth every while for studying at the university.
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge was established in 1209 by a group of scholars who left the University of Oxford. This university is now ranked among the top ten in the world and is considered a pioneer in science and technology. The university has about 19,000 students, about a quarter of which come from outside the European Union.
As both the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford share many common traditions, there is also a healthy sense of rivalry among the two. This is evident in the famous annual Boat Race Event, where both institutions compete to win the first prize.
As a leader in various fields of commerce and science, the University of Cambridge is another coveted institution that must be chosen to attain excellence in academic and other relevant fields.
University of Bologna
Among the oldest of all the world’s universities, the University of Bologna was founded in the year 1088 in the city of Bologna, Italy. It offers a diverse range of programs across various fields with about 85,000 students enrolled in it. The list of alumni includes various businessmen, Italian politicians, and 3 Popes of the Roman-Catholic world.
The fame and excellence associated with the University of Bologna mean that it is a must-have in the list of potential institutions to consider for graduate and post-graduate studies.
University of Salamanca
The University of Salamanca was founded in the year 1134, making it the oldest institution in Spain. It is located towards the western part of Madrid and is associated with the famous navigator Christopher Columbus who obtained royal support for his expeditions in the late 15th century.
While catering to over 30,000 students across nine campuses, the university is ranked in the range of 601-650 range of the QS world university rankings 2020. The heritage and ancestry associated with this institution in Spain ensure that it remains popular among students all across the EU and the world.
University of Paris
The University of Paris was established between the years 1160 and 1250 in the French capital of Paris. This university, also known as “La Sorbonne”, is a scattered institution these days with its division into 13 autonomous institutes in the year 1970.
The peculiar fact about these 13 autonomous institutes is that they maintain the high ranking of the original university, with the Sorbonne University being ranked the highest at number 77 in the QS world university rankings 2020.
The high rankings and location in the beautiful city of Paris ensure that a lot of students from all over the world find the University of Paris as a potential destination for their studies.
University of Padua
This university was established in the year 1222 and is currently ranked 234 in the world university rankings. The University of Padua is famous for its transformational research in the areas of astronomy, medicine, law and philosophy.
The university, which also hosts nine ancient museums, is located in the city of Padua in Italy. The student count of this university is about 62,000 across the areas of Science, Law, Medicine and Arts.
University of Siena
The University of Siena was established in the year 1240 in the city of Sienna of the region of Tuscany. The university is ranked in the range of 701-750 according to the QS world university rankings 2020.
Not only this, this university is large enough to comprise half of the population of the city of Siena, whose city centre is declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. This university is popular among students in the EU for is learning excellence and the quietude of small city life.
University of Coimbra
Established in the city of Coimbra of 1290, the University of Coimbra is ranked 406th in the QS world university rankings 2020. The importance of this university can be judged from the fact that in some decades of the 18th century, this was the only operating university in Portugal.
After that, the university underwent many radical reforms in its methodology, learning centres and also underwent changes in location, before finally settling in the city of Coimbra. The university has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in the year 2013, which recognizes its open courtyards, historical buildings, stunning views and historical traditions.
This university is quite popular across the EU, particularly in Portugal, due to its historical significance, the student population of over 24000 and excellence with centres of learning across the disciplines of art, humanities, science and liberal arts.