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List of oldest universities in continuous operation

List of oldest universities in continuous operation

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This is a list of the oldest extant universities in the world. To be included in this table, an educational institution must satisfy the definition of a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 at the time of its founding. It must have been founded before 1500 (invariably in Europe) or be the oldest university in a region; universities were first founded in Europe as degree-granting institutions before 1500, after which time they were spread around the world first to places the Europeans ruled
Colonial empire
The Colonial empires were a product of the European Age of Exploration that began with a race of exploration between the then most advanced maritime powers, Portugal and Spain, in the 15th century...

, and then to other countries in the 19th century.

The word university is derived from the , roughly meaning "community of teachers and scholars". The term was coined by the Italian University of Bologna
University of Bologna
The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...

, which, with a traditional founding date of 1088, is considered the first university. The origin of many medieval universities
Medieval university
Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

 can be traced to the Christian cathedral school
Cathedral school
Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools...

s or monastic school
Monastic school
Monastic schools were, along with cathedral schools, the most important institutions of higher learning in the Latin West from the early Middle Ages until the 12th century. Since Cassiodorus's educational program, the standard curriculum incorporated religious studies, the Trivium, and the...

s which appear as early as the 6th century AD and were run for hundreds of years as such before their formal establishment as university in the high medieval period
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

.

Although there were other institutions of higher learning
Ancient higher-learning institutions
Ancient higher-learning institutions which give learning an institutional framework date back to ancient times and can be found in many cultures. These ancient centres were typically institutions of philosophical education and religious instruction...

, like those of ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, and other civilizations, these aren't generally regarded as being universities as they largely didn't offer degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

s or they were culturally dissimilar from the European universities where the concept of the modern university came from.

Medieval origins



The word university is derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 universitas magistrorum et scholarium, roughly meaning "community of teachers and scholars". The term was coined by the Italian University of Bologna
University of Bologna
The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...

, which, with a traditional founding date of 1088, is considered the first university. The origin of many medieval universities
Medieval university
Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

 can be traced to the Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 cathedral school
Cathedral school
Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools...

s or monastic school
Monastic school
Monastic schools were, along with cathedral schools, the most important institutions of higher learning in the Latin West from the early Middle Ages until the 12th century. Since Cassiodorus's educational program, the standard curriculum incorporated religious studies, the Trivium, and the...

s which appear as early as the 6th century AD and were run for hundreds of years as such before their formal establishment as university in the high medieval period
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

.

Rooted in medieval society, the university as an institution was intrinsically linked to Christian faith and the medieval lifeworld
Lifeworld
Lifeworld may be conceived as a universe of what is self-evident or given, a world that subjects may experience together. For Husserl, the lifeworld is the fundament for all epistemological enquiries. The concept has its origin in biology and cultural Protestantism.The lifeworld concept is used in...

 which it in turn influenced and shaped:

Modern spread


From the early modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

 onwards, the university gradually spread from the medieval Latin west across the globe, eventually replacing all other higher-learning institutions
Ancient higher-learning institutions
Ancient higher-learning institutions which give learning an institutional framework date back to ancient times and can be found in many cultures. These ancient centres were typically institutions of philosophical education and religious instruction...

 and becoming the preeminent institution for higher education everywhere. This process occurred in the following chronological order:
  • Western Europe (since 11th/12th century)
  • Eastern Europe (since 14th/15th century)
  • Americas (since 16th century)
  • Australia (since 19th century)
  • Asia and Africa (since 19th/20th century)

Founded before 1500


The earliest and only universities before the colonization of the Americas were established and run in medieval Europe.
Year Contemporaneous location Current location Name Notes
1088
Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

  Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

, Italy
University of Bologna
University of Bologna
The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...

The first university in the sense of a higher learning, degree awarding institute, the word university having been coined at its foundation. It is also the oldest continually operating university in the world.
825 Kingdom of England   Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, England, UK
University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

"Claimed to be the oldest university in the world, there is no clear date of foundation of Oxford University, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 banned English students from attending the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

." Teaching suspended in 1209 (due to town execution of two scholars) and 1355 (due to the St. Scholastica riot), but was continuous during the English Civil War (1642–1651) - the University was Royalist. All Souls College and University College have repeatedly claimed that they own documents proving that teaching in Oxford started in the year 825, but these documents have never seen the public light (allegedly, John Speed
John Speed
John Speed was an English historian and cartographer.-Life:He was born at Farndon, Cheshire, and went into his father's tailoring business where he worked until he was about 50...

 dated his famous 1605 Oxford maps based on these documents). However, it was not until 1254 that Pope Innocent IV granted to Oxford the University charter by papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 ("Querentes in agro").
1134 (1218)
Kingdom of León
Kingdom of León
The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in AD 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León...

  Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

, Spain
University of Salamanca
University of Salamanca
The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It is the oldest founded university in Spain and the third oldest European...

It is the oldest university in operation in Spain. Although there are records of the University granting degrees many years before (James Trager's People's Chronology sets its foundation date in 1134), it only received the Royal chart of foundation as "Estudio General" in 1218, making it possibly the fourth or even the third oldest European university in continuous operations. However, it was the first European university to receive the title of "University" as such, granted by king of Castile and León Alfonso X and the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 in 1254. Having been excluded from the University in 1852 by the Spanish government, the Faculties of Theology and Canon Law became the Pontifical University of Salamanca
Pontifical University of Salamanca
The Pontifical University of Salamanca is a private, catholic university, located in Salamanca, Spain, and campus in Salamanca and Madrid.- History :...

 in 1940.
1150 Kingdom of France
France in the Middle Ages
France in the Middle Ages covers an area roughly corresponding to modern day France, from the death of Louis the Pious in 840 to the middle of the 15th century...

  Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid-12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1170 (or, possibly, as early as 1150). After many changes, including a century of suspension (1793–1896), it ceased to exist as such in 1970 and 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII) were created from it. The university is often referred to as the Sorbonne or La Sorbonne after the collegiate institution (Collège de Sorbonne) founded about 1257 by Robert de Sorbon. In fact, the university as such was older and was never completely centered on the Sorbonne. Of the 13 current successor universities, the first 4 have a presence in the historical Sorbonne building, and three include "Sorbonne" in their names.
1175 Commune of Modena
Modena
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....

  Modena
Modena
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....

, Italy
University of Modena Founded by professor Pillio of Medicina after leaving University of Bologna
University of Bologna
The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...

. Closed in the 1590s, the university was not reestablished in Modena until the 1680s and did not receive an imperial charter until 1685.
1204   Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

, Italy
University of Vicenza
University of Vicenza
The University of Vicenza is an ancient university located in the town of Vicenza in the Veneto region of Italy which has declined in importance since it was overtaken by newer Italian universities. It has been recognized as a studium generale since early in the 13th Century.-External...

Closed in 1209.
1209 (1231) Kingdom of England   Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, England, UK
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

Founded by scholars leaving Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 after a dispute caused by the execution of two scholars in 1209.
1215 Commune of Arezzo
Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

  Arezzo
Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000....

, Italy
University of Arezzo
University of Arezzo
The University of Arezzo is an ancient university founded in 1215 and located in the town of Arezzo in the Tuscany region of Italy which has declined in importance since it was overtaken by newer Italian universities. It has been recognized as a studium generale since early in the 13th...

Closed in 15th century.
1222 (probably older) Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

  Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, Italy
University of Padua
University of Padua
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. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second...

Founded by scholars and professors after leaving Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

.
1224 City of Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

  Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, Italy
University of Naples Federico II
University of Naples Federico II
The University of Naples Federico II is a university located in Naples, Italy. It was founded in 1224 and is organized into 13 faculties. It is the world's oldest state university and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation...

Founded by Frederick II
Frederick II
Frederick II may refer to:* Frederick II, Duke of Swabia * Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor , king 1211/12–1250, emperor from 1220* Frederick II of Austria , Duke of Austria 1230–1246* Frederick III of Sicily...

, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.
1229 Kingdom of France
France in the Middle Ages
France in the Middle Ages covers an area roughly corresponding to modern day France, from the death of Louis the Pious in 840 to the middle of the 15th century...

  Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

, France
University of Toulouse
University of Toulouse
The Université de Toulouse is a consortium of French universities, grandes écoles and other institutions of higher education and research, named after one of the earliest universities established in Europe in 1229, and including the successor universities to that earlier university...

1240
Commune of Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

  Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

, Italy
University of Siena
University of Siena
The University of Siena in Siena, Tuscany is one of the oldest and first publicly funded universities in Italy. Originally called Studium Senese, the University of Siena was founded in 1240. The University has around 20,000 students, nearly half of Siena's total population of around 54,000...

Originally called Studium Senese, was founded by Commune of Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 in 1240. In 1321, the studium was able to attract a larger number or pupils due to a mass exodus from the prestigious neighbouring University of Bologna
University of Bologna
The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...

. Closed temporarily in 1808–1815 when Napoleonic forces occupied Tuscany. On November 7, 1990 the university celebrated its 750th anniversary.
1272 Kingdom of Murcia, Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

  Murcia
Murcia
-History:It is widely believed that Murcia's name is derived from the Latin words of Myrtea or Murtea, meaning land of Myrtle , although it may also be a derivation of the word Murtia, which would mean Murtius Village...

, Spain
University of Murcia
University of Murcia
The University of Murcia is the main university in Murcia, Spain. With 38,000 students, it is the largest university in the Región de Murcia.-History:...

It was founded as the Universitas Studiorum Murciana by Alfonso X of Castile around 1272. The current University of Murcia
University of Murcia
The University of Murcia is the main university in Murcia, Spain. With 38,000 students, it is the largest university in the Región de Murcia.-History:...

 was founded in 1915, making it the tenth oldest university in Spain, but its seal carries the date of the thirteenth century founding.
1289 Kingdom of France
France in the Middle Ages
France in the Middle Ages covers an area roughly corresponding to modern day France, from the death of Louis the Pious in 840 to the middle of the 15th century...

  Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

, France
University of Montpellier
University of Montpellier
The University of Montpellier was a French university in Montpellier in the Languedoc-Roussillon région of the south of France. Its present-day successor universities are the University of Montpellier 1, Montpellier 2 University and Paul Valéry University, Montpellier III.-History:The university...

The university is considerably older than its formal founding date, associated with a bull issued by Pope Nicholas IV in 1289, combining all the long-existing schools into a university.
1290
Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

  Macerata
Macerata
Macerata is a city and comune in central Italy, the capital of the province of Macerata in the Marche region.The historical city center is located on a hill between the Chienti and Potenza rivers. It consisted of the Picenes city named Ricina, then, after the romanization, Recina and Helvia Recina...

, Italy
University of Macerata
University of Macerata
The University of Macerata is a university located in Macerata, Italy. It was founded in 1290 and is organized in 7 Faculties.-Organization:These are the 7 faculties in which the university is divided into:* Faculty of Communication Sciences...

The University of Macerata (Italian: Università degli Studi di Macerata) is a university located in Macerata, Marche, Italy. It was founded in 1290 and is organized into 7 faculties.
1290
Kingdom of Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...


Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

  Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

, Portugal
University of Coimbra Begun its existence in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 with the name Studium Generale
Studium Generale
Studium generale is the old customary name for a Medieval university.- Definition :There is no clear official definition of what constituted a Studium generale...

 (Estudo Geral). Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis, the royal charter announcing the institution of the University, was dated 1 March of that year, although efforts had been made at least since 1288 to create this first university in Portugal. The papal confirmation was also given in 1290 (on 9 August of that year), during the papacy of Pope Nicholas IV
Pope Nicholas IV
Pope Nicholas IV , born Girolamo Masci, was Pope from February 22, 1288 to April 4, 1292. A Franciscan friar, he had been legate to the Greeks under Pope Gregory X in 1272, succeeded Bonaventure as Minister General of his religious order in 1274, was made Cardinal Priest of Santa Prassede and...

.
1293
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

  Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Spain
Complutense University of Madrid
Complutense University of Madrid
The Complutense University of Madrid is a university in Madrid, and one of the oldest universities in the world. It is located on a sprawling campus that occupies the entirety of the Ciudad Universitaria district of Madrid, with annexes in the district of Somosaguas in the neighboring city of...

 and University of Alcalá
University of Alcalá
The University of Alcalá is a public university located in Alcalá de Henares, a city 35 km northeast of Madrid in Spain. Founded in 1499, it was moved in 1836 to Madrid. In 1977, the University was reopened in its same historical buildings...

The Complutense University of Madrid was founded by King Sancho IV of Castile
Sancho IV of Castile
Sancho IV the Brave was the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1284 to his death. He was the second son of Alfonso X and Yolanda, daughter of James I of Aragon.-Biography:...

 as Studium Generale
Studium Generale
Studium generale is the old customary name for a Medieval university.- Definition :There is no clear official definition of what constituted a Studium generale...

 in 1293. It was granted Papal Bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 in 1499, and quickly gained international fame thanks to the patronage of Cardinal Cisneros and the production of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible
Complutensian Polyglot Bible
The Complutensian Polyglot Bible is the name given to the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible, initiated and financed by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros . It includes the first printed editions of the Greek New Testament, the complete Septuagint, and the Targum Onkelos...

 in 1517, which is the basis for most of the current translations. The University moved to Madrid in 1836 by Royal Decree. The Moyano Law of 1857 established Complutense as the sole university in Spain authorized to confer the title of Doctor
Doctor (title)
Doctor, as a title, originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre . It has been used as an honored academic title for over a millennium in Europe, where it dates back to the rise of the university. This use spread...

 on any scholar. This law remained in effect until 1954.
1300
Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

  Lleida
Lleida
Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida, as well as the largest city in the province and it had 137,387 inhabitants , including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs. The metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants...

, Spain
University of Lleida
University of Lleida
The University of Lleida is a university based in Lleida , Spain. It was the first university in Catalonia and the whole Crown of Aragon...

The University of Lleida has its roots in the Estudi General
Studium Generale
Studium generale is the old customary name for a Medieval university.- Definition :There is no clear official definition of what constituted a Studium generale...

 de Lleida
, which was created in 1300 by virtue of a charter granted to the city of Lleida by King James II of Aragon
James II of Aragon
James II , called the Just was the King of Sicily from 1285 to 1296 and King of Aragon and Valencia and Count of Barcelona from 1291 to 1327. In 1297 he was granted the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica...

. He based his decision on a papal bull issued in Rome on 1st April 1297, by Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

.
1303
Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

  Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
La Sapienza University of Rome Founded by Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

, but became a state university in 1935. According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, the university "remained closed during the entire pontificate of Clement VII".
1308 Commune of Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

  Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

, Italy
University of Perugia
University of Perugia
University of Perugia is a public-owned university based in Perugia, Italy. It was founded in 1308, as attested by the Bull issued by Pope Clement V certifying the birth of the Studium Generale....

Attested by the Bull of Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

.
1321
Republic of Florence
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence , or the Florentine Republic, was a city-state that was centered on the city of Florence, located in modern Tuscany, Italy. The republic was founded in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon Margravine Matilda's death. The...

  Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Italy
University of Florence
University of Florence
The University of Florence is a higher study institute in Florence, central Italy. One of the largest and oldest universities in the country, it consists of 12 faculties...

The University of Florence evolved from the Studium Generale
Studium Generale
Studium generale is the old customary name for a Medieval university.- Definition :There is no clear official definition of what constituted a Studium generale...

, which was established by the Florentine Republic in 1321. The Studium was recognized by Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI , bornPierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 until his death in December of 1352...

 in 1349.
1343 Republic of Pisa
Republic of Pisa
The Republic of Pisa was a de facto independent state centered on the Tuscan city of Pisa during the late tenth and eleventh centuries. It rose to become an economic powerhouse, a commercial center whose merchants dominated Mediterranean and Italian trade for a century before being surpassed and...

  Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, Italy
University of Pisa
University of Pisa
The University of Pisa , located in Pisa, Tuscany, is one of the oldest universities in Italy. It was formally founded on September 3, 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI, although there had been lectures on law in Pisa since the 11th century...

It was formally founded on September 3, 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI , bornPierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 until his death in December of 1352...

, although there had been lectures on law in Pisa since the 11th century. Nowadays is one of the most important universities in Italy.
1348
Kingdom of Bohemia
Kingdom of Bohemia
The Kingdom of Bohemia was a country located in the region of Bohemia in Central Europe, most of whose territory is currently located in the modern-day Czech Republic. The King was Elector of Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, whereupon it became part of the Austrian Empire, and...


Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

  Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, Czech Republic
Charles University of Prague Three of four faculties closed in 1419, joined with Jesuit university and renamed Charles-Ferdinand University in 1652, split into German and Czech part in 1882, Czech branch closed during Nazi occupation (1939–1945), German branch closed in 1945.
1361 Lordship of Milan
House of Visconti
Visconti is the family name of two important Italian noble dynasties of the Middle Ages. There are two distinct Visconti families: The first one in the Republic of Pisa in the mid twelfth century who achieved prominence first in Pisa, then in Sardinia where they became rulers of Gallura...

  Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

, Italy
University of Pavia
University of Pavia
The University of Pavia is a university located in Pavia, Lombardy, Italy. It was founded in 1361 and is organized in 9 Faculties.-History:...

Closed for short periods during the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

, Napoleonic wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, and Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

.
1364 Kingdom of Poland   Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, Poland
Jagiellonian University
Jagiellonian University
The Jagiellonian University was established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great in Kazimierz . It is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world....

Development stalled early, re-established from 1400 onwards. Closed after the German occupation of Poland in 1939 but reopened clandestinely three years later.
1365  Holy Roman Empire   Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria
University of Vienna
University of Vienna
The University of Vienna is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world...

Modelled on the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

.
1386  Holy Roman Empire   Heidelberg
Heidelberg
-Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

, Germany
Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg is a public research university located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386, it is the oldest university in Germany and was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire. Heidelberg has been a coeducational institution...

Founded by Rupert I, Elector Palatine. The oldest in Germany.
1391 Lordship of Ferrara   Ferrara
Ferrara
Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km north...

, Italy
University of Ferrara
University of Ferrara
The University of Ferrara is the main university of the city of Ferrara in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. In the years prior to the First World War the University of Ferrara, with more than 500 students, was the best attended of the free universities in Italy...

Founded by Marquis Alberto d'Este
Alberto d'Este
Alberto d'Este was lord of Ferrara and Modena from 1388 until his death.He was associated in the lordship of the House of Este by his brother Niccolò in 1361, becoming the sole ruler of Ferrara and Modena after the latter's death in 1388...

.
1409  Holy Roman Empire   Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

, Germany
University of Leipzig
University of Leipzig
The University of Leipzig , located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university in Germany...

Founded when German-speaking staff left Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 due to the Jan Hus
Jan Hus
Jan Hus , often referred to in English as John Hus or John Huss, was a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague...

 crisis.
1413  Kingdom of Scotland   St Andrews
St Andrews
St Andrews is a university town and former royal burgh on the east coast of Fife in Scotland. The town is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle.St Andrews has a population of 16,680, making this the fifth largest settlement in Fife....

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

Founded by a Papal Bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

1419  Holy Roman Empire   Rostock
Rostock
Rostock -Early history:In the 11th century Polabian Slavs founded a settlement at the Warnow river called Roztoc ; the name Rostock is derived from that designation. The Danish king Valdemar I set the town aflame in 1161.Afterwards the place was settled by German traders...

, Germany
University of Rostock
University of Rostock
The University of Rostock is the university of the city Rostock, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.Founded in 1419, it is the oldest and largest university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area...

During the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, "the Catholic university of Rostock closed altogether and the closure was long enough to make the refounded body feel a new institution".
1434   Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

  Catania
Catania
Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

, Italy
University of Catania
University of Catania
The University of Catania is a university located in Catania, Italy, and founded in 1434. It is the oldest university in Sicily, the 13th oldest in Italy and the 29th oldest university in the world...

The oldest in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

.
1450
Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

  Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Spain
University of Barcelona
University of Barcelona
The University of Barcelona is a public university located in the city of Barcelona, Catalonia in Spain. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, LERU, European University Association, Mediterranean Universities Union, International Research Universities Network and Vives Network...

Founded by Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso the Magnanimous KG was the King of Aragon , Valencia , Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica , and Sicily and Count of Barcelona from 1416 and King of Naples from 1442 until his death...

 as Estudi general
Studium Generale
Studium generale is the old customary name for a Medieval university.- Definition :There is no clear official definition of what constituted a Studium generale...

 de Barcelona
after the unification of all university education. For forty-nine years prior to that foundation, however, the city had had a fledgling medical school
Medieval medicine
Medieval medicine in Western Europe was composed of a mixture of existing ideas from antiquity, spiritual influences and what Claude Lévi-Strauss identifies as the "shamanistic complex" and "social consensus." In this era, there was no tradition of scientific medicine, and observations went...

 founded by King Martin of Aragon, and in the 13th century Barcelona already possessed several civil and ecclesiastical schools.
1451  Kingdom of Scotland   Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, Scotland
University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

Founded by a Papal Bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

1456  Holy Roman Empire   Greifswald
Greifswald
Greifswald , officially, the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald is a town in northeastern Germany. It is situated in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, at an equal distance of about from Germany's two largest cities, Berlin and Hamburg. The town borders the Baltic Sea, and is crossed...

, Germany
University of Greifswald Teaching had started by 1436. Closed down during the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 (1527–39).
1457  Holy Roman Empire   Freiburg
Freiburg
Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. In the extreme south-west of the country, it straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain...

, Germany
Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg Temporarily transferred to Constance
Constance
Constance is a female given name that derives from Latin and means "constant." Variations of the name include Connie, Constancia, Constanze, Constanza, Stanzy, and Konstanze.Constance may refer to:-People:*Constance Bennett , American actress...

 in 1686–98 and 1713–15.
1460  Holy Roman Empire   Basel
Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

, Switzerland
University of Basel
University of Basel
The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland, and is considered to be one of leading universities in the country...

Founded in 1460 (Schola Basiliensis), the University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland. http://www.universitieshandbook.com/index.php?option=com_mtree&link_id=13&task=viewlink&Itemid=53
1472  Holy Roman Empire   Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Germany
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich , commonly known as the University of Munich or LMU, is a university in Munich, Germany...

Founded in Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt is a city in the Free State of Bavaria, in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is located along the banks of the Danube River, in the center of Bavaria. As at 31 March 2011, Ingolstadt had 125.407 residents...

 in 1459, transferred to Landshut
Landshut
Landshut is a city in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany, belonging to both Eastern and Southern Bavaria. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria. It is also the seat of the...

 in 1800, moved to Munich in 1826.
1477  Holy Roman Empire   Tübingen
Tübingen
Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers.-Geography:...

, Germany
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen is a public university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is one of Germany's oldest universities, internationally noted in medicine, natural sciences and the humanities. In the area of German Studies it has been ranked first among...

1477  Kalmar Union   Uppsala
Uppsala
- Economy :Today Uppsala is well established in medical research and recognized for its leading position in biotechnology.*Abbott Medical Optics *GE Healthcare*Pfizer *Phadia, an offshoot of Pharmacia*Fresenius*Q-Med...

, Sweden
Uppsala University
Uppsala University
Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477. It consistently ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe in international rankings and is generally considered one of the most prestigious institutions of...

Uppsala's bull, which granted the university its corporate rights, was issued by Pope Sixtus IV in 1477, and established a number of provisions. Among the most important of these was that the university was officially given the same freedoms and privileges as the University of Bologna.
1479  Kalmar Union   Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Denmark
University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

1495  Kingdom of Scotland   Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, Scotland
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
The University of Aberdeen, an ancient university founded in 1495, in Aberdeen, Scotland, is a British university. It is the third oldest university in Scotland, and the fifth oldest in the United Kingdom and wider English-speaking world...

King's College
King's College, Aberdeen
King's College in Old Aberdeen, Scotland is a formerly independent university founded in 1495 and an integral part of the University of Aberdeen...

 was founded by Papal Bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 in 1495 and Marischal College
Marischal College
Marischal College is a building and former university in the centre of the city of Aberdeen in north-east Scotland. The building is owned by the University of Aberdeen and used for ceremonial events...

 in 1593; they merged in 1860
1495
Kingdom of Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia
The Kingdom of Galicia was a political entity located in southwestern Europe, which at its territorial zenith occupied the entire northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Founded by Suebic king Hermeric in the year 409, the Galician capital was established in Braga, being the first kingdom which...

  Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

, Spain
University of Santiago de Compostela
University of Santiago de Compostela
The Royal University of Santiago de Compostela - USC is a public university located in the city of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. A second campus is located in Lugo, Galicia....

The university traces its roots to 1495, when a school was opened in Santiago. In 1504, Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 approved the foundation of a university in Santiago, and the bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 for its creation was granted by Clement VII in 1526.
1499
Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

  Valencia, Spain University of Valencia

Oldest universities by country or region after 1500 still in operation


The majority of European countries had universities by 1500. After 1500, universities began to spread to other countries all over the world:

Europe

  • Belarus: Belarusian State University
    Belarusian State University
    Belarusian State University , Minsk, Belarus, was founded on October 30, 1921. The BSU is a higher education establishment in the Republic of Belarus.-History:...

    , 1921
  • Belgium
    • Ghent University
      Ghent University
      Ghent University is a Dutch-speaking public university located in Ghent, Belgium. It is one of the larger Flemish universities, consisting of 32,000 students and 7,100 staff members. The current rector is Paul Van Cauwenberge.It was established in 1817 by King William I of the Netherlands...

      , 1817.
    • University of Liège
      University of Liège
      The University of Liège , in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium, is a major public university in the French Community of Belgium. Its official language is French.-History:...

      , 1817.
    • Catholic University of Mechlin
      Catholic University of Mechlin
      The Catholic University of Mechlin was a university that was founded in Mechelen , Belgium, on November 8, 1834 by the bishops of Belgium.The bishops aimed to create a university "to accommodate any doctrine from the Holy Apostolic See and to repudiate anything that does not flow from this august...

      , 1834, then called Catholic University of Louvain, 1835.
    • Free University of Brussels
      Université Libre de Bruxelles
      The Université libre de Bruxelles is a French-speaking university in Brussels, Belgium. It has 21,000 students, 29% of whom come from abroad, and an equally cosmopolitan staff.-Name:...

      , 1834.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: University of Sarajevo
    University of Sarajevo
    The University of Sarajevo is the first university in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was originally established in 1531 as a Madrasah or Islamic Law college, with a modern university being established and expanded on top of that in 1949. Today, with 23 faculties and around 55,000 enrolled students, it...

    , 1949
  • Bulgaria: University of Sofia, 1888
  • Croatia: University of Zagreb
    University of Zagreb
    The University of Zagreb is the biggest Croatian university and the oldest continuously operating university in the area covering Central Europe south of Vienna and all of Southeastern Europe...

    , 1669
  • Czech Republic (apart from the Charles University 1348, see above)
    • Palacký University of Olomouc, 1573, as Olomouc Jesuit University
    • Czech Technical University, 1707, being the oldest non-military technical university in Europe
  • Denmark: Technical University of Denmark
    Technical University of Denmark
    The Technical University of Denmark , often simply referred to as DTU, is a university just north of Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded in 1829 at the initiative of Hans Christian Ørsted as Denmark's first polytechnic, and is today ranked among Europe's leading engineering institutions, and the...

    , 1829
  • Estonia: University of Tartu
    University of Tartu
    The University of Tartu is a classical university in the city of Tartu, Estonia. University of Tartu is the national university of Estonia; it is the biggest and highest-ranked university in Estonia...

    , 1632, the university was closed from 1710 to 1802
  • Finland:
    • University of Helsinki
      University of Helsinki
      The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku in 1640 as The Royal Academy of Turku, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available...

      , 1640, originally the Academy of Turku
      The Royal Academy of Turku
      The Royal Academy of Turku was the first university in Finland, and the only university in present-day Finland to be founded when it was still a part of Sweden. In 1809, after Finland became a Grand Duchy under the suzerainty of the Russian Tzar, it was renamed the Imperial Academy of Turku...

      , but moved to Helsinki in 1827
  • Georgia: Tbilisi State University
    Tbilisi State University
    Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University , better known as Tbilisi State University , is a university established on 8 February 1918 in Tbilisi, Georgia. TSU is the oldest university in the whole Caucasus region...

    , 1918
  • Greece:
    • University of Athens, 1837
    • NTUA, 1836
  • Iceland: University of Iceland
    University of Iceland
    The University of Iceland is a public research university in Reykjavík, Iceland, and the country's oldest and largest institution of higher education. Founded in 1911, it has grown steadily from a small civil servants' school to a modern comprehensive university, providing instruction for about...

    , 1911
  • Ireland
    • Trinity College
      Trinity College, Dublin
      Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

    • University of Dublin
      University of Dublin
      The University of Dublin , corporately designated the Chancellor, Doctors and Masters of the University of Dublin , located in Dublin, Ireland, was effectively founded when in 1592 Queen Elizabeth I issued a charter for Trinity College, Dublin, as "the mother of a university" – this date making it...

      , 1592
    • University College Dublin
      University College Dublin
      University College Dublin ) - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's largest, and Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 students...

      , 1854
  • Hungary:
    • Eötvös Loránd University, 1635
    • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
      Budapest University of Technology and Economics
      The Budapest University of Technology and Economics , in hungarian abbreviated as BME, English official abbreviation BUTE, is the most significant University of Technology in Hungary and is also one of the oldest Institutes of Technology in the world, having been founded in 1782.-History:BME is...

      , 1782
  • Latvia: Riga Technical University
    Riga Technical University
    Riga Technical University is located in Riga, Latvia.- Riga Polytechnical Institute, 1862-1918 :...

    , 1862
  • Malta: University of Malta
    University of Malta
    The University of Malta is the highest educational institution in Malta Europe and is one of the most respected universities in Europe. The University offers undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, postgraduate Master's Degrees and postgraduate Doctorates .-History:The University of Malta was founded in...

    , 1768, first established as the Collegium Melitense by the Jesuits 1592
  • Netherlands
    • University of Leiden, 1575
    • University of Groningen
      University of Groningen
      The University of Groningen , located in the city of Groningen, was founded in 1614. It is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands as well as one of its largest. Since its inception more than 100,000 students have graduated...

      , 1614
    • University of Amsterdam, 1632, as Athenaeum Illustre
    • Utrecht University
      Utrecht University
      Utrecht University is a university in Utrecht, Netherlands. It is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe. Established March 26, 1636, it had an enrollment of 29,082 students in 2008, and employed 8,614 faculty and staff, 570 of which are full professors....

      , 1636
  • Northern Ireland: Queen's University Belfast, 1810 (Royal Charter 1845)
  • Norway: University of Oslo
    University of Oslo
    The University of Oslo , formerly The Royal Frederick University , is the oldest and largest university in Norway, situated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The university was founded in 1811 and was modelled after the recently established University of Berlin...

    , 1811
  • Liechtenstein: Hochschule Liechtenstein
    Hochschule Liechtenstein
    The University of Liechtenstein is one of the four centers for higher education in the Principality of Liechtenstein. It focuses on two main fields of study. These are architecture and business economics. The is located in Vaduz, the capital of the principality...

    , 1992, successory to the Abendtechnikum Vaduz established in 1961
  • Lithuania: University of Vilnius, 1579, successory to the Vilnius Academy 1570, although its operation was not continuous: the university was closed from 1832 to 1919 and again in 1943-44
  • Luxembourg: University of Luxembourg
    University of Luxembourg
    thumb|Campus LimpertsbergThe University of Luxembourg is the only university in Luxembourg, founded on 13 August 2003. Prior to that, there were several higher educational institutions such as the cour universitaire or the IST that offered one or two years of academic studies...

    , 2003
  • Portugal
    • University of Évora
      University of Évora
      The University of Évora is a public university in Évora, Portugal.-History:The University of Évora, the second oldest in Portugal, was founded in the 16th century by Cardinal Infante Dom Henrique , and by the Pope Paul IV, and it was delivered to the Society of Jesus.The Jesuit college...

      , second oldest university in Portugal, 1559–1759, resumed work in 1973
    • University of Lisbon, 1911
    • University of Porto
      University of Porto
      The University of Porto is a Portuguese public university located in Porto, and founded 22 March 1911. It is the largest Portuguese university by number of enrolled students and has one of the most noted research outputs in Portugal...

      , 1911
    • Technical University of Lisbon
      Technical University of Lisbon
      The Technical University of Lisbon is a Portuguese public university. It was created in 1930 in Lisbon, as a confederation of older schools, and comprises, nowadays, the faculties and institutes of veterinary medicine; agricultural sciences; economics and business administration; engineering,...

      , 1930
    • New University of Lisbon
      New University of Lisbon
      Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, , also known as NOVA ) was established in 1973 and is the youngest of the three public universities of Lisbon, in Portugal....

      , 1973
  • Romania:
    • Babeş-Bolyai University
      Babes-Bolyai University
      The Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca is an university in Romania. With almost 50,000 students, the university offers 105 specialisations, of which there are 105 in Romanian, 67 in Hungarian, 17 in German, and 5 in English...

      , Cluj-Napoca, 1872/1918; teaching existed in Cluj-Napoca since the Jesuits College, 1581, and the Jesuits Academy, 1688
    • Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iaşi, 1860; successor to Vasilian College
      Vasilian College
      The Vasilian College or Vasilian Academy was an institution of higher learning in the Principality of Moldavia, founded by Prince Vasile Lupu in 1640....

      , 1640, Princely Academy, 1707, and Academia Mihăileană
      Academia Mihaileana
      Academia Mihăileană was an institution of higher learning based in Iași, Moldavia, and active in the first part of the 19th century. Like other Eastern Europeean institutions of its kind, it was both a high school and a higher learning institute, housing several faculties.-History:Academia...

      , 1834
    • University of Bucharest
      University of Bucharest
      The University of Bucharest , in Romania, is a university founded in 1864 by decree of Prince Alexander John Cuza to convert the former Saint Sava Academy into the current University of Bucharest.-Presentation:...

      , Bucharest, 1864; successor to the Princely Academy
      Princely Academy from Bucharest
      The Princely Academy of Bucharest was an institution of higher education, active from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century.- History :...

      , 1694, and Saint Sava College
      Saint Sava College
      Saint Sava College was one of the earliest academic institutions in Wallachia, Romania. It was the predecessor to both Saint Sava National College and the University of Bucharest.-History:...

      , 1822
  • Russia
    • Moscow State University
      Moscow State University
      Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

      , 1755
    • Saint Petersburg State University
      Saint Petersburg State University
      Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

       1724–1803, 1819
    • Kant Russian State University
      Kant Russian State University
      Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University , formerly known as the Russian State University in the name of Immanuel Kant , or in brief the Kant University and as Kaliningrad State University , is a university in the Russian city of Kaliningrad .The university claims to maintain the traditions of its...

       1967 (claims continuity from University of Königsberg
      University of Königsberg
      The University of Königsberg was the university of Königsberg in East Prussia. It was founded in 1544 as second Protestant academy by Duke Albert of Prussia, and was commonly known as the Albertina....

      , 1544)
  • Scotland: University of Edinburgh
    University of Edinburgh
    The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

    , 1582
  • Serbia: Belgrade University, 1905; Orthodox Christian Lyceum
    Lyceum
    The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies between countries; usually it is a type of secondary school.-History:...

     in 1794; Teacher's college in 1778
  • Slovenia: University of Ljubljana
    University of Ljubljana
    The University of Ljubljana is the oldest and largest university in Slovenia. With 64,000 enrolled graduate and postgraduate students, it is among the largest universities in Europe.-Beginnings:...

    , 1919
  • Sweden: Lund University
    Lund University
    Lund University , located in the city of Lund in the province of Scania, Sweden, is one of northern Europe's most prestigious universities and one of Scandinavia's largest institutions for education and research, frequently ranked among the world's top 100 universities...

    , 1666, but can trace its roots back to 1438.
  • Turkey:
    • Istanbul Technical University
      Istanbul Technical University
      Istanbul Technical University is an international technical university located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the world's third oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences as well as social sciences recently, and is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Turkey...

       founded in 1773 as Naval Engineer's School
    • Istanbul University
      Istanbul University
      Istanbul University is a Turkish university located in Istanbul. The main campus is adjacent to Beyazıt Square.- Synopsis :A madrasa, a religious school, was established sometime in the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. An institution of higher education named the...

       founded in 1874 but closed 1881 and re-established in 1900
  • Ukraine
    • University of Lviv, 1661
  • Wales: St David's College, Lampeter
    University of Wales, Lampeter
    University of Wales, Lampeter is a university in Lampeter, Wales. Founded in 1822 by royal charter, it is the oldest degree awarding institution in Wales and may be the third oldest in England and Wales after Oxford and Cambridge...

     now University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, 1822

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Dominican Republic: Santo Tomas de Aquino University, Santo Domingo
    Santo Domingo
    Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River...

    , founded by papal bull in 1538, and by royal bull in 1747. Closed in 1824. It is not the longest continuously operating university in the Americas.
  • Dominican Republic: Universidad Autonoma de Santo Dominigo, Santo Domingo
    Santo Domingo
    Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River...

    , founded in 1538. The longest continuously operating university in the Americas.
  • Peru: National University of San Marcos
    National University of San Marcos
    The National University of San Marcos is the most important and respected higher-education institution in Peru. Its main campus, the University City, is located in Lima...

    , Lima
    Lima
    Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

    , May 12, 1551, as the Royal and Pontifical University of San Marcos. Also known as the "dean university of the Americas".
  • Mexico: National Autonomous University of Mexico
    National Autonomous University of Mexico
    The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is a university in Mexico. UNAM was founded on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra as a liberal alternative to the Roman Catholic-sponsored Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (National Autonomous...

    , September 21, 1551, as Royal and Pontifical University of México (in 1920 changes its name to National Autonomous University of Mexico, when has given it the freedom to define its own curriculum and manage its own budget without interference from the government).
  • Colombia: Saint Thomas Aquinas University
    Saint Thomas Aquinas University
    Saint Thomas University is a Roman Catholic university located in Bogotá, Colombia. It is the oldest Colombian university, founded in 1580 by the Dominican Order....

    , 1580
  • Mexico: Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, founded 1587 as Colegio del Espíritu Santo (it was sponsored by Jesuits until its conversion into a public college in 1825, and a public university in 1937).
  • Argentina: National University of Córdoba
    National University of Córdoba
    The National University of Córdoba, , is the oldest university in Argentina, and one of the oldest in the Americas. It is located in Córdoba, the capital of Córdoba Province. Since the early 20th century it has been the second largest university in the country in terms of the number of students,...

    , 1613
  • Ecuador: Central University of Ecuador
    Central University of Ecuador
    The Central University of Ecuador is a national university located in Quito, Ecuador. It is the oldest university in Ecuador, and one of the oldest in the Americas...

    , 1622, 19 May, as Real y Pontificia Universidad de San Gregorio Magno
  • Chile: Universidad de Chile
    Universidad de Chile (university)
    The University of Chile is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Chile and one of the oldest in the Americas. Founded in 1842 as the replacement and continuation of the former colonial Royal University of San Felipe , the university is often called Casa de Bello in honor of...

    , 1622, 19 August, as Universidad de Santo Tomás de Aquino, then Real Universidad de San Felipe (1738)
  • Bolivia: Royal and Pontificial Major University of St. Francis Xavier of Chuquisaca, 1624
  • Colombia: Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario - Universidad del Rosario, 1653
  • Guatemala: Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
    Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
    The Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala It is the biggest and oldest university of Guatemala, also it is the fourth founded in the Americas....

    , 1676
  • Venezuela: Central University of Venezuela
    Central University of Venezuela
    The Central University of Venezuela is a premier public University of Venezuela located in Caracas...

    , 1721
  • Cuba: Universidad de La Habana, 1728
  • Mexico: Universidad de Guadalajara, founded October 12, 1791; legally established October 12, 1925.
  • Brazil: Real Academia de Artilharia, Fortificação e Desenho, 1792 (today Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
  • Honduras: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, 1847
  • Uruguay: Universidad de la República, 1849
  • Paraguay: Universidad Nacional de Asunción
    Universidad Nacional de Asunción
    The Universidad Nacional de Asunción, abbreviated UNA, is a public university in Paraguay. Founded in 1889, it is the oldest and most traditional university in the country.In 2006, there were 36,000 students and 5,500 professors.- Organization :...

    , 1889
  • Puerto Rico: University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras 1903
  • Jamaica: University of the West Indies
    University of the West Indies
    The University of the West Indies , is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica,...

    , Mona
    Mona
    Mona may refer to:*Mona in Saxon mythology*Cercopithecus mona, a long tailed African Monkey*Mona at Birmingham Zoo in the United States*Mona , a female given name and surname...

     1948 and University of Technology, Jamaica 1958
  • Surinam: Anton de Kom University
    Anton de Kom University
    Anton de Kom University is the only university in Suriname. It is located in the capital, Paramaribo, and named for Anton de Kom, an anti-colonialist activist who was killed by the Nazis while in exile in the Netherlands.-Founding:...

    , 1968
  • Grenada: St. George's University
    St. George's University
    St. George’s University is an independent international university in Grenada, West Indies, offering degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, the health sciences, nursing, arts and sciences, and business....

    , 1976
  • Dominica: Ross University
    Ross University
    Ross University, founded in 1978, is a for-profit college offering degrees in Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The School of Medicine is located in Dominica, in the West Indies, with clinical education centers in Miami, Florida, Saginaw, Michigan and Freeport, Bahamas. The...

    , 1978

North America

  • Canada:
    • Université Laval
      Université Laval
      Laval University is the oldest centre of education in Canada and was the first institution in North America to offer higher education in French...

      , 1663, first institution of higher education (Not a university until 1852)
    • University of New Brunswick
      University of New Brunswick
      The University of New Brunswick is a Canadian university located in the province of New Brunswick. UNB is the oldest English language university in Canada and among the first public universities in North America. The university has two main campuses: the original campus founded in 1785 in...

      , 1785 (oldest English language university)
    • University of King's College
      University of King's College
      The University of King's College is a post-secondary institution in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. King's is a small liberal arts university offering mainly undergraduate programs....

      , 1789 (oldest chartered university)
  • United States:
    • See First university in the United States
      First university in the United States
      First university in the United States is a status asserted by more than one U.S. university. In the U.S. there is no official definition of what entitles an institution to be considered a university versus a college, and the common understanding of "university" has evolved over time.The 1911...


Africa

  • Sierra Leone: Fourah Bay College
    Fourah Bay College
    Fourah Bay College is the oldest university college in West Africa. It is located atop Mount Aureol in Freetown, Sierra Leone...

     - University of Sierra Leone, 1827
  • South Africa:
    • University of Cape Town
      University of Cape Town
      The University of Cape Town is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa.-History:The roots of...

      , 1829 (University status: 2 April 1918).
    • Stellenbosch University
      Stellenbosch University
      Stellenbosch University is a public research university situated in the town of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Other nearby universities are the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape....

      , 1866 (University status: 2 April 1918).
  • Sudan: University of Khartoum
    University of Khartoum
    The University of Khartoum ia a multi-campus, co-educational university located in Khartoum. It is the largest and oldest university in Sudan. UofK was founded as Gordon Memorial College in 1902 and established in 1956 when Sudan gained independence...

    , 1902 (renamed from Gordon Memorial College in 1956).
  • Egypt: Cairo University
    Cairo University
    Cairo University is a public university located in Giza, Egypt.The university was founded on December 21, 1908, as the result of an effort to establish a national center for educational thought...

    , 1908, public university
    Public university
    A public university is a university that is predominantly funded by public means through a national or subnational government, as opposed to private universities. A national university may or may not be considered a public university, depending on regions...

    ; The American University in Cairo
    American University in Cairo
    The American University in Cairo is an independent, non-profit, apolitical, secular institution of higher learning located in Cairo, Egypt...

     established in 1919 as a private university
    Private university
    Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. Private universities are...

  • Algeria: University of Algiers
    University of Algiers
    The University of Algiers Benyoucef Benkhedda is a university located in Algiers, Algeria. It was founded in 1909 and is organized into seven faculties.-History:...

    , 1909
  • Uganda: Makerere University
    Makerere
    Makerere is a neighborhood in the city of Kampala, Uganda's capital city. The name also applies to the hill on which this neighborhood is perched; one of the original seven hills that constituted Kampala at the time of its founding.-Location:...

    , 1922
  • Ghana: University of Ghana
    University of Ghana
    The University of Ghana is the oldest and largest of the thirteen Ghanaian universities and tertiary institutions. It is one of the best universities in Africa and by far the most prestigious in West Africa...

    , 1948
  • Nigeria: University of Ibadan
    University of Ibadan
    The University of Ibadan is the oldest Nigerian university, and is located five miles from the centre of the major city of Ibadan in Western Nigeria...

    , 1948
  • Zimbabwe: University of Zimbabwe
    University of Zimbabwe
    The University of Zimbabwe in Harare, is the oldest and largest university in Zimbabwe. It was founded through a special relationship with the University of London and it opened its doors to its first students in 1952. The university has ten faculties offering a wide variety of degree programmes...

    , 1952
  • Angola: Agostinho Neto University (as Estudos Gerais Universitários de Angola), 1962
  • Mozambique: Eduardo Mondlane University (as Estudos Gerais Universitários de Moçambique), 1962
  • Cape Verde: Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde
    Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde
    The Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde is a Cape Verdean university located in the capital city of Praia on Santiago, with a smaller second location in Mindelo on São Vicente. Until the 2007-2008 school year, it had been Cape Verde's only university. Geographically it is the westernmost...

    , 2001

Asia

  • Afghanistan:
    • Kabul Medical University
      Kabul Medical University
      Kabul Medical University is located in Kabul, Afghanistan on the campus of Kabul University. The medical institution was initially maintained by collaboration with the Turkish and French sponsors. KMF developed into a single autonomous University in 2005...

      , 1923
    • Kabul University
      Kabul University
      Kabul University is located in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was founded in 1931 but officially opened for classes in 1932. Kabul University is currently attended by approximately 7,000 students, of which 1,700 are women. As of 2008, Hamidullah Amin is the chancellor of the university...

      , founded in 1931, formally opened 1932
  • Armenia: Yerevan State University
    Yerevan State University
    Yerevan State University is a university in Yerevan, Armenia. Founded on May 16 1919, it is the largest university in the country with 110 departments. Of its 3,150 employees, 1,190 comprise the teaching staff which includes 25 academicians, 130 professors, 700 docents , and 360 assistant lecturers...

    , 1919
  • Azerbaijan: Baku State University
    Baku State University
    Baku State University is a public university located in Baku, Azerbaijan. Established in 1919 by the Parliament of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the University started with faculties of history and philology; physics and mathematics; law and medicine with an initial enrollment of 1094...

    , 1919
  • Bangladesh: University of Dhaka
    University of Dhaka
    The University of Dhaka is the oldest university in Bangladesh. It is a multi-disciplinary research university and is among the top universities in the region. Established on July 21, 1921, as per the Government of India Act, 1920, it was modelled on the Universities in England and soon gained...

    , 1921
  • Cambodia:
    • Royal University of Fine Arts
      Royal University of Fine Arts
      The Royal University of Fine Arts is a university in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Its origins date to the establishment of the École des Arts Cambodgiens in Phnom Penh in 1918...

      , 1918
    • Royal University of Law and Economics
      Royal University of Law and Economics
      The Royal University of Law and Economics was one of the first higher educational institutions in Cambodia.RULE was established in 1948 as the National Institute of Law, Politics and Economics. In 2003 the former Institute officially became a university. In 2003 there were almost 5,000 students...

      , 1948
    • Royal University of Phnom Penh
      Royal University of Phnom Penh
      The Royal University of Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s oldest and largest university located in the capital Phnom Penh. It hosts more than 10000 students across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs...

      , 1960
  • China:
    • Peking University
      Peking University
      Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

       (Imperial University of Peking), China's first university chartered by central government as 大学堂 (word "university" in Chinese), 1898. It was also served as the highest administration for education at the beginning of its founding.
    • Nanyang Public University (Xi'an Jiaotong University
      Xi'an Jiaotong University
      Xi'an Jiaotong University , also known as Xi'an Chiao Tung University, is a top Chinese university located in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, People's Republic of China. Xi'an Jiaotong University is located in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China...

      ), second institute providing 4 year degree modern higher education, 1896.
    • Nanjing University
      Nanjing University
      Nanjing University , or Nanking University, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China...

       (National Central University
      National Central University
      National Central University is a national comprehensive university in Taiwan .National Central University was founded in 1915 and originated in 258 CE at Nanjing, China. After NCU in Nanjing was renamed Nanjing University in 1949, NCU was re-established in Taiwan in 1962...

      ), the first Chinese university providing doctoral degree, 1927.
    • Saint John's University, Shanghai
      Saint John's University, Shanghai
      St. John's University was an Anglican university located in Shanghai, China. Before the Chinese Civil War it was regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in Shanghai and China...

      , the first school granting bachelor's degree in China, 1907. But it was not chartered by China government until 1947.
  • Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong
    The University of Hong Kong
    The University of Hong Kong is the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong. Its motto is "Sapientia et Virtus" in Latin, meaning "wisdom and virtue", and "" in Chinese...

    , 1910, evolved from the Hong Kong College of Medicine, founded in 1887
  • India:
    • Calcutta Madrasah College, 1781, in Calcutta, which was upgraded to university status in 2007
    • Serampore College
      Serampore College
      Serampore College is located in Serampore Town, in Hooghly District, West Bengal, India.The college consists of two entities:*The theological faculty*A separate college with faculties of arts, science, commerce...

      , 1818, first institution with university status (although not a university) to grant degrees in theology
      Theology
      Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

    • Thomason College of Civil Engineering
      Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
      The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee , formerly the University of Roorkee, is a public university located in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India...

      , 1847, the oldest autonomous engineering school in Asia (now known as Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
      Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
      The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee , formerly the University of Roorkee, is a public university located in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India...

      ), attained university status in 1949 (as the College of Engineering, Guindy
      College of Engineering, Guindy
      College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai, India, is India's oldest engineering and technical institution, having been established in 1794. Today it is one of the four constituent colleges of Anna University, Chennai....

      , established in 1794, never awarded its own degrees).
    • University of Calcutta
      University of Calcutta
      The University of Calcutta is a public university located in the city of Kolkata , India, founded on 24 January 1857...

      , 1857, first full fledged multi-disciplinary university in South Asia
  • Indonesia:
    • University of Indonesia
      University of Indonesia
      The Universitas Indonesia, is a state, comprehensive world class university located in Depok, West Java and Salemba, Jakarta, Indonesia. Universitas Indonesia is the oldest tertiary-level educational institution in Indonesia...

      , 1947, founded as the School of Javanese Doctor in 1851.
    • Bandung Institute of Technology
      Bandung Institute of Technology
      The Bandung Institute of Technology or Institute of Technology, Bandung is a state, coeducational research university located in Bandung, Indonesia. Established in 1920, ITB is the oldest technology-oriented university in Indonesia....

      , 1959, founded as Technische Hogeschool in 1920.
  • Iran: University of Tehran
    University of Tehran
    The University of Tehran , also known as Tehran University and UT, is Iran's oldest university. Located in Tehran, the university is among the most prestigious in the country, and is consistently selected as the first choice of many applicants in the annual nationwide entrance exam for top Iranian...

    , 1934
  • Iraq: University of Baghdad
    University of Baghdad
    The University of Baghdad is the largest university in Iraq and the second largest Arab university following the University of Cairo.- Nomenclature :Both University of Baghdad and Baghdad University are used interchangeably....

    , 1956 - Although the Iraqi Royal College of Medicine was established in 1928.
  • Israel:
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

      , 1918
    • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
      Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
      The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is a research-intensive institute of technology in Haifa, Israel. Originally called the Technikum, it was founded in 1912...

      , founded in 1912, but formal teaching began in 1924
  • Japan:
    • University of Tokyo
      University of Tokyo
      , abbreviated as , is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is considered to be the most prestigious university...

      , Its origins include a private college of Confucian studies founded by Hayashi Razan in 1630, Tenmonkata (The Observatory, 1684) and Shutōsho (Smallpox Vaccination Centre, 1849). It was later organised in 1867 as the Imperial University.
    • Keio University
      Keio University
      ,abbreviated as Keio or Keidai , is a Japanese university located in Minato, Tokyo. It is known as the oldest institute of higher education in Japan. Founder Fukuzawa Yukichi originally established it as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo . It has eleven campuses in Tokyo and Kanagawa...

      , 1858 as the oldest modern institute of higher education in Japan (To be noted, Japan's oldest academic institution is Ashikaga Gakko
      Ashikaga Gakko
      is Japan's oldest academic institution. It is located in Ashikaga city, Tochigi Prefecture, about 70 kilometres north of Tokyo. There has been some controversy as to when it was built, but it is said that it was founded in the ninth century and restored in 1432 by Deputy Shogun Uesugi Norizane; he...

      )
  • Lebanon: American University of Beirut
    American University of Beirut
    The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

    , 1866
  • Macau: University of Macau
    University of Macau
    The University of Macau, ;, established in 1981, was the first and currently the largest university in Macau, a former Portuguese colony. It was formerly known as University of East Asia , and was renamed the University of Macau in 1991. The university offers about 100 Doctoral, Master's and...

    , established as University of East Asia in 1981, renamed 1991.
  • Malaysia: University of Malaya
    University of Malaya
    The University of Malaya is located on a campus near the centre of Kuala Lumpur, and is the oldest university in Malaysia. It was founded in 1905 as a public-funded tertiary institution...

    , as Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School in 1905 in Singapore
  • Mongolia:
    • Mongolian Academy of Sciences
      Mongolian Academy of Sciences
      The Mongolian Academy of Sciences is Mongolia's first centre of modern sciences. It was founded in 1921, when the government established an Institute of Literature and Script, which was later upgraded to Institute of Science. Later, in 1961, it was reconstituted as the Mongolian Academy of Sciences...

      , 1921, as part of the Institute of Literature and Script
    • Institute of finance and economics of Mongolia
      Institute of finance and economics of Mongolia
      The Institute of Finance and Economics is one of the largest educational institutions of Mongolia. The institute is on the banks of Selbe river at the heart of Ulaanbaatar city. The institute offers bachelor's and master's programs.-History:...

      , 1924 as the School of Custom's Officers in Ulaanbaatar
      Ulaanbaatar
      Ulan Bator or Ulaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. An independent municipality, the city is not part of any province, and its population as of 2008 is over one million....

      .
    • National University of Mongolia
      National University of Mongolia
      The National University of Mongolia is the oldest university in Mongolia. It hosts twelve schools and faculties in Ulaanbaatar, and runs branches in the Zavkhan and Orkhon Aimags...

      , 1942
  • Myanmar: Rangoon University, 1878
  • Nepal: Tribhuvan University
    Tribhuvan University
    Tribhuvan University [त्रिभुवन विश्वविध्यालय] is a public university located in Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal. Established in 1959, TU is the oldest of the five universities in Nepal...

    , 1959
  • Pakistan:
    • University of the Punjab
      University of the Punjab
      University of the Punjab , colloquially known as Punjab University, is located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The University of the Punjab is the oldest and biggest University of Pakistan. The University of the Punjab was formally established with the convening of the first meeting of its...

      , 1882 (Pakistan)
    • Government College, Lahore, now Government College University
      Government College University
      Government College University, Lahore is a co-educational public university located on The Mall in Lahore, Pakistan...

      , Lahore
      Lahore
      Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

      , 1864
    • Forman Christian College, now Forman Christian College University, Lahore
      Lahore
      Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

      , 1864
  • Philippines:
    • University of San Carlos
      University of San Carlos
      The University of San Carlos is a Roman Catholic university governed by the Society of the Divine Word since 1935 in Cebu City. It offers pre-elementary and basic education as well as undergraduate and graduate courses, and a broad spectrum of academic programs through its eight colleges.It...

      , traces roots to the Colegio de San Ildefonso 1595 by the Jesuits, closed in 1769, reopened in 1783 by the local bishop, transferred ownership to the Dominicans (1852), then to the Vincentians (1867), and finally to the Society of the Divine Word fathers in 1935. Closed in 1941 during World War II; reopened in 1945. Received university charter in 1948.
    • University of Santo Tomas
      University of Santo Tomas
      The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines , is a private Roman Catholic university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611 by archbishop of Manila Miguel de Benavides, it has the oldest extant university charter in the...

      , founded on April 28, 1611 by archbishop of Manila Miguel de Benavides. Elevated by Pope Innocent X to a university on November 20, 1645. Owned by the Dominicans in its entirety of existence. It has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia.
    • Ateneo de Manila University
      Ateneo de Manila University
      The Ateneo de Manila University is a private teaching and research university run by the Society of Jesus in the Philippines. It began in 1859 when the City of Manila handed control of the Escuela Municipal de Manila in Intramuros, Manila, to the Jesuits...

      , originally the Escuela Municipal de Manila began in 1859 by the Jesuits as a primary school for boys, later added secondary school for boys and renamed Ateneo Municipal de Manila in 1865. Changed name to Ateneo de Manila upon withdrawal of government subsidy by the American colonial government.
  • Singapore: National University of Singapore
    National University of Singapore
    The National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

    , as Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School in 1905
  • South Korea:
    • Korea University
      Korea University
      Korea University is a prestigious nonsectarian, private research university located primarily in Seoul, South Korea, and one of the SKY universities, a historical acronym used in South Korea to refer to Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. Founded by Lee Yong-ik in...

      , 1905
    • Yonsei University
      Yonsei University
      Yonsei University is a Christian private research university, located in Seoul, South Korea. Established in 1885, it is one of the oldest universities in South Korea, the top private comprehensive universities in South Korea, and is widely regarded as one of the top three comprehensive...

      , 1915 - College founded in 1915, hospital established in 1885.
  • Sri Lanka:
    • University College Colombo, 1920 - Although the Ceylon Medical College was established in 1870.
    • University of Ceylon
      University of Ceylon
      The University of Ceylon was the only university in Sri Lanka from 1942 until 1972. It had several constituent campuses at various locations around Sri Lanka. The University of Ceylon Act No. 1 of 1972, replaced it with the University of Sri Lanka which existed from 1973 to 1978. In 1978 it was...

      , 1942 - First full fledged multi disciplinary university in Sri Lanka
      Sri Lanka
      Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

  • Syria: University of Damascus
    University of Damascus
    The University of Damascus is the largest and oldest university in Syria, located in the capital Damascus and has campuses in other Syrian cities. It was founded in 1923 through the merger of the School of Medicine and the Institute of Law , also making it the oldest university in modern-day Syria...

     was founded in 1923 through the merger of the School of Medicine (established 1903) and the Institute of Law (established 1913).
  • Taiwan:
    • National Taiwan University
      National Taiwan University
      National Taiwan University is a national co-educational university located in Taipei, Republic of China . In Taiwan, it is colloquially known as "Táidà" . Its main campus is set upon 1,086,167 square meters in Taipei's Da'an District. In addition, the university has 6 other campuses in Taiwan,...

      , 1898, as The Medical School of the Governor-General of Formosa
    • National Taipei University of Technology
      National Taipei University of Technology
      National Taipei University of Technology ', one of the best universities in Taiwan, is located in the Daan District of Taipei City, Taiwan. The university traces its origins to the establishment of the School of Industrial Instruction in 1912.This institution underwent several name changes and...

      , 1912, as School of Industrial Instruction
  • Thailand: Chulalongkorn University
    Chulalongkorn University
    Chulalongkorn University is the oldest university in Thailand and is the country's highest ranked university. It now has nineteen faculties and institutes. Regarded as the best and most selective university in Thailand, it consistently attracts top students from around the country...

    , 1917
  • Vietnam:
    • Hanoi Medical University
      Hanoi Medical University
      Hanoi Medical University is the oldest university of Vietnam located in Hanoi. HMU was found in 1902 by French during the French colonisation under the name Indochina Medical College...

       1902
    • Vietnam National University, Hanoi 1904
    • Hanoi College of Fine Arts
      Hanoi College of Fine Arts
      Hanoi University of Fine Arts is an art school in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was established under the French rule in 1925...

       1925

Australia and Oceania

  • Australia
    • University of Sydney
      University of Sydney
      The University of Sydney is a public university located in Sydney, New South Wales. The main campus spreads across the suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington on the southwestern outskirts of the Sydney CBD. Founded in 1850, it is the oldest university in Australia and Oceania...

      , 1850 (oldest in New South Wales)
    • University of Melbourne
      University of Melbourne
      The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria...

      , 1853 (oldest in Victoria)
    • University of Adelaide
      University of Adelaide
      The University of Adelaide is a public university located in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1874, it is the third oldest university in Australia...

      , 1874 (oldest in South Australia)
    • University of Tasmania
      University of Tasmania
      The University of Tasmania is a medium-sized public Australian university based in Tasmania, Australia. Officially founded on 1 January 1890, it was the fourth university to be established in nineteenth-century Australia...

      , 1890 (oldest in Tasmania)
    • University of Queensland
      University of Queensland
      The University of Queensland, also known as UQ, is a public university located in state of Queensland, Australia. Founded in 1909, it is the oldest and largest university in Queensland and the fifth oldest in the nation...

      , 1909 (oldest in Queensland)
    • University of Western Australia
      University of Western Australia
      The University of Western Australia was established by an Act of the Western Australian Parliament in February 1911, and began teaching students for the first time in 1913. It is the oldest university in the state of Western Australia and the only university in the state to be a member of the...

      , 1911 (oldest in Western Australia)
    • Australian National University
      Australian National University
      The Australian National University is a teaching and research university located in the Australian capital, Canberra.As of 2009, the ANU employs 3,945 administrative staff who teach approximately 10,000 undergraduates, and 7,500 postgraduate students...

      , 1946 (oldest in Australian Capital Territory)
    • Northern Territory University, 1989 (amalgamated as part of Charles Darwin University
      Charles Darwin University
      Charles Darwin University is an Australian public university with about 20,000 students in 2007.The University offers a wide range of Higher Education degrees and Vocational Education and Training courses with flexible study options, including part-time, external and online.CDU has campuses in the...

       in 2004)
    • University of Canberra
      University of Canberra
      Over the years the Stone Day program has gradually become larger and larger, taking up a whole week and now Stonefest is one of Australia's most popular music festivals. The first foundation celebrations were held in 1971. In 1973 Stone Day celebrations were held over two days, which was expanded...

      , 1990

  • New Zealand: University of Otago
    University of Otago
    The University of Otago in Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest university with over 22,000 students enrolled during 2010.The university has New Zealand's highest average research quality and in New Zealand is second only to the University of Auckland in the number of A rated academic researchers it...

    , 1869

See also