Do Not Miss Out The List Of The First Universities In The World

Written by Shefali Onawale

Someone, somewhere once said a thing...and now we remember it because they probably wrote it down! From writing in my personal diary to writing blogs the world could relate to, its been quite a journey and I wish to walk some more, preferably making sojourns along the way.

September 22, 2021

If you are planning to study abroad, you may want to grab the most prestigious opportunities out there. One way to study at a university that not only has a rich culture because of its steeped history but also offers contemporary knowledge is by studying at the oldest universities in the world. Some universities in the world have been existing for more than 1,000 years and what makes it even more interesting is that these universities still remain relevant and highly ranked in the present times. In other words, some of the top-ranked universities are also the first universities in the world such as the University of Oxford, the University of Bologna, the University of Vienna to name a few. 

Which Are Among The First Universities In The World

The University of Padua 

The Institution of Padua is a public university located in Italy and is noted for its paintings, elegant arcaded avenues, and fashionable cafes favoured by students. The institution is currently involved in intellectual and scientific research on a European and global scale. It also maintains nine museums, including one dedicated to the history of physics. The university was founded in 1222 as a law and medicine school, and it was one of the first universities in the world. The initial two disciplines taught were law and theology, but the curriculum quickly extended, and by 1399, the university had split into two universities for civil and Canon law, as well as astronomy, dialectic, philosophy, grammar, medicine, and rhetoric. In 1873, the university became one of the universities of the Kingdom of Italy, and it has remained one of the most prominent in the country for its contributions to scientific and intellectual study ever since.

University of Bologna 

The University of Bologna (UNIBO) is one of the oldest universities in the world and was founded in the year 1088 by an organised guild of students with the ‘Nourishing Mother of the Studies’, its Latin motto. Until relatively modern times, the university only taught doctorate studies, but today it has a diverse range of programs at all levels. The university currently offers around 232-degree programs in the areas of  Agricultural and Food Sciences, Education, Law, Medicine, Humanities, Engineering and Architecture, Sociology, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, etc. The University of Bologna also runs some specialisation schools in the areas of Medicine, Cultural Heritage, Psychology, Health and Law, and Veterinary Medicine. Today, the university consists of 11 schools within it and now ranks among the top universities according to the QS world rankings

University of Cambridge 

The University of Cambridge is a public research institute and is one of the top universities in the UK for higher education. Founded in 1209, this university is one of the first universities in the world after the University of Bologna to hold a recurring position among the top 100 universities in the world according to QS world rankings and Times Higher Education (THE). The Institution of Cambridge is most famously a public research university whose history and impact have elevated it to the ranks of the world’s most prominent universities.

It is home to Cambridge University Publisher, the world’s oldest publishing firm and the world’s second-largest university press. The University runs a number of cultural and scientific museums and offers its students access to over 15 million volumes.

University of Paris 

The University of Paris was established between the years 1160 and 1250 in France’s capital. This is the only university that does not exist in a single form currently, however, it is spread across different parts of Europe as 13 autonomous institutions. Sorbonne University (a new combination of Paris-Sorbonne University and Pierre and Marie Curie University, rated 83rd in the world) and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne are the highest-ranked among these 13.  The University of Paris is often known as ‘la Sorbonne’, is known to have been one of the first established universities in Europe, although it was suspended from operating between 1793 and 1896, following the French Revolution. This makes it one of the oldest universities in the world with a scattered existence. 

University of Florence 

The University of Florence (UOF) was founded in 1321 by the republic of Florence in Italy. Civil and Canon Law, Literature, and Medicine were among the topics taught at the institution when it first opened its doors. According to the QS World University Rankings 2021, UOF is presently ranked 432. The university includes ten schools and 21 departments that provide undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The Agricultural School, School of Architecture, School of Economics and Management, School of Law, School of Engineering, School of Psychology, Sciences School of Human Health, School of Mathematical Sciences, Physical and Natural Sciences, School of Political Sciences, and School of Humanities & Education are among the ten schools. 

University of Oxford 

The University of Oxford is one of the first universities in the world and the second oldest university in the world in continuous operation, ranking fifth in the QS World University Rankings 2021. Evidence suggests that the institution was in existence as early as 1096.

Currently, the institution has 39 independent colleges and 6 permanent private halls.

There are around 100 major academic departments divided between the four academic divisions of Social Sciences, Humanities, Medical Sciences and Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences. Around 43 percent of the total students studying at the University of Oxford are international students.

University of Vienna 

The University of Vienna was founded in 1365 and is one of the world’s top ten oldest universities. It is a public university in Austria that is well-known for its humanities programmes. This university, which is ranked 150th in the QS World University Rankings 2021, offers around 178 distinct degree programmes. The university offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in a range of study fields that include Art, Culture & Media, Economics, Social Sciences & Law, Education, Philosophy & Religion, History Languages & Cultures, Mathematics, Computer Science & Technology, Natural Sciences, Psychology, Health & Sports and Society & Politics. PhD programs are offered in the areas of Law/Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, Humanities, Philosophy and Education, Social Sciences, Business, Economics and Statistics, Natural Sciences, and Life Sciences. 

Thanks for reading this blog on ‘Do Not Miss Out The List Of The First Universities In The World’. If you are interested in reading more such content, do check out the following suggestions: 

P.S: If there is anything we’ve missed out on, do feel free to remind us in the comments sections below! 

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