List of oldest universities in continuous operation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Map of medieval universities in Europe

This is a list of the oldest existing universities in the world. To be included in this table, an educational institution must satisfy a traditional definition of university[Note 1] at the time of its founding. Chronologically, it must have been founded before 1500 in Europe or be the oldest university derived from the medieval European model in a region. It must also be still in operation, with institutional continuity retained throughout its history, and so some early universities, most notably the University of Paris (which was suspended from 1793 to 1896), the University of Salerno and the University of Montpellier are excluded (see map).

The word university is derived from the Latin: universitas magistrorum et scholarium, roughly meaning "community of teachers and scholars". The term was coined by the Italian University of Bologna, which, with a traditional founding date of 1088, is considered the first university.[2][3] The origin of many medieval universities can be traced to the Christian cathedral schools or monastic schools which appear as early as the 6th century and were run for hundreds of years as such before their formal establishment as university in the high medieval period.[4]

Other institutions of higher learning, like those of ancient Greece, ancient Persia, ancient Rome, Byzantium, ancient China, ancient India and the Muslim world,[Note 2] are not included in this list due to their cultural, historical, structural and juristic dissimilarities from the medieval European university from which the modern university evolved.[Note 3][Note 4][7]

Medieval origins[edit]

The university as an institution was historically rooted in that medieval society which it in turn influenced and shaped:[7]

The university is a European institution; indeed, it is the European institution par excellence. There are various reasons for this assertion. As a community of teachers and taught, accorded certain rights, such as administrative autonomy and the determination and realization of curricula (courses of study) and of the objectives of research as well as the award of publicly recognized degrees, it is a creation of medieval Europe, which was the Europe of papal Christianity...

Modern spread[edit]

From the early modern period onwards, the university gradually spread from the medieval Latin west across the globe, eventually replacing all other higher-learning institutions and becoming the preeminent institution for higher education everywhere. This process occurred in the following chronological order:[8]

  • 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), except in the Philippines where the University of Santo Tomas was established in the 17th century.

Founded before 1500[edit]

The earliest and only universities before the colonization of the Americas were established and run in medieval Europe.

Year Name Contemporaneous location Current location Notes
1088 University of Bologna  Holy Roman Empire Italy Bologna, Italy The first university in the sense of a higher-learning, degree-awarding institute, the word university having been coined at its foundation.[9]
1167 (1254) University of Oxford  Kingdom of England United Kingdom Oxford, United Kingdom "Claimed to be the oldest university in the English speaking 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 banned English students from attending the University of Paris."[10] Teaching suspended in 1209 (due to town execution of two scholars) and 1355 (due to the St. Scholastica Day 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 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 ("Querentes in agro").
1209 (1231) University of Cambridge  Kingdom of England United Kingdom Cambridge, United Kingdom Founded by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute caused by the execution of two scholars in 1209, and royal charter was granted in 1231.[11] The university takes 1209 as its official anniversary.[12] Through one of Cambridge's alumni, John Harvard, it inspired the establishment of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States with the first college in the United States, Harvard University.
1218 University of Salamanca Pennant of the Kingdom of León Kingdom of León Spain Salamanca, Spain 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,[13] making it possibly the fourth or even the third oldest European university in continuous operation. 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 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 in 1940.
1222 (probably older) University of Padua Lombard League arms.svg Lombard League Italy Padua, Italy Founded by scholars and professors after leaving Bologna.
1224 (1258) University of Naples Federico II King Manfred of Sicily Arms.svg Kingdom of Sicily Italy Naples, Italy The first public university,[14] founded by Frederick II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The university moved to Salerno in 1253, and its return to Naples in 1258 is sometimes considered as a refoundation.
1240 University of Siena Coat of arms of Siena Republic of Siena Italy Siena, Italy Originally called Studium Senese, was founded by Commune of Siena 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. Closed temporarily in 1808–1815 when Napoleonic forces occupied Tuscany. On November 7, 1990 the university celebrated its 750th anniversary.
1241 University of Valladolid Escudo de la Corona de Castilla.svg Kingdom of Castile, Crown of Castile Spain Valladolid, Spain One hypothesis is that its foundation is the result of the transfer of Palencia General Survey between 1208 and 1241 by Alfonso VIII, king of Castile, and Bishop Tello Téllez de Meneses.
1290 University of Macerata[15] Coat of arms of the Papal States Papal States Italy Macerata, Italy 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 University of Coimbra[15] Armas portugal 1247.png Kingdom of Portugal
LSB.png Lisbon
Portugal Coimbra, Portugal Begun its existence in Lisbon with the name 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.
1293 University of Alcalá Pennant of the Crown of Castile Crown of Castile Spain Alcalá de Henares, Spain The University of Alcalá was founded by King Sancho IV of Castile as Studium Generale in 1293 in Alcalá de Henares. It was granted Papal Bull in 1499, and quickly gained international fame thanks to the patronage of Cardinal Cisneros and the production of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible in 1517, which is the basis for most of the current translations. The University moved to Madrid in 1836 by Royal Decree as Universidad Central. The Moyano Law of 1857 established Central as the sole university in Spain authorized to confer the title of Doctor on any scholar. This law remained in effect until 1969. In 1970, Universidad Central de Madrid changed its name to Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the present name. On the other side, the Universidad de Alcalá was restored in Alcalá de Henares in 1977.
1303 Sapienza University of Rome Coat of arms of the Papal States Papal States Italy Rome, Italy Founded by Pope Boniface VIII, but became a state university in 1935.
1308 University of Perugia Coat of arms of the Papal States Papal States Italy Perugia, Italy Attested by the Bull of Pope Clement V.
1321 University of Florence Coat of arms of the Republic of Florence Republic of Florence Italy Florence, Italy The University of Florence evolved from the Studium Generale, which was established by the Florentine Republic in 1321. The Studium was recognized by Pope Clement VI in 1349.
1336 University of Camerino Coat of arms of the Papal States Papal States Italy Camerino, Italy The great literate and jurist Cino from Pistoia, living in Marche in the years 1319-21, and in Camerino in the spring of 1321, remembers the territory blooming with juridical schools. Camerino has been a center of learning since no later than 1200, offering degrees in civil law, canonical law, medicine, and literary studies. Gregory XI took the decision upon the request of Gentile III da Varano with the papal edict of 29 January 1377, directed to the commune and to the people, authorizing Camerino to confer (after appropriate examination) bachelor and doctoral degrees with apostolic authority.
1343 University of Pisa Coat of arms of the Republic of Pisa Republic of Pisa Italy Pisa, 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. Nowadays is one of the most important universities in Italy.
1348 Charles University of Prague Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia Kingdom of Bohemia Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic 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.[16]
1361 University of Pavia House of ViscontiDomain of the House of Visconti Italy Pavia, Italy Closed for short periods during the Italian Wars, Napoleonic wars, and Revolutions of 1848.
1364 Jagiellonian University Coat of arms of Poland Kingdom of Poland Poland Kraków, Poland Founded by Casimir the Great under the name Studium Generale, and was commonly referred to as the Kraków Academy. The institution's development stalled upon the king's death in 1370; primarily due to a lack of funding. Without a permanent location; lectures were held across the city at various churches and in the Kraków Cathedral School. Further development again resumed in the 1390s, by the initiative of King Władysław Jagiełło and his wife Jadwiga of Poland; at which point the school became a fully functioning university with a permanent location. The university was forcibly shut down during the German Occupation of Poland (1939–1945). The staff was deported to Nazi concentration camps, and many of its collections were deliberately destroyed by the occupying German authorities. Within a month after the liberation of the city, the university again re-opened; with some of the original pre-war staff who survived the occupation.
1365 University of Vienna  Holy Roman Empire Austria Vienna, Austria Modelled on the University of Paris.
1386 Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg  Holy Roman Empire Germany Heidelberg, Germany Founded by Rupert I, Elector Palatine. The oldest in contemporary Germany and third oldest Germanophone university.
1391 University of Ferrara House of EsteHouse of Este Italy Ferrara, Italy Founded by Marquis Alberto d'Este.
1404 University of Turin  Duchy of Savoy Italy Turin, Italy Founded by the prince "Louis of Piedmont" during the reign of Amadeus VIII.
1409 University of Leipzig  Holy Roman Empire Germany Leipzig, Germany Founded when German-speaking staff left Prague due to the Jan Hus crisis.
1413 University of St. Andrews  Kingdom of Scotland United Kingdom St. Andrews, United Kingdom A school of higher studies was founded in 1410 and became a full university by the issue of a Papal bull in 1413.[17]
1419 University of Rostock  Holy Roman Empire Germany Rostock, Germany During the Reformation, "the Catholic university of Rostock closed altogether and the closure was long enough to make the refounded body feel a new institution".[18]
1434 University of Catania Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Kingdom of Sicily Italy Catania, Italy The oldest in Sicily. Founded by Alfonso V of Aragon.
1450[19] University of Barcelona Standard of the Crown of Aragon Crown of Aragon Spain Barcelona, Spain Founded by Alfonso V of Aragon as Estudi general 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 founded by King Martin of Aragon, and in the 13th century Barcelona already possessed several civil and ecclesiastical schools.
1451 University of Glasgow  Kingdom of Scotland United Kingdom Glasgow, United Kingdom Founded by a Papal bull.
1456 University of Greifswald  Holy Roman Empire Germany Greifswald, Germany Teaching had started by 1436. Founded by initiative of Heinrich Rubenow, Lord Mayor of Greifswald (and first rector), with approval of Pope Callixtus III and Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, under the protection of Wartislaw IX, Duke of Pomerania. Teaching paused temporarily during the Protestant Reformation (1527–39).
1457 Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg  Holy Roman Empire Germany Freiburg, Germany Temporarily transferred to Constance in 1686–98 and 1713–15.
1460 University of Basel  Holy Roman Empire Switzerland Basel, Switzerland Founded in 1460 (Schola Basiliensis), the University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland.[20]
1472 Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich  Holy Roman Empire Germany Munich, Germany Founded in Ingolstadt in 1459, transferred to Landshut in 1800, moved to Munich in 1826.
1477 Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen  Holy Roman Empire Germany Tübingen, Germany
1477 Uppsala University  Kingdom of Sweden within the
 Kalmar Union
Sweden Uppsala, Sweden 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 University of Copenhagen  Kingdom of Denmark within the
 Kalmar Union
Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
1481 University of Genoa  Republic of Genoa Italy Genoa, Italy Founded in 1481 (Genuense Athenaeum).
1495 University of Aberdeen  Kingdom of Scotland United Kingdom Aberdeen, United Kingdom King's College was founded by a Papal bull in 1495 and then Marischal College in 1593; they merged in 1860.
1495 University of Santiago de Compostela Pennant of the Crown of Castile Galicia, Crown of Castile Spain Santiago de Compostela, Spain The university traces its roots to 1495, when a school was opened in Santiago.[21] In 1504, Pope Julius II approved the foundation of a university in Santiago, and the bull for its creation was granted by Clement VII in 1526.
1499 University of Valencia Standard of the Crown of Aragon Crown of Aragon Spain Valencia, Spain

Oldest universities by country or region after 1500 still in operation[edit]

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

Europe[edit]

Latin America and the Caribbean[edit]

North America[edit]

Africa[edit]

Asia[edit]

Australia and Oceania[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The statement that all universities are descended either directly or by migration from these three prototypes [Oxford, Paris, and Bologna] depends, of course, on one's definition of a university. And I must define a university very strictly here. A university is something more than a center of higher education and study. One must reserve the term university for—and I'm quoting Rashdall here—"a scholastic guild, whether of masters or students, engaged in higher education and study," which was later defined, after the emergence of universities, as studium generale."[1]
  2. ^ In lists based on broader definitions, Al-Karaouine, founded in 859 as a madrasa and in 1963 as a university, is sometimes considered as the "oldest university".
  3. ^ "No one today would dispute the fact that universities, in the sense in which the term is now generally understood, were a creation of the Middle Ages, appearing for the first time between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It is no doubt true that other civilizations, prior to, or wholly alien to, the medieval West, such as the Roman Empire, Byzantium, Islam, or China, were familiar with forms of higher education which a number of historians, for the sake of convenience, have sometimes described as universities.Yet a closer look makes it plain that the institutional reality was altogether different and, no matter what has been said on the subject, there is no real link such as would justify us in associating them with medieval universities in the West. Until there is definite proof to the contrary, these latter must be regarded as the sole source of the model which gradually spread through the whole of Europe and then to the whole world. We are therefore concerned with what is indisputably an original institution, which can only be defined in terms of a historical analysis of its emrgence and its mode of operation in concrete circumstances."[5]
  4. ^ "Thus the university, as a form of social organization, was peculiar to medieval Europe. Later, it was exported to all parts of the world, including the Muslim East; and it has remained with us down to the present day. But back in the Middle Ages, outside of Europe, there was nothing anything quite like it anywhere."[6]
  5. ^ Note that the Court of Cassation of Belgium ruled 26 November 1846, that this new Catholic University of Louvain founded in Mechlin in 1834 don't have any links with the Old University of Louvain founded in 1425 and abolished in 1797 and can not be regarded as continuing it: "The Catholic University of Louvain can not be regarded as continuing the old University of Louvain", in, Table générale alphabétique et chronologique de la Pasicrisie Belge contenant la jurisprudence du Royaume de 1814 à 1850, Brussels, 1855, p. 585, column 1, alinea 2. See also: Bulletin Usuel des Lois et Arrêtés, 1861, p.166. To see also this rule of the Cour d'Appel of 1844: La Belgique Judiciaire, 28 july 1844 n° 69, p. 1 : "Cour d’Appel de Bruxelles. Deuxième chambre. L'université libre de Louvain ne représente pas légalement l’antique université de cette ville. Attendu que cette université (l’ancienne Université de Louvain), instituée par une bulle papale, de concert avec l'autorité souveraine, formait un corps reconnu dans l'État, ayant différentes attributions, dont plusieurs même lui étaient déléguées par le pouvoir civil; Attendu que ce corps a été supprimé par les lois de la république française; Attendu que l'université existant actuellement à Louvain ne peut être considérée comme continuant celle qui existait en 1457, ces deux établissemens ayant un caractère bien distinct, puisque l'université actuelle, non reconnue comme personne civile, n'est qu'un établissement tout-à-fait privé, résultat de la liberté d'enseignement , en dehors de toute action du pouvoir et sans autorité dans l'État...". Court of Appeal of Brussels. Second Chamber. The Free University of Louvain is not legally representend the old university in that city. Whereas this University (formerly University of Louvain), established by a papal bull, together with the sovereign authority, formed a body recognized by the State, with different functions, many of which even he was delegated by the civil power. And whereas this body was removed by the laws of the French Republic; Whereas the currently existing university in Leuven can not be regarded as continuing that which existed in 1457, these two establishments with a distinct character, since the currently university is not recognized as legal person, and is institution is entirely private, the result of academic freedom, apart from any action without authority and power in the state."
  6. ^ Educational institutions were closed in China starting on June 13, 1966 due to the Cultural Revolution. They remained closed for a year, or longer in some cases. See [1].

Bibliography[edit]

  1. ^ Hyde, J. K. (1991), "Universities and Cities in Medieval Italy", in Bender, Thomas, The university and the city: from medieval origins to the present, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 13–14, ISBN 978-0-19-506775-0 
  2. ^ Hunt Janin: "The university in medieval life, 1179–1499", McFarland, 2008, ISBN 0-7864-3462-7, p. 55f.
  3. ^ de Ridder-Symoens, Hilde: A History of the University in Europe: Volume 1, Universities in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-36105-2, pp. 47–55
  4. ^ Riché, Pierre (1978). Education and Culture in the Barbarian West: From the Sixth through the Eighth Century. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. pp. 126–127, 282–298. ISBN 0-87249-376-8. 
  5. ^ Verger, Jacques: "Patterns", in: Ridder-Symoens, Hilde de (ed.): A History of the University in Europe. Vol. I: Universities in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 978-0-521-54113-8, pp. 35–76 (35):
  6. ^ Makdisi, George: "Madrasa and University in the Middle Ages", Studia Islamica, No. 32 (1970), pp. 255–264 (264):
  7. ^ a b Rüegg, Walter: "Foreword. The University as a European Institution", in: A History of the University in Europe. Vol. 1: Universities in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-36105-2, pp. XIX–XX.
  8. ^ Rüegg, Walter (ed.): Geschichte der Universität in Europa, 3 vols., C.H. Beck, München 1993, ISBN 3-406-36956-1
  9. ^ Nuria Sanz, Sjur Bergan: "The heritage of European universities", 2nd edition, Higher Education Series No. 7, Council of Europe, 2006, ISBN, p.136
  10. ^ "A brief history of the University - University of Oxford". Ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  11. ^ "Early records". A brief history of the university. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "800th anniversary". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  13. ^ University of Salamanca, A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SALAMANCA.
  14. ^ "News - Dettagli Notizia". News.unina.it. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  15. ^ a b Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings 2007 - World's oldest universities
  16. ^ "History of CU - Charles University". Cuni.cz. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  17. ^ "St Andrews: the Mediaeval University" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  18. ^ Quoted from: Chadwick, Owen. The Early Reformation on the Continent. Oxford University Press, 2003. Page 257.
  19. ^ "The University of Barcelona: 599 years of history. The most important dates and events". Universitat de Barcelona. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "University of Basel - Swiss Universities Handbook - Top Universities in Switzerland". Universitieshandbook.com. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  21. ^ "La Universidad de Santiago cumple 500 años". El Mundo (in Spanish). March 22, 1995. 
  22. ^ "A College in Durham". Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Study in Romanian - Learn & Live Freely". Study-in-romania.ro. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  24. ^ "Prezentarea Universităţii | Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza" (in Romanian). Uaic.ro. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  25. ^ "A significant history". Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  26. ^ "University of Bucharest - EN Home Page". Unibuc.ro. 1980-01-01. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  27. ^ "Istanbul Technical University". Itu.edu.tr. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  28. ^ Elizalde,Guadalupe, Piedras en el Camino de la UNAM, EDAMEX, 1999 p.49.
  29. ^ "University of Ghana | Legon". Ug.edu.gh. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  30. ^ Damtew Teferra et al. (2003). African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook. Indiana University Press. pp. 492–499. ISBN 978-0-253-34186-0. 
  31. ^ "University of Cape Town / About the university / Introducing UCT". Uct.ac.za. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  32. ^ "Historical Background". University of Khartoum. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Ezzitouna". Uz.rnu.tn. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  34. ^ "Higher Education in Afghanistan". Ips.org.pk. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  35. ^ Taslima Monsoor. "Overview". Faculty of Law, University of Dhaka. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  36. ^ 須藤敏夫『近世日本釈奠の研究』(思文閣出版、2001年) ISBN 978-4-7842-1070-1
  37. ^ "東京大学 [東京大学の歴史]沿革略図". U-tokyo.ac.jp. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  38. ^ 深瀬泰旦著 『天然痘根絶史』 恩文閣出版、2002年9月 ISBN 4-7842-1116-0
  39. ^ "Yangon - From stately city to crumbling symbol of isolation". Reuters. 27 November 2011. 
  40. ^ "About Us". Tribhuvan-university.edu.np. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  41. ^ "Official Website of Panjab University - Panjab University, Chandigarh, India". Puchd.ac.in. 1989-05-19. Retrieved 2013-08-15.