Talk:List of oldest universities in continuous operation

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Inconsistent political references[edit]

The combined use of the Holy Roman Empire and the Italian city-states as contemporaneous locations is nonsense. Before 1648, all Italian city-states were part of the Empire. So either the Empire should be used as reference for all territories under the imperial crown, or the separate cities, duchies, counties etc. with imperial vassal-status should be used.

Semi-protected edit request on 6 October 2014[edit]

The Oldest University in Africa is the University established at the Cape of good hope University of Cape Town - 1829 Stellenbosch University - 1866 Witwaterstrand University - 1896 Rhodes University - 1904 University of Pretoria 1908 BuntuMajaja (talk) 15:08, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

The information on the first two universities is already included, and no reason is given to add the remainder. If you are still unhappy please specify the precise edit you want made. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 15:27, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Al-Mustansariyah University (Baghdad) missing?[edit]

Hi, this university (Al-Mustansariyah in Baghdad, Iraq) was founded in the 13th century (1277). Shouldn't it be placed near the top of this list or is there something I'm missing? -Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.181.46.21 (talk) 06:12, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

It was not a university at time of founding, and has not been in continuous operation since then. The current Al-Mustansiriya University appears to date from 1963. Regards, Jonathan A Jones (talk) 07:42, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

ordering standard[edit]

Should the Universities ordered by the date of their foundation or the date when they received royal charter? I guees it should not be ordered by the date the respective universities consider to be their anniversary since they could use different standards. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Migueldvb (talkcontribs) 16:42, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

With the very old universities it is quite tricky to come up with a simple definition of foundation date, and in the end it comes down to some sort of judgement. As you suggest using dates of royal or papal charters doesn't make sense when several of these universities were founded before the concept of charters. (Indeed I believe charters were introduced mostly to regulate the growing university sector, bringing it under the control of Church and Crown.) Charters also lead to some obviously ridiculous results: for example Cambridge got a charter before Oxford, although Cambridge was founded by scholars leaving Oxford!
The "traditional" dates used on this page have varied over the years, and shouldn't be treated as absolutely fixed. Oxford started off as being founded in 1096 and then wandered around before ending up at its current date of 1167. I think Salamanca has been fixed at 1218 for a while. Cambridge is easy, as we just use the well established official date of 1209. Should Salamanca be moved forwards? Possibly, but that depends on whether it really was a university in 1134, or just a place where teaching took place, which is all Oxford was in 1096. Salamanca itself seems to use 1218 [1], which is some sort of grounds for leaving the date where it is for the moment. Padua is another case which is very complicated! Jonathan A Jones (talk) 20:33, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

University of al-Qarawiyyin not cited?[edit]

This wikipage cites said university as the oldest existing and continuously operated uni in the world and yet it doesn't appear? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.21.218.1 (talk) 22:07, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

See the archives of this talk page for extensive discussion of this question. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 07:35, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

University of Paris not in the list?[edit]

It is mentioned in the entry for Oxford in the table, with a reference which strongly infers that it is older than Oxford! The page for the University of Paris states: "It was founded in the mid-12th century in Paris, France, officially recognized between 1160 and 1250." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eiamjw (talkcontribs) 14:12, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Probably removed on account of the completely arbitrary "continuous operation" clause in the name of this article. --Saddhiyama (talk) 15:25, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Please, see archives of this discussion. It was discussed dozen times.--Yopie (talk) 17:07, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
As far as I can see it was discussed only twice in the entire history of this article, and then only briefly, the first time it was even mentioned that there should be a "List of oldest universities" article, because the arbitrary "continous operation" clause serves no purpose and actually limits the amount of relevant information sought after by many readers of this article. However it seems this alternative list has come to nothing. --Saddhiyama (talk) 17:15, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
It was indeed removed because of the "continuous operation" clause. Note that Paris does appear in the List of medieval universities where no such clause applies (so, for example, the short lived University of Northampton (13th century) appears). Jonathan A Jones (talk) 20:26, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
So you have studied in Oxford? And keep editing out older universities like Al-Azhar and Paris? Funny that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.171.4.126 (talk) 13:46, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The US Department of Education does not retain the anglocentric outlook of this article in its current state: http://collegestats.org/2009/12/top-10-oldest-universities-in-the-world-ancient-colleges/. They list the old Muslim universities as well as Paris. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.171.4.126 (talk) 13:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)