The oldest existing and continually operating educational institution in the world is the University of Al-Karaouine, founded in 859 AD in Fez, Morocco. This fact is acknowledged by the Guinness book of Records and UNESCO.
The university was founded in 859 and developed into one of the leading universities for natural sciences. In 1957 the university added mathematics, physics, chemistry and foreign languages to their curriculum.
This university was founded 229 years before the oldest university in Europe was established. The University of Bologna, Italy, is the oldest university in Europe and was founded in 1088.
According to CollegeStats, an informational website which aggregates publicly available information provided by the U.S. Department of Education, the list of the top ten oldest universities in the world are as follows:
- University of Al-Karaouine: Located in Fes, Morocco, this university was founded in 859.
- Al-Azhar University: Located in Egypt, is the world’s second oldest surviving degree-granting institute. Founded in 970-972.
- Nizamiyya Schools: These series of universities was established by Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk in the 11th century in Iran. The most celebrated school among the series is Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad, established in 1065.
- University of Bologna: Located in Bologna, Italy. This University is the oldest one in Europe. It was founded in 1088.
- University of Paris: Located in France. This university’s exact founding is unclear; however, teaching from this university existed since 1096.
- University of Oxford: founded in 1096. The university is located in England.
- University of Montpelier: Located in Montpelier, France. Founded on 1150.
- University of Cambridge: Located in England. This university was formed by scholars who left the University of Oxford over a dispute. It was founded in 1209. The two schools have, therefore, a long history of rivalry between them.
- University of Salamanca: Located in Salamanca, Spain, this school was established in 1218 and obtained the title of “university” by Alexander IV’s papal bull in 1225.
- University of Padua: This is the second oldest university in Italy. This university was founded in 1222.
1.Guinness Book of Records: – http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/3000/oldest-university