Last Updated on January 17, 2023
Architecture is a tough, but rewarding profession. It takes hard work and dedication to become an architect. But once you have that diploma in your hands, the world is yours! You’ll be designing houses, buildings and other structures for the rest of your life.
Universities have been around for hundreds of years. The 10 oldest universities were established before the end of the 13thcentury. Though some of the world’s oldest universities have split into different colleges or have become incorporated into a different institution altogether, it is a fascinating thing to take a look at how each university has adapted to modern contexts to remain relevant. Many of these universities are now among the world’s most prestigious and popular universities. With 6 universities in Europe, 2 in the UK, and 2 in Africa, there’s much to discover in the different histories of each individual institution. Here we present the 10 oldest universities in the world, oldest university in europe & oldest university in the uk.
Have you been researching for the oldest architecture school in the world on the internet? Do you often get confused by the conflicting information you read about it online? You needn’t search anymore, because the answer is found in the article below.
Our blog brings together our community of students, alumni, faculty members, parents, and friends of the university. Here we’ll discuss current events and trends in architecture, news from our school and our alumni community, upcoming events, student accomplishments… and so much more!
See this page to get the latest information on oldest architecture school in the world, what is the oldest architecture in the world, what is the best architecture school in the world, oldest architecture school in us .You’ll find the latest information on the oldest university in europe on Infolearners.
Oldest Architecture School In The World
20. KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
As Sweden’s largest technical university, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology prides itself on its world-renowned academic programmes.
KTH’s architecture postgraduate programme offers an array of learning opportunities, including studio-based teaching, orientation courses, seminars and independent projects. The programme fuses artistic and technological elements, giving you the opportunity to develop your knowledge around subjects such as aesthetics, sustainability, design and economics.
19. Tongji University (tie)
Location: Shanghai, China
As a leading educational institution in China, Tongji University strives for excellence.
The architecture course is a dual degree taught in English. Students spend their first three semesters at the Tongji University campus, then the next four at the University of New South Wales in Australia, before coming back to Tongji for their final semester.
As an architecture student, you’ll master the core principles of architecture and learn basic design methods and theories, before specialising in the field you’re most interested in.
18. University of Sydney (tie)
Location: Sydney, Australia
Ranked as one of the top universities in Australia, the University of Sydney has a lot to offer to its prospective students. When it comes to architecture, there are different undergrad degrees available, all of which approach the subject in their own unique way.
While core units are meant to help you attain a comprehensive understanding of the subject, you can select electives of your own interests, whether they’re related to your faculty or beyond it. Pathways into further study are also available once you’ve attained your bachelor’s degree.
17. University of Melbourne
Location: Melbourne, Australia
As an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne, you’ll be able to pursue an architecture major, while also studying subjects from other disciplines, through the Bachelor of Design programme. The course is designed in such a way that it allows students to build on several different, but crucial, skills and knowledge areas.
Areas of focus include engineering, performing and visual arts, and the built environment. Plus, you’ll also have the freedom to major in two subjects if you want, and develop an overarching set of skills that will make you very employable after graduation.
16. University of Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
The University of Tokyo offers a unique undergraduate degree structure.
During the first half of their four-year course, undergraduates can study various liberal arts courses. This is so students can acquire a broad educational background before following a particular discipline during their third and fourth years.
The Department of Architecture offers diverse modules which you can match to your own interests. However, an important thing to keep in mind is that, while there are a few courses taught in English, modules under the particular department are in Japanese.
15. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Location: Los Angeles, US
UCLA is a world-renowned university with a long list of Nobel laureates and MacArthur fellows under its belt.
In order to be admitted to the School of Arts and Architecture, you’ll not only have to submit an impressive application but also a supplemental application meant to emphasise your interest in the specific school and subject.
As a major in Architectural Studies, your curriculum will focus on three main areas: critical studies, design and technology. Through this course, you’ll be able to build important foundations that will help you progress in your career afterwards.
14. University of Hong Kong (HKU)
Location: Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Considered to be Asia’s Global University, HKU is a truly innovative institution. Its four-year bachelor’s programme in architectural studies fuses arts and sciences, integrating elements from across these fields.
HKU’s architectural studies curriculum aims to create a sense of community among its students, fostering this within the work done in design studios. The degree not only sets the groundwork for aspiring architects but also provides students with knowledge that allows them to enter other related sectors.
13. Columbia University
Location: New York City, US
Based in Upper Manhattan, New York City, Columbia University is one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in the country. Architecture majors, then, are taught the core principles of form, space and material in pursuit of a liberal arts degree.
During your studies, the Big Apple will be far more than just a backdrop, as New York City is a key architectural site that’s integrated into the curriculum. While there are a lot of practical modules within this major, Columbia takes a more philosophical approach towards the subject, encouraging its students to consider architecture in relation to society, politics and culture.
12. National University of Singapore (NUS)
Location: Singapore, Singapore
Situated in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic cities, NUS’s BA (Arch) and March programmes are designed to attract architects who are in step with their fast-paced surroundings. The course’s curriculum has evolved from focusing on the design of buildings to encompassing the creation of products, landscapes and even entire cities.
Grades and admission requisites depend on individual circumstances (although a strong showing in mathematics, chemistry and physics are expected).
There are overseas opportunities, too. Indeed, students are actively encouraged to take semester-long classes at one of the university’s partner institutions.
11. Tsinghua University
Location: Beijing, China
Located at the former imperial gardens of the Qing Dynasty, Tsinghua University belongs in the elite C9 League of Chinese universities.
As an undergraduate, you’ll have the option of taking a Bachelor in Architecture, which takes five years to complete, and you can also pursue a master’s and PhD diploma.
While the courses will place focus on architectural principles and developments at a worldwide scale, students are also prompted to consider China’s own development at this front, thus placing both a global and local focus on the subject.
10. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
As one of the leading STEM schools in Europe, the EPFL is not only known for its excellent teaching and innovative research but also its cosmopolitanism. With the stunning city of Lausanne as the backdrop, your studies will be balanced between practice and theory.
Classes will incorporate subjects like history of architecture, building techniques and modelling. The school also guarantees its students personal workplaces, state-of-the-art facilities, workshop visits and personal travel that will allow them to expand their knowledge. Following the end of your bachelor’s programme, you’ll also have the option to pursue a master’s degree.
9. University of Cambridge
Location: Cambridge, England
At first glance, the small number of students enrolled in the department’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes might seem misleading but make no mistake: Cambridge’s exclusivity is very deliberate.
The faculty aims to focus as much time as possible on each individual in order to closely develop their potential, with every student allocated their own dedicated workshop. As a result, the admissions process can be taxing and includes a drawing test, a written essay, a panel interview and the submission of a portfolio. You’ll also need to have excellent grades in art and mathematics.
8. Manchester School of Architecture (MSA)
Location: Manchester, England
Located directly in the heart of the city, MSA is a collaboration between two universities: the Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester. The result is one of the largest and most prestigious architecture schools in the country.
As a result of this increased funding and capability, the school has recently revamped its studio, teaching and workshop facilities, and offers regular field trips both at home and abroad and strong connections with existing practices all over the world.
As well as a portfolio, you’ll be asked to submit a short statement explaining your interest in architecture.
7. Politecnico di Milano
Location: Milan, Italy
Founded in 1863, the Politecnico di Milano is one of Europe’s most renowned design and engineering schools, with several Pritzker and Nobel Prize winners among its alumni.
It’s also internationally focused, with its Architectural Design BSc taught entirely in English as well as Italian. Taught across three campuses, the course takes in numerous conferences, exhibitions and study trips, as well as guarantees an external internship in the final year. There are also four master’s options (all taught in English) for those looking to specialise.
6. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Location: Berkeley, US
Based just east of the San Francisco Bay Area, the UCB’s College of Environmental Design (CED) is a renowned and prestigious school that offers full-time places to around 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students.
Interestingly, unlike many other universities, you’re not required to submit a portfolio during the admissions process, with CED preferring to evaluate your motivations, ambitions and general academic performance instead.
5. Harvard University
Location: Cambridge, US
Jointly administered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University’s architecture programme offers the kind of revolutionary teaching practices and innovative course structure that you would expect from one of the world’s foremost educational institutions, with students able to focus on one of two main undergraduate routes: Design Studies or History and Theory.
Note that Harvard’s acceptance rates are notoriously low, so you’ll need flawless grades, an array of strong references and an engaging entrance essay to be considered.
4. ETH Zurich
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Established in 1855 and widely regarded as one of the finest STEM institutions in the world (Albert Einstein is among its alumni), ETH Zurich offers several undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Although you’re required to speak German for the former, many of the latter are taught in English or French.
ETH Zurich is characterised by its emphasis on theoretical study rather than application, and this is a feature of its architecture courses. Admission requirements, meanwhile, vary depending on your home country.
3. University College London (UCL)
Location: London, England
Having held a top place among UK universities for architecture since 2001, UCL is a constant innovator in the teaching, research and study methods of the profession. Its top-of-the-range Bartlett Manufacturing and Design Exchange (B-MADE) facility is the envy of many institutions, and it also hosts a prestigious annual exhibition, in which every student is expected to contribute.
All applicants must submit an assessment task prior to an interview, with much of the subsequent emphasis on the quality of your portfolio; therefore, it’s important to prepare thoroughly beforehand.
2. Delft University of Technology
Location: Delft, the Netherlands
Based several miles north of Rotterdam, the Delft University of Technology’s bachelor’s degree programme explores urbanism and building science as well as conventional architecture studies. This broad, wider-ranging approach has seen the university consistently retain its place as one of the foremost technical institutions in Europe and the world.
Unfortunately for international students, the undergraduate programme is taught only in Dutch, although their renowned master’s degree is in English.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Location: Cambridge, US
MIT is one of – if not the – most pioneering STEM institutions in the world. Naturally, their architecture programme reflects this.
The faculty is keen to emphasise the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, especially where environmental solutions are concerned. This focus on sustainable architecture, and the research that supports and drives it, is a key factor in MIT’s lofty ranking.
Prospective candidates, meanwhile, undergo a standardised application process and are required to submit several short essays covering a range of personality and motivation-based questions. If successful, they’re offered a place on the best architecture course on the market.
What Is The Best Architecture School In The World
Are you searching for the best architecture schools in the world to study? Do you wish to pursue an undergraduate or master’s degree program in the field of architecture from one of the leading Universities in the world?
This page contains a list of the 17 best architecture schools in the world in 2020 as ranked by the dependable QS world University ranking system. The system ranks Universities all over the world based on some factors.
Some of these factors include the volume of research output by Universities, the quality of teaching and research facilities, employability of graduates, among other factors.
If you currently seek to study Architecture and need a guide about what school to choose, we have compiled this list to help you make comparisons
Best Architecture Schools in the World
Here is a comprehensive list of the best architecture schools in the world in 2021. Make your choice from them!
#1. University College London (UCL)
The University College London (UCL) currently ranks as the best University in the world to study Architecture. The University is located in London England as a public research University.
Prospective architectural applicants are encouraged to visit the official school website to learn more about the University.
Acceptance rate: Fair
Tuition fees: affordable
Admission and website link:
#2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
MIT is a private research university in the United States founded in 1861 during the surge in industries in the US. The University was established to meet the demand for experts during the period of rapid industrialization in the US.
The University is known to model its pattern of academics after the European Polytechnic University. Its School of Architecture currently occupies the 2nd position in the world.
Acceptance rate: 8%
Tuition fees: $23,000
Admission and website link:
#3. Delft University of Technology
Also known as Tu Delft, the Dutch University is known to be the oldest school of technology in the Netherlands and currently ranks among the best engineering and technology schools in the world. The University occupies a position among the top 10 best architecture schools in the world.
Acceptance rate: Fair
Tuition fees for Undergraduate:
Domestic tuition: 2,060 EUR
International tuition: 10,384 EUR
Admission and website link:
#4. ETH Zurich
The ETH Zurich is a reputable University with a focus in the fields of Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The University is currently considered as one of the best in Switzerland in the aforementioned subjects. To learn more about the University, visit the official University website
Acceptance rate: fair
Tuition fees: not indicated
Admission and website link:
#5. Harvard University
Harvard University is one of the Ivy League research universities in the United States. The University has maintained a long history of academic excellence over the years and its constantly the top 5 best Universities in the world annually. The University is top a choice to scholars around the world making it extremely competitive to gain offers into the University.
Acceptance rate: 6%
Tuition fees: $18,000
Admission and website link:
#6. University of California, Berkeley
The University of California Berkeley is one of the ten Universities which make up the UC system. The University is a public research university founded in 1868. The University offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs across several disciplines.
Acceptance rate: 17%
Tuition fees: $13,000
Admission and website link:
#7. University of Cambridge
Founded in 1231, the University ranks among the oldest Universities in the world. The University welcomes outstanding students from around the world and has financial aid programs in place to assist students admitted into various programs.
Acceptance rate: 21%
Tuition fees: £21,732
Admission and website link:
#8. National University of Singapore
Known as the 1st Autonomous University in Singapore, NUS has worked its way to feature on the list of the best architecture schools in the world.
Aside from architecture, the University is known to also excel in other disciplines.
Acceptance rate: fair
Tuition fees for Undergraduate: 38,200 SGD
Admission and website link:
#9. Manchester School of Architecture
The Manchester School of Architecture is one of the UK’s best schools of architecture and currently one of the best in the world. The University welcomes local and international students from around the world. Visit the official scholarship website to learn more about this school.
Acceptance rate: Not indicated
Admission and website link:
#10. Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University is a public research university located in Beijing. The University which is said to have graduated several Chinese elites is among the C9 League of Chinese Universities.
Acceptance rate: fair
Tuition fees: 28,000 CNY for international students
Admission and website link:
#11. The Polytechnic University of Milan
The University was founded in 1863 in Milan, Italy, and currently ranks as the largest University in Italy.
This University is known to excel in the field of Science and technology in the world and currently ranks among the best in the world.
Acceptance rate: fair
Tuition fees for Undergraduates:
Domestic tuition: 3,500 EUR
International tuition: 3,900 EUR
Admission and website link:
#12. The École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
The University is located in Switzerland and currently ranks among the best in the world.
Undergraduate Tuition fees:
1,266 CHF (2012)
Admission and website link: https://www.epfl.ch/en/
#13. The University of Hong Kong
The University of Hong Kong was founded in 1911. This university thrives in various fields of study including medicine, engineering, and Social sciences.
Acceptance rate: 41.55% for postgraduates
Domestic tuition: 42,100 HKD (2018)
International tuition: 164,000 HKD
Admission and website link: https://www.hku.hk/
#14. Columbia University
Columbia University was established in 1754 as a private University. The University is among the Ivy League schools in the United States. The University is highly competitive and has a low acceptance rate.
Acceptance rate: 7%
Tuition fees: $21,000
Admission and website link:
#15. University of Sydney
The University makes the cut among the best Universities in the world to study Architecture. The University is the delight to behold for students.
Learn more about the University through the official website link.
Acceptance rate: low
Undergraduate Tuition fees: 9,050 AUD
Admission and website link:
Oldest University In Europe
A traveler in Europe will be delighted to find that the continent hosts some of the world’s oldest and most beautiful universities. Many of these ancient institutions are still in operation today and have fostered brilliant minds. The idea that the Earth isn’t the centre of the universe was proposed by a student who attended not just one, but two of these ancient institutions! A closer look at the locations of the Western world’s oldest universities shows that three countries have been at the heart of Europe’s long-standing and fascinating history of higher-education institutions, and here we present the 10 oldest universities in Europe ranked by official founding year.
10. University of Macerata
Location: Macerata, Italy
About: The University of Macerata (UNIMC) is a state-supported university in a picturesque and peaceful Italian town located on a hill between the Potenza and Chienti rivers. International students may be concerned for a lack of Wi-fi in a city built sometime between the 10th and 11th centuries, but have no fear. You’ll be able to find a connection open 24/7 in all the university buildings peppered throughout Macerata, in other public buildings, and in the town centre free of charge.
UNIMC is organised into several faculties including: Cultural Heritage, Economics, Law, Literature and Philosophy, Media Studies, Education Sciences and Political Sciences. Though a majority of classes are in Italian, some faculties offer courses entirely in English. The university organises Summer and Winter school studies focusing on Italian language studies. The institution was initially established in 1290 as a public institution, most notably for the study of Law. Members of the College of Curial Doctors, known as St. Catherine, existed in Macerata and had members who were able to teach Law. The College enjoyed the privilege of granting doctoral degrees to anyone, including on poor students, without restrictions during its continuous operation.
Number of students: 11,213
Notable Alumni: Sergio Spinelli, Head of HR for Juventus Football Club SpA
Fun fact: Among its institutes is the widely popular Confucius Institute, established in 2011, where students can learn about Chinese culture and study Chinese as a second language. UNIMC plays an important role in maintaining a meeting space between Chinese and Italian cultures.
9. University of Murcia
Location: Murcia, Spain
About: The University of Murcia is a public university in a Spanish city that gets 330 days of sunshine and five times of harvest in a single year. It is thus highly recommended to bring a bottle or two of sunscreen, and you’ll enjoy the many kinds of fresh produce such as cherries, almonds, oranges, and lemons grown in the region. The university has facilities and buildings spread over two main campuses: La Merced, situated in the town centre, and Espinardo, just 5km to the north of Murcia. A third campus for Medical and Health studies is being built 5km south of the city.
The first institution for higher learning in Murcia was founded as the Universitas Studiorum Murciana by Alfonso X of Castile, the King of the region during the middle of the 13th century. The University of Murcia as we know today was founded in 1915, but its seal carries the date of the 13th century founding. Among its current main objectives are the creation, development and research into science, technology and culture through study and research. The University of Murcia is the third oldest university in Spain.
Fun fact: The University offers an intensive 30 or 60-hour Spanish crash course for international students and a buddy programme that connects international and local students to encourage the learning experience. You’ll be able to practise using Spanish on campus, with your host, and with the many welcoming locals in Murcia!
8. University of Valladolid
Location: Valladolid, Spain
About: The University of Valladolid (Uva) is a public university in a region of Spain that became a powerhouse of industry in the 19th century. There’s an array of beautiful palaces and churches in Valladolid, which has endowed the city with majestic architecture and museums that showcase the centuries of sculpture and design appreciated today. Uva also plays an important role in promoting culture and the arts with multiple cultural associations for music and theatre. These include the Youth Orchestra of the University of Valladolid, the Choir of the University of Valladolid, and the theatre group founded under the Faculty of Medicine.
In 1241 the institution was founded as removal of studies at the University of Palencia by Alfonso VIII of Castile, the King of the region in the late 12th century. The university’s library collection is important; its ancient book collection has 45,000 titles including manuscripts and incunabulum, printed books dating before the year 1501. In the 21st century, UVa is responsible for teaching higher education in seven campuses distributed through four cities of Castile and Leon: Valladolid, Palencia, Soria and Segovia.
Number of students: 31,780
Motto: Sapientia Aedificavit Sibi Domvm (Latin); Knowledge built this house
Notable Alumni: Ektor Pan, Spanish singer, producer and lip sync artist who was a semifinalist in the Eurovision Song Contest entries in 2016 and 2017
Fun fact: The city has an intense cultural schedule because of its status as a university town. Valladolid hosts the Seminci, an international film festival most important in the specialty of independent film and auteur film, and the International Street Theatre and Arts Festival. In October you’ll be able to attend film screenings at venues throughout the city, a welcomed break from the textbooks.
7. University of Siena
Location: Siena, Italy
About: The University of Siena is a public, state-supported university whose student body makes up nearly half of the city population. Siena is known to have a young, dynamic feel and the university is best known for its Schools of Law, Medicine, and Economics and Management. The University is composed of 15 departments, grouped in four areas: Biomedical and Medical Sciences, Economics, Law, and Political Sciences, Experimental Sciences, and Literature, History, Philosophy and the Arts.
Originally called Studium Senese, the institution was founded in 1240. It offered classes in Latin, logic and law, and the natural sciences. The 19th century brought about further development with the university setting up new degrees and faculties. By the 20th century, the student population escalated from 400 to more than 20000 in the last few years. Students can truly immerse themselves in the local culture, since Siena isn’t as toursit-like as other parts of Italy.
Number of students: 20,000
Notable Alumni: Antonio Tabucchi, novelist and short story writer who was awarded the Portuguese National Order of Knighthood by the President of Portugal for his work. The French government also awarded him Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.
Fun fact: Students will find themselves in the middle of what once was the San Niccolò Psychiatric Hospital, but they won’t be at the facility as patients – or will they? Since much of the University of Siena is located in renovated historical buildings, such as the departments of engineering, humanities and social sciences that use rooms in what was once the San Niccolò Psychiatric Hospital, students can experience the architecture and history of the city in a most special way.
6. University of Toulouse
Location: Toulouse, France
About: The University of Toulouse was one of the earliest universities to emerge in Europe. It’s located in the large, modern city of Toulouse known for its art, history, and culture, but the city feels like a village. Since the closing of the university in 1793 due to the French Revolution, the University of Toulouse no longer exists as a single institution. However, there have been several independent “successor” universities inheriting the name under the association of universities and higher education institutions called Université fédérale de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées (UFTMP).
The institution was formed as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1229, teaching theology. Law and medicine were added later. The university was split in 1969 into three separate universities, and the present-day University of Toulouse was founded in 2007. It no longer represents a single university, but is institutions under UFTMP are associated with the University of Toulouse, such as the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse and Toulouse Business School.
Number of students: 10,674
Notable Alumni: Thomas Pesquet, European Space Agency astronaut and is the youngest member of the European Astronaut Corps, as well as the last of the ESA astronaut class of 2009 to arrive in space
Nobel laureates: Jean Tirole, awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2014 for his analysis of market power and regulation
Fun fact: Since Toulouse is best known for its food, international students are in for a treat when they study in the region. As home of classic French country dishes, students can indulge in cassoulet, a nourishing meat and bean stew, and confit de canard, duck that has been preserved and cooked in its own fat.
5. University of Naples Federico II
Location: Naples, Italy
About: The University of Naples Federico II is a state-supported, public, non-religious university in Naples, a city sitting on the Bay of Naples and by Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano responsible for Pompeii. The institution is organised today into 13 faculties under three semi-independent divisions: the Division of Science and Technology, the Division of Life Sciences and the Division of Social and Human Sciences. These are responsible for the research and teaching of 13 schools and 82 different departments.
In 1224, the head of state Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily, decided to create an educational institution that was not significantly influenced by the Pope. The institution was renamed Frederico II in 1987 in acknowledgement of its founder. It was created to facilitate the cultural development of promising young students and scholars, avoiding any unnecessary and expensive trips abroad, and has since been in stable operation in Naples.
Notable Alumni: 3 Italian presidents; Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman in space who is also known as the first person who brewed an espresso coffee in space
Fun fact: Pizza Margherita was named after Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni visited Naples in 1889. You can see the colours of the Italian flag in the pizza: basil for green, cheese for white, tomato sauce for red. The world’s first pizzeria, called Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, opened its doors in Naples in 1830 – students can gladly enjoy a slice from the centuries-old establishment.
4. University of Padua
Location: Padua, Italy
About: The University of Padua is a public university in a city known for frescoes, beautiful arcaded streets, and stylish cafes that are frequented by students. The institute now plays a role in scholarly and scientific research both at the European and world level. It also manages nine museums, including a History of physics museum.
The institution was founded in 1222 as a school of law and medicine, and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. The first two subjects taught were law and theology, but the curriculum expanded rapidly and by 1399 had divided into two universities for civil and Canon law and for the teaching of astronomy, dialectic, philosophy, grammar, medicine, and rhetoric. The university became one of the universities of the Kingdom of Italy in 1873, and ever since has been one of the most prestigious in the country for its contributions to scientific and scholarly research.
Number of students: 59,317 (Undergraduates 38,495; Postgraduates 20,822)
Motto: Universa Universis Patavina Libertas (Latin); Liberty of Padua, universally and for all
Colours: Padua red
Notable Alumni: Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer who placed the Sun at the centre of the Solar System
Fun fact: Since 1595, Padua’s famous anatomical theatre drew artists and scientists studying the human body during public dissections. It is the oldest surviving permanent anatomical theatre in Europe and can be visited by the curious student and traveler by guided tours.
3. University of Paris
Location: Paris, France
About: The University of Paris was a university that was internationally highly reputed for its academic performance in the humanities ever since the Middle Ages – notably in theology and philosophy. It has been divided into 13 autonomous universities in 1970, all which further reorganised themselves into different groups of universities and institutions. There are, as such, different university groups in the Parisian referred to as Sorbonne.
The institution arose around 1150 as a corporation associated with the cathedral school of Notre Dame de Paris. It was closed during the French Revolution period and a new University of France replaced it with 4 independent faculties: the Faculty of Humanities (Faculté des Lettres), the Faculty of Law (later including Economics), the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Theology, which was closed in 1885.
Notable Alumni: 2 Popes; Voltaire, writer and philosopher known for his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and separation of church and state; Honoré de Balzac, novelist and playwright regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature
Nobel laureates: 49 Nobel laureates including Marie and Pierre Curie for their development of the theory of radioactivity, a term that Marie herself termed, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and for the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium
Fun fact: Much of the Curie’s research was done in labs close to École normale supérieure (ENS) in the Latin Quarter of Paris; the curious student may find the opportunity to visit the historical location without fearing for exposure to radioactive elements.
2. University of Salamanca
Location: Salamanca, Spain
About: The University of Salamanca is a public university that is an important centre for the study of humanities. It is particularly well known for its language studies and courses in law and economics. Scientific research is carried out in the university and research centers associated with it: Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Neuroscience of Castile and Leon, and the Ultrashort Ultraintense Pulse Lasers Centre.
The institute began as a Cathedral School in 1130, though the university itself was founded in 1134 and granted its Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. A number of colleges were founded as charitable institutions to enable poor scholars to attend the University, but by the 18th century these had become closed corporations controlled by families of their founders. The colleges were then destroyed by Napoleon’s troops or turned into faculty buildings still in use today.
Number of students: 28,000 (Undergraduates 25,760; Postgraduates 2,240)
Motto: Omnium scientiarum princeps Salmantica docet (Latin); The principles of all sciences are taught in Salamanca
Notable Alumni: Aristides Royo, the President of Panama
Fun fact: The town has its own local astronaut – the 16th century cathedral façade features an engraved cosmonaut among gargoyle friends. No one knows where the astronaut came from, though it’s rumoured to be mischievous work by the stonemasons who left their mark during recent renovations.
1. University of Bologna
Location: Bologna, Italy
About: The University of Bologna (UNIBO) is a public university and is the oldest university in continuous operation in the Western world. It is made up of 11 schools and was the first place of study to use the term universitas for the corporations of students and masters, which came to define the institution, located in Bologna.
The origins of the university can be traced to societies of foreign students called “nations,” who hired scholars from the city to teach them. They formed larger association that became a universitas. UNIBO is historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law, and was central in the development of medieval Roman law. Until modern times, the only degree granted at the university was the doctorate, but Bachelors and Masters degrees are now offered in any of the 11 schools that make up the university.
Number of students: 82,363 (Undergraduates 52,787; Postgraduates 29,576)
Motto: Petrus ubique pater legum Bononia mater (Latin); St. Peter is everywhere the father of the law, Bologna is its mother
Notable Alumni: Enzo Ferrari, found of the Scuderia Ferrari
Fun fact: Students abide by two superstitions that would result in failure to graduate: climbing to the top of the Torre Degli Asinelli, which is one of the two landmark towers of the region, and walking across the middle of the Piazza Maggiore.
Oldest University In The UK
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to study at one of the oldest universities in the United Kingdom: the tradition of research and teaching, reaching back hundreds of years; the immaculate reputation that these institutions hold with academics and corporate recruiters worldwide; and the beautiful campuses that gives old universities their unique charm.
1. The University of Oxford
City: Oxford, England
Motto : The Lord is my Light
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. It is the second oldest university in the world in continuous operation and one of the oldest University in the UK with teaching evidence as early as 1096. The University of Oxford is a private university, it is made up of 38 constituent colleges and has a full range of academic departments.
With over 24,000 students at Oxford, including 11,930 undergraduates and 11,813 postgraduates, In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, Oxford was Ranked first in the world for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Over 10,000 students are from the International community which makes up almost 43% of the total students at Oxford. Oxford has students from over 150 countries and territories.
Notable Alumni: Many British prime ministers and other global leaders; Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist; Adam Smith; Margaret Thatcher; J.R.R. Tolkien; Bill Clinton; Oscar Wilde; Hugh Grant; Amal Clooney; Stephen Hawkings; David Cameron, Former Prime Minister UK; Rowan Sebastian Atkinson is an English actor, comedian, and writer, he is best known for his work on the sitcoms Blackadder and Mr. Bean.
2. The University of Cambridge
City: Cambridge, England
Motto : Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts
Non-literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge
The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209. It is a collegiate research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
The University of Cambridge is the fourth-oldest university in the world and the second oldest in the United Kingdom. It’s history and influence on the world has resulted in it being one of most reputed and prestigious Universities in the world.
The University of Cambridge houses the world’s oldest known publishing house and also the second-largest university press in the world called the ‘Cambridge University Press’. The University also operates many cultural and scientific museums, it provides its students with access to more than 15 million books. In the year 1209, groups of scholars congregated in Cambridge for study, and the Bishop of Ely then founded the very first college at Cambridge, called ‘Peterhouse’. Since then, the university has formed 31 constituent colleges, and these have over 100 academic departments that are organised into 6 schools. The University of Cambridge incredibly has over 100 libraries. It is interesting to note that it wasn’t until 1948 that women were considered to be full members of the University.
There are currently over 22,000 students in total at the University. With 9000 international students from over 140 different countries and a total of more than 22,000. Over 50% of Graduate students and 25% of undergraduate students come from outside U.K.
Notable Alumni: Charles Darwin; Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist; HRH Charles, Prince of Wales; Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian;
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, he was a British polymath, philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist as well as Nobel laureate.
3. The University of St Andrews
City: St. Andrews, Scotland
Motto : Ever to excel
The University of St Andrews was founded in 1413. It is a public university located in St Andrews, Scotland. It is the oldest among the four universities of Scotland and also it is the third oldest University in the UK.
The university was founded by a group of Augustinian clergy who had then formed a society of higher learning in this town. They offered lectures in divinity, logic, philosophy, and even law. Despite the poverty situation of Scotland during the 17th and 18th centuries, it has progressed to become increasingly popular especially among the Scottish upper classes, who wish to send their students to attend one of the oldest higher learning institutions.
The most famous golf course in the world, known as the Old Course located in St. Andrews, dates back to the medieval times. It is still in use today and hosts the prestigious Open Championships. The University of St. Andrews is an ancient public research university, it comprises three colleges: United College, St. Mary’s College, and St. Leonard’s College. The campus is spread throughout the picturesque town, occupying historic and modern buildings.
St Andrews is a great and unique place to study and live. It is a University with a world class reputation with 9000 over students and 80% of these in the undergraduate program. Students from 145 Nationalities are on campus and 45 % of students are from outside the UK.
Notable Alumni: Prince William; Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge; Rudyard Kipling, author; Andrew Lang FBA was a Scottish poet, novelist, literary critic, he contributed to the field of anthropology; John Knox was a Scottish minister, theologian, and writer who was a leader of the country’s Reformation, he was also the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
4. The University of Glasgow
City: Glasgow, Scotland
Motto: The Way, The Truth, The Life
The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451. It is a public research university located in Glasgow, Scotland. In the UK it is the fourth oldest University and one among Scotland’s ancient Universities. The institution was added to the city’s Cathedral in the year 1451 by a charter from the then Pope Nicholas V. The original records of the foundation of the University of Glasgow haven’t been found, and were assumed lost during the Scottish Reformation, this was when the then chancellor Archbishop James Beaton fled to France, taking with him archives and valuables.
With more than 8000 staff of which 3,400 plus constitute the research and teaching staff, the University is a major employer in Glasgow. With students from over 140 countries worldwide and 29,000 students in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
Notable Alumni: Adam Smith, economist, he laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory; Gerard Butler, actor who played King Leonidas in the war film 300; John Logie Baird, inventor of the first publicly demonstrated colour television and the first purely electronic colour television picture tube; Sir William Ramsay, nobel laureate in Chemistry for discovery of inert gases, this had helped establish a new group in the Periodic Table of Elements; James Watt, he gave power to the industrial revolution; Ian Donald, he showed the world the first ultrasound of a foetus.
5. The University of Aberdeen
City: Aberdeen, Scotland
Motto : The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 as a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland. In the United Kingdom it is the fifth oldest University and third oldest University in Scotland. The University of Aberdeen was originally established as King’s College and it was William Elphinstone, the then Bishop of Aberdeen, who petitioned Pope Alexander VI to form this facility. It was formed as a reason to cure the ‘ignorance’ that the Bishop had witnessed. The current modern University of Aberdeen is actually the result of a merger between the original King’s College and the new Marischal College in 1860, until that point the colleges had been rival institutions. It opened up classes to female students in the year 1892.
The University of Aberdeen is one of two universities located in the city of Aberdeen, the university’s iconic buildings have a symbolic meaning to the wider Aberdeen, especially the Marischal College and the spire of King’s College. The main campus of the Aberdeen University is now at King’s College and covers an area of nearly 35 hectares, its historic beautiful buildings are known to form a quadrangle with an interior court.
Aberdeen has been ranked consistently among the Top 200 universities of the world and in the UK within the Top 30 universities. The University of Aberdeen has more than 14,000 students studying in the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate-level programs which includes the international students also. The students come from 130 countries.
Notable Alumni: Iain Glen, Game of Thrones actor; George Paget Thomson, Nobel laureate;
James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, was a Scottish judge, he was a scholar of linguistic evolution, philosopher and deist, most famous today as a founder of modern comparative historical linguistics.
6. The University of Edinburgh
City: Edinburgh, Scotland
Motto: Neither rashly, nor timidly.
The University of Edinburgh was founded in 1582. In the UK it is the sixth oldest University and one among Scotland’s ancient Universities. The Edinburgh Town Council founded the University of Edinburgh initially as a college of law. It was formally established as a college by a Royal Charter in the year 1582 and it first opened its doors in 1583, and was renamed King James’s College in 1617.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s commemorative plaque has been placed at the main entrance of the Medical School Building. As timeless as the character Sherlock is, the University of Edinburgh portrays itself as an ancient university, in fact a number of buildings in the historic Old Town of Edinburgh belong to the University. The institution gave the city of Edinburgh its nickname ‘Athens of the North’, keeping in mind its reputation as a chief intellectual centre at the time of the Age of Enlightenment. Alumni from University of Edinburgh include some of the major figures of modern history. Centered in the cosmopolitan capital city of Scotland, annual festivals like The Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival make Edinburgh a cultural hub and a largely sought after popular study destination.
The University of Edinburgh is ranked 20th in the world by the 2020 QS World University Rankings. As of March 2019, Edinburgh’s alumni, researchers and faculty members, include 19 Nobel laureates and recipients of various prestigious global Awards and Honours including several Olympic gold medallists. In 2018/19 there were 43380 students in different programs at the University.
Notable Alumni: Charles Darwin; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Charles G. Barkla, he discovered characteristic X-ray elements in 1917; Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer, he was most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child’s Garden of Verses.
7. University of Manchester
City: Manchester, England
Motto : Knowledge, Wisdom, Humanity
The roots of the University of Manchester can be traced back to the Manchester Mechanics Institute formed in 1824, later UMIST.
The modern University of Manchester was officially launched in the year 2004. The institution traditionally had a strong student and staff faculty in the sciences. In the year 1883 the institute allowed the admission of women into its programs.
The University’s origins can be traced back to England’s first civic university, it is closely linked to Manchester’s development as the world’s first ever industrial city. One can trace its roots to the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), this was established to ensure that employees could study the basic principles of science. In 1880 the university became England’s first civic university. The University of Manchester has a non-traditional campus in which university buildings are dispersed throughout the city of Manchester.
It is one of the largest single site Universities in the UK with 25 Nobel Prize winners having worked or studied here. That puts it in fourth position for Nobel laureate count.
With 40,000 over students in undergraduate and post-graduate studies of which 28% are from the International community, the University of Manchester has the largest international student community in the United Kingdom.
Notable Alumni: Benedict Cumberbatch, he stars in the crime TV series Sherlock; Anthony Burgess, author of the book ‘A Clockwork Orange’, Ernest Rutherford, Nobel laureate for experiments in atomic physics, Sir James Chadwick, he was a British physicist, he was awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovery of the neutron.
8. University College London
City: London, England
Motto: Let all come who by merit deserve the most reward
The roots of the University College London can be traced back to the London University in 1826. It is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom.
The institution was founded with the name London University, it was intended to be an alternative to the Anglican universities of Oxford and Cambridge. During the Second World War the university sustained immense bomb damage, especially to the Great Hall and the Carey Foster Physics Laboratory. Under a new charter in the year 1976, the university established its independence and was formally named as University College London. Alumni from the University College London include multiple ‘Fathers of the Nation’ from nations such as India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Mauritius.
It is said that the film Inception may have used the University’s library and lecture halls for its various scenes. The University is known for its impressive campus. University College London is the first higher degree institution ever established in London city with the third largest university in the UK by as per total enrollment. In the year 1878, the University became the first British institution to admit women into its programs. The university has 11 faculties and operates a number of museums and has huge collections in fields such as the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy.
By postgraduate enrolment it is the largest and by total enrolment it is the third largest university in the UK. In the year 2018 there were about 41,500 students at UCL and 15,000 plus staff.
Notable Alumni: Mahatma Gandhi; Alexander G. Bell, who patented the first practical telephone, he also founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T); Chris Martin from Coldplay, Professor John O’Keefe, he discovered cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain
9. Durham University
City: Durham, England
Motto: Her foundations are upon the holy hills (Psalm 87:1)
Durham University was founded in 1832. It is a collegiate public research university in Durham, England. The University was founded by an Act of Parliament in the year 1832 and was granted a Royal Charter in the year 1837. The University includes 63 listed buildings ranging right from 11th century Durham Castle to even a 1930s Art Deco chapel. Initially, Durham University degrees were available to members of the Church of England, but that lasted until the year 1865. Presently, there are 16 colleges affiliated with the university, 14 of these are located at the main campus in Durham and two of these are situated at the Queen’s Campus in Stockton. In the year 1880 the College of Science first admitted women to its classrooms for study.
Durham University’s estate spans around 227 hectares, it has a main campus in Durham and a second campus located in Stockton-on-Tees. The University has three faculties: arts and humanities, science and social science, and health. It is interesting to note that Durham University became the first English university to ever establish a relationship with overseas institutions, first in the year 1875 with Codrington College in Barbados and then in the year 1876 with Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone.
As per the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings, Durham University is ranked among the Top 100 universities of the world.
The staff and students represent over 130 countries. With a total student population of 18,000 plus, in graduation and post graduation programs, 30% of these students are from the international community.
Notable Alumni: Andrew Buchan, actor in BBC’s 2006 adaptation of Jane Eyre; Sir Roger George Moore, he was an English actor, he played British secret agent James Bond in seven feature films
10. The Aberystwyth University
City: Aberystwyth, Wales
Motto : A world without knowledge is no world at all
The roots of Aberystwyth University can be traced back to University College Wales, Aberystwyth founded in 1872. Aberystwyth University is a public research university in Aberystwyth, Wales. Sometime in the middle of the 19th century, certain Welsh people advocated for the establishment of a university and Aberystwyth University opened up in October 1872 with only 26 students. The University first admitted female students in the year1884. The University is well known for upholding tradition and is known as ‘the people’s university.’
A simple way to tackle pronunciation of this University is to say the following four English words: ab-a-wrist-with. It stems from two Welsh words: aber, means “mouth,” and Ystwyth is the river that flows into Cardigan Bay at Aberystwyth. The university is colloquially known as “Aber.” The Aberystwyth University contains six academic institutes and it houses Wales’ award-winning Students’ Union.
The University has over 8000 students covering 3 academic faculties /17 departments. As per the main National ranking Aberystwyth University stands in the UK’s Top 50 universities. In 2020 it has been named the Welsh University of the year and in 2018/2019 University of the Year for Teaching Quality by The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide. Aberystwyth University is the world’s first university to be awarded Plastic Free University status (single use plastic).
Notable Alumni: HRH Charles, Prince of Wales; Frederick Soddy, Nobel laureate who proved the existence of isotopes of certain radioactive elements; Waldo Goronwy Williams, he was one of the leading Welsh-language poets of the 20th century; Sir Hugh Owen, he was a pioneer of higher education in Wales; Rachel Roberts was a Welsh actress.