The 10 Oldest Universities in Europe

The majority of the oldest universities in the world are in Europe. Europe is a continent that houses some of the world’s most beautiful and ancient universities in the world. The good thing about these schools is that they are still very much in operation. They help to foster great minds and prioritize in-depth teachings. A closer look at these institutions shows that three European countries had been taking the lead due to the time the schools were established.  These countries are Spain, Italy, and France.

Some universities in Europe have a long and significant history on the continent. These schools have been operating since as far back as 100 years ago. If you want to know about their historical background and mode of operation, read on to discover them in this piece.

Find out the 10 Oldest Universities in Europe

1. University of Bologna

Country: Italy

Founded in: 1088

The University of Bologna is one of the oldest universities in Europe. It’s an old university that has been in operation since 1088. It consists of 11 schools and has been the first place to be called a university in Europe. The root of the school can be traced to when international students hired scholars to train them. The association is named ” universities.  The school is known for training students in law. You can apply to this school to learn Canon and Civil Law.

The degree this school offers to students is the Doctorate. In recent times, the school now offers Bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These degrees are available in all the 11 schools that make up the university. They have a total amount of 82,363 students. Fifty-three thousand seven hundred eighty-seven of the students are undergraduates, while 29,576 are postgraduates.

 2. University of Salamanca

Country: Spain

Founded in: 1134

The University of Salamanca is situated in Spain and is one of the oldest universities in Europe. It is a public institution with a speciality in training students in humanities. If you are interested in studying language, law, and economics, this school is the right choice for you. The school has a priority for research. The Cancer Research institute is a centre where the institution conducts scientific research.

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Also, the school has a charitable college founded to help less privileged scholars attend university. Recently, the colleges established have been turned into faculty buildings. The total number of students in this school amounts to 28,000. Twenty-five thousand seven hundred sixty of the students are undergraduates, while the remaining 2,240 are postgraduate students.

3. University of Paris

Country: France

Founded In: 1160

The University of Paris is known for training students in theology and philosophy. The school started in 1150 as a corporation associated with the cathedral school of Notre Dame de Paris. The corporation was closed during the french revolution and was replaced with four independent faculties: the faculty of law, science, medicine, and theology.

They are well-known for their varied educational training and academic performance. The school was divided into 13 independent schools in 1970. These groups are now regarded as individual schools and universities themselves.

4. University of Padua

Country: Italy

Founded in: 1222

The University of Padua is a school known for its beautiful arcaded streets. The school is known for its scientific research at both the European and world levels. They also manage nine museums with them, including the History of Physics Museum. This institution was initially founded as a school of law and medicine. They also earn prominence in early modern Europe.

Initially, the school only centered its teachings on law and medicine, but as time passed, it expanded its curriculum. The university of Padua is known as one of the oldest universities in Europe.

5. University of Naples Federico II

Country: Italy

Founded In: 1224

The University of Naples Federico II is a public, nonreligious university in Naples. It was established by the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily to be an institution not influenced by the Pope. The school’s name was changed to Federico II in 1987 to serve as a means of acknowledgement to its founder.

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Today, the institution is facilitated into 14 faculties under three divisions. These divisions are the Division of Science and Technology, Life sciences, and Division of social and human sciences. These divisions help them to concentrate on teaching students in 13 schools and 83 departments.

6. University of Toulouse

Country: France

Founded In: 1229

The University of Toulouse is among the oldest universities in Europe and is considered one of the earliest schools to emanate from Europe. It used to exist as a single institution, but it was closed in 1793 due to the french revolution.  The university was split in 1969 into three different universities, and the present-day University of Toulouse was founded in 2007.  The school has a total number of 10,674 students.

Toulouse city is best known for its food, and international students will enjoy the treats when they study in this region. You will surely enjoy classic French country dishes and delicacies.

7. University of Siena

Country: Italy

Founded in: 1240

The University of Siena is a state-supported school, with its students making up half of the city’s population. The school has 15 departments which are grouped into four areas. The areas are Biomedical and medical sciences, economics, law, and political sciences.

Students are given privileges because classes are usually offered in Latin, logic and law, and the natural sciences. By the 20th century, the population of students increased from 400 to more than 20,000 in the last few years. The school is one of the oldest universities in Europe.

8. University of Valladolid

Country: Spain

Founded In: 1241

Valladolid is a beautiful city that houses a great institution. The University of Valladolid library collection is essential; its ancient book collection has 45,000 titles, including manuscripts and incunabulum, printed books dating before 1501. The library alone is enough reason for students to choose this institution.

Valladolid city had an intense cultural schedule because of its status as a university town.

9. University of Murcia

Country: Spain

Founded in: 1272

The University of Murcia is a public university with facilities and buildings spread over two campuses. The two campuses are Merced, situated in the town centre, and Espinardo, just 5 km north of Murcia. A third medical and health studies campus is being built 5 km south of the city. This institution was founded in 1915, but its seal carries the 19th-century founding. This school is considered the third oldest in Spain. This is to ascertain how old the school is.

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Also, the school offers an intensive 30 or 60-hour Spanish crash course. This will help international students practice and use the Spanish language to communicate on campus.

10. University of Macerata

Country: Italy

Founded in: 1290

The University of Macerata is among the oldest universities in Europe and is a public university with several faculties. Cultural heritage, Law, Literature and Philosophy, Media Studies, Education Sciences, and Political Sciences are faculties. The school has about 11,213 students. This college is best because they are known for granting degrees to anyone, including poor students.


These are some of the oldest universities in Europe. However, there are still other European universities that have existed for decades which you can check online.


Hi, I'm Benedict. The founder of Bennyselfpublishing Academy. A platform designed to teach people how to write and publish their books online and offline from the comfort of their homes. When I am not writing, I am outside playing football or watching my favorite team Chelsea play.

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