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Do you want to go to Europa for your university study, but you need to know where?
In this article, we are talking about the oldest university in Europe.
The concept of a university as a centre of higher learning was a European invention roughly 1,000 years ago. Universities had become such a fundamental part of our civilization that we tend to forget there was a time before they existed. Over the centuries, the original ideas that shaped these institutions have undergone significant evolution and revolutions.
Many ancient institutions are still in operation and are places where history meets modern research methods. And while tradition is not everything, they have managed to hold their ranks among the most prestigious and influential universities and are extremely popular with international students. In this article, we look at the oldest universities in ten countries of Europe.
Italy: University of Bologna, 1088
The oldest university in Europe - and also the oldest university in the world - is the University of Bologna in Italy. This is the institution for which the term "university" ("Universitas" in Latin) was coined - the word did not exist before that. Originally founded to promote legal studies, it has branched out to other disciplines. Across the centuries, the University of Bologna's illustrious alums has included many popes, Copernicus, Dante, and even car maker Enzo Ferrari.
England: University of Oxford, 1096, and University of Cambridge, 1209
The University of Oxford is the oldest in England and the United Kingdom. Its fierce rival, the University of Cambridge, was founded roughly 100 years later when disputes with the townspeople forced many Oxford scholars to leave, many of which settled in Cambridge and set up a new university. Both institutions are today considered among the very best universities in the world.
Scotland: the University of St Andrews, 1410-1413
Scotland's oldest university was founded between 1410 and 1413, half a century after the second Scottish War of Independence. Initially, the taught subjects revolved around theology and philosophy; today, the University of St Andrews offers degree programmes in a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.
France: the University of Paris, around 1150
There is some debate around the original founding date of the University of Paris, France, the famous "Sorbonne". It emerged as a private corporation around 1150 and was later chartered as a university. The university no longer exists in its original form. Instead, following revolts in the late 1960s, the faculties were split up into thirteen successors.
Portugal: University of Coimbra, 1290
Portugal's oldest university was initially founded in Lisbon in 1290 and relocated many times before moving permanently to its current location. The University of Coimbra is the namesake for the "Coimbra Group", an association of traditional research universities in Europe, many members of which are portrayed in this article.
Austria: University of Vienna, 1365
The University of Vienna sets more than one record: Not only is it the oldest university in the German-speaking countries, with more than 90,000 students, but it is also the largest by enrolment. And in most rankings, the University of Vienna usually scores best within Austria.
Germany: Heidelberg University, 1386
The oldest university in Germany is located in the small town of Heidelberg, between Frankfurt and Stuttgart. Its 30,000 students represent about a fifth of the town's population. But its impact is not limited to the region; with its focus on cutting-edge research, Heidelberg University has spawned more than 30 Nobel prize laureates.
Sweden: Uppsala University, 1477
It took a few centuries before the Mediterranean trendsetters had successfully exported the concept of universities as centres of higher learning to the far North. In the Nordics, Sweden first by founding Uppsala University in 1477. Uppsala, a small city north of Stockholm, is usually considered the city that most embodies student life in Sweden.
Denmark: University of Copenhagen, 1479
Denmark followed suit and established the University of Copenhagen two years later. The institution remains one of Denmark's most prestigious and prominent universities. Notable alums include philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Niels Bohr, Nobel laureate in physics.
Lithuania: Vilnius University, 1579
The youngest cub in our selection is still of a respectable age. Closing in on 500 years, Vilnius University is the oldest university in Lithuania and all three Baltic states.
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.