The UK has a long standing reputation for world class higher education and it is home to the oldest universities in the world. UK universities are not only the world’s oldest and most reputed but are also some of the most sought after by international students. The oldest UK universities lead the global university ranking league tables which is a major reason why so many international students choose to study in the UK every year.
With a long history of academic excellence, stimulating learning environment and a vibrant student culture the world’s oldest universities situated in the UK tap the underlying potential of the world’s best minds. Additionally, the UK government is avidly promoting higher education in the country with massive investments in the education sector. The post study work visa rules for international students have also been made more favourable so that more students can stay back and work in the UK after course completion.
Learn more about the five oldest universities in the world below and if you want to study in the UK, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK India today. Our experienced consultants can help you find out more about the undergraduate and postgraduate courses there and help you apply with ease.
Five Oldest Universities in the World
There are plenty of reasons why international students prefer to study at the world’s oldest universities located in the UK.
- UK universities are globally reputed for their excellence in delivering high quality education through innovative and interactive teaching methodologies
- These universities are research intensive with high research output and a rich tradition of leading the cutting edge research in technology and medicine
- The universities are equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities to support quality teaching and innovative research and development
- Most of these historic universities are situated in picturesque towns and cities with magnificent campuses and medical buildings adding to the old world charm
- UK universities enjoy robust industry support with a large base of recruiters offering placement opportunities to graduates and participating in curriculum development to make UK university graduates work ready
Five Oldest Universities in the UK
Based on their year of foundation, we have listed for you five of the oldest UK universities.
Oxford University is considered the oldest university in the UK and the entire english speaking world. The start of teaching activities in the university dates back to 1096.
- The University offers more than 350 different programmes for undergraduate and postgraduate students
- It is frequently placed amongst the world’s top universities and is made up of 39 prestigious colleges
- It is home to the world's oldest university museum and the world's largest university press
- The University is associated with 72 Nobel Prize laureates and its alumni include at least 28 prime ministers of the UK and other head of the states around the world
- Fun Fact: The University’s Christ Church College was the filming location of the Hogwarts Great Hall in the famous Harry Potter movie series
The University of Cambridge dates back to 1209 and is one of the most prestigious higher educational institutes in the world.
- Cambridge is the world’s fourth oldest surviving university with 31 semi-autonomous colleges
- As one of the most influential universities of the world, Cambridge is affiliated with some of the most powerful university associations and groups including the Russell group, Golden triangle, G5 universities, EUA, LERU and IARU
- The university is famous for teaching Mathematics and Mathematical Physics is one of the best in the world for Pure Mathematical research
- Sir Issac Newton, Sirinivasa Ramanujan and W.V.D Hodge are some of its most famous alumni which comprise of 120 Nobel Laureates
St. Andrews is Scotland’s oldest university founded between 1410 - 1413.
- Its most famous alumni include Prince William and B.C. Forbes, the founder of Forbes magazine
- University of St. Andrews is a highly regarded multi-facility university continually rating high on student satisfaction scores
- St. Andrews graduates are some of the most employable in the world as the University enjoys great reputation amongst recruiters and has the highest graduate employability rates in the UK
- University of St. Andrews offers student exchange programmes with many international universities across Europe, Asia and North America
The University of Glasgow which was founded in 1451, is the fourth oldest university of the English-speaking world.
- It is ranked in the world’s top 100 universities
- A research intensive university, Glasgow has around 29,000 graduate and postgraduate students from more than 140 countries
- The Father of Economics, Adam Smith is the most famous alumni of the University of Glasgow
- Having a global footprint, the University has strategic partnerships with the Singapore Institute of Technology, Nankai University and the University of Electronic Science & Technology of China
The University of Aberdeen, situated in the far north of the UK to the east of Scotland, was founded in 1495.
- It was declared Scottish University of the Year 2019 by the Times and Sunday Times Higher Education rankings
- Aberdeen has one of the largest wireless campuses in Europe
- It is also one of the most affordable cities for students in the UK
- Sports facilities at the University of Aberdeen are world class with olympic standard aquatic centre and sports village