Oldest University in England: List of Oldest Institutes in the Country  

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England houses some of the oldest and most prestigious universities worldwide, renowned for their world-class education and research facilities. In this blog, we will discuss in detail the oldest university in England. We will provide a list of these old institutes and talk about each of them. Apart from being the oldest, these universities are some of the most prominent as well. They boast an outstanding global reputation and offer top-notch programs in a wide range of disciplines. See the list of the oldest universities in England below: 

University of Oxford (1096)

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in England. One of the leading universities across the globe, the University of Oxford has evidence of teaching and learning from as early as the year 1096. This autonomous university at Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, offers about 350 different graduate degree programs and is organized into 6 permanent private halls and 39 independent colleges. 

It boasts 4 academic divisions of Humanities, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences and Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences, which together comprise about 100 academic departments of study. Students from around the world frequently choose this university to pursue education because of its world-class education and faculty members.

Institute University of Oxford 
QS World University Rankings 2024#3
LocationWellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD, United Kingdom
Famous Graduates Albert Einstein, Margaret Thatcher, Adam Smith, Bill Clinton, Hugh Grant, Oscar Wilde, and Stephen Hawking

Also Read: Study at Universities in London Without IELTS

University of Cambridge (1209)

The second oldest university in England on our list is the University of Cambridge. This prestigious institute has been offering first-class education since its inception in 1209. It provides more than 30 undergraduate courses and over 300 postgraduate courses. Located in the beautiful city of Cambridge, it has produced numerous highly successful personalities since its inception. It enrols over 20,000 students hailing from 140 countries.

Institute University of Cambridge
QS World University Rankings 2024#2
LocationThe Old Schools, Trinity Ln, Cambridge CB2 1TN, United Kingdom
Famous Graduates Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Alan Turing, Francis Bacon, Joseph Stiglitz, William Harvey, and Sylvia Plath

University of Glasgow (1451)

Another prestigious institute on our list of the oldest university in England is the University of Glasgow, which was founded in 1451. Located in Glasgow, Scotland, this Russell Group university is renowned for its exceptional teaching standards and welcoming environment. The University of Glasgow houses around 29,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Thousands of students apply for admission to this prestigious institute due to its high-quality education standards and global reputation. 

Institute University of Glasgow
QS World University Rankings 2024#=76
LocationGlasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom
Famous Graduates Adam Smith, Sir William Ramsay, John Logie Baird, Gerard Butler, John Smith, Thomas Muir, and Andrew Bonar Law 

University of Aberdeen (1495)

The University of Aberdeen is another prominent institute on our list of the oldest university in England, founded in 1495. Situated in Aberdeen, Scotland, this highly regarded university boasts about 650 world-class courses. Just like the other institutes in the list, it has also generated various prominent personalities who carved out a name for themselves in their respective fields. 

Institute University of Aberdeen
QS World University Rankings 2024#208
LocationKing’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, United Kingdom
Famous Graduates Iain Glen, Lord Addington, Sir George Paget Thomson, Alistair Darling, Tessa Jowell, and Lord Sutherland

Also Read: The List of the Top 100 Universities in the UK 2024

University of Edinburgh (1583)

The University of Edinburgh was founded in 1582 by the town council under the authority of a royal charter of King James VI and officially opened in 1583. Among the most prestigious institutes on our list of the oldest university in England, the University of Edinburgh is renowned for its world-class education facilities. It offers about 400 degrees across 60 different subjects, catering to the diverse interests of students. 

Institute University of Edinburgh
QS World University Rankings 2024#22
LocationOld College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, United Kingdom
Famous Graduates Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Darwin, Sir James Matthew Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Julius Nyerere

University College London UCL (1826)

The University College London (UCL) is another top-notch institute on our list of oldest university in England. Founded in 1826, it has generated numerous prominent personalities since. It is located in Gower St, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom, boasting an impressive campus. With over 400 undergraduate degree programmes and 42,000 students from 150 different nations, it is a truly global university. It is also worth noting that it was the first school to admit women in 1878. 

Institute University College London (UCL)
THE World University Rankings 2024#22
LocationGower St, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
Famous Graduates Mahatma Gandhi, David Attenborough, Alexander Graham Bell, Christopher Nolan, and Chris Martin

Also Read: Top 10 Universities in the UK, 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Durham University (1832)

Durham University was established in 1832 by an Act of Parliament and incorporated by royal charter in 1837. Located in Durham, England, it is among the most sought-after universities in the world. It boasts a huge campus with about 20% international students, creating a very diverse environment. Moreover, it offers 300+ undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses in a diverse range of fields. 

Institute Durham University
QS World University Rankings 2024#78
LocationThe Palatine Centre, University, Stockton Rd, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom
Famous Graduates George Alagiah, Nasser Hussain, Jonathan Edwards, George Lazenby, Gabby Logan, Will Carling, and Jeremy Vine

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Q.1 What is the oldest university in England?

Answer: The University of Oxford is the oldest university in England, founded in 1096.

Q.2 Which is older Cambridge or Oxford?

Answer: The University of Oxford (1096) is older than the University of Cambridge (1209).

Q.3 What was the first university in London?

Answer: The University College London UCL (1826) was the first university in London. 

So, this was all about the oldest university in England. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.

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