England has well-known universities which are also favored by students from Indonesia. Besides being famous, these universities are also included in the ranks of the oldest universities in the world. There are two universities in the UK that are included in the top 10 oldest universities in the world.
Queen Elizabeth’s country has the oldest universities founded in the 17th century or earlier, and you may be surprised that it will take almost 250 years for the next university to be established. The following is a list of the 10 oldest universities in the UK by year of their official establishment.
- University of Oxford
Address: Oxford OX1 2JD, UK
Phone: +44 1865 270000
Founded in 1096, the University of Oxford is a research university located in Oxford, England. In the world, Oxford ranks second as the oldest surviving university and one of the oldest Universities in the UK with evidence of teaching dating back to 1096.
It is a private university that has 38 constituent colleges and various academic departments. In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, Oxford was ranked first in the world in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
The university has more than 10,000 students who are international students. This is almost 43% of the total students at Oxford. Oxford students come from over 150 countries and territories.
Many graduates of this university have become prime ministers of the UK as well as other world leaders, such as Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron, and Bill Clinton. There are also films, writers, and scientists, such as Albert Einstein, Adam Smith, Rowan Sebastian Atkinson, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Cambridge University
Address: The Old Schools, Trinity Ln, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
Phone: +44 1223 337733
Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is the second oldest university in England. The founder of this university was an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford due to some problems between them and the people of the city.
The university has 31 autonomous colleges and six schools (a term used at Cambridge) consisting of Biological Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Humanities and Social Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Technology, and Physical Sciences. Cambridge also has eight major non-school institutions.
According to the QS World University Rankings 2020, Cambridge University is in 7th position. The alumni of this school include Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the force of gravity and created Calculus, and Charles Darwin who wrote the theory of evolution through natural selection.
Cambridge was also the school of the renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking and the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.
- University of St Andrews
Address: St Andrews KY16 9AJ, UK
Phone: +44 1334 476161
The University of St Andrews was founded in the 15th century, in 1413 to be exact. It is the first university in Scotland and is the third oldest university in English-speaking countries.
Over the past 600 years, the university has had a reputation as one of the world’s leading research and teaching centers. St Andrews consistently holds the highest student satisfaction score of any multi-faculty university in the UK.
The University of St Andrews is always in the top 100 of international rankings, true to its motto, “Ever to excel”. Famous figures who have studied at this university include the founder of Forbes, B.C. Forbes and Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.
- University of Glasgow
Address: Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
Phone: +44 141 330 2000
The university, which is located in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, was founded in 1451. It is a public research university located in Glasgow, Scotland. In Scotland, the University of Glasgow is an ancient university and in England, it is in the 4th position as the oldest university.
In 1451, based on a charter from then Pope Nicholas V, the university was added to the city’s Cathedral. The original records of the founding of the University of Glasgow have not been found until now and are thought to have been lost during the Scottish Reformation.
This happened when chancellor Archbishop James Beaton fled to France. He also brought with him his archives and valuables. Notable alumni of this university are Adam Smith, Gerard Butler, Sir William Ramsay, James Watt, and Ian Donald.
- University of Aberdeen
Address: King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1224 272000
Founded in 1495 The University of Aberdeen is one of two universities located in the City of Aberdeen and has iconic buildings that are symbols of Aberdeen, particularly Marischal College and the spire of King’s College Tower. Now the main campus is located in King’s College which covers an area of about 35 hectares and has a beautiful historic building that forms a complete quadrangle with an open garden inside. Initially, in 1495, the university was named King’s College and William Elphinstone.
Then the Bishop of Aberdeen petitioned Pope Alexander VI to form the university. The modern University of Aberdeen is the result of a merger in 1860 between the original King’s College and the new Marischal College.
The university accepted female students in 1892. Notable alumni of the university are actor Iain Glen who played in Game of Thrones and Sir George Paget Thomson, Nobel laureate for his discoveries regarding the wave nature of electrons.
- University of Edinburgh
Address: Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK
Phone: +44 131 650 1000
The University of Edinburgh since its opening in 1582 has grown rapidly to become one of the best universities in the country. Many of the university’s main buildings are located in the center of the old town. The campus architecture offers a mix of ancient and modern.
The city and university have a longstanding reputation for literature. Based on the QS World University Rankings 2020, the University of Edinburgh is in the 20th position in the world. Its alumni are 19 Nobel laureates as well as other world-famous awards.
Some of those who have studied at this campus are famous writers such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson and the famous scientist Charles G. Barkla who discovered the characteristics of X-ray elements in 1917.
- University of Manchester
Address: Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 161 306 6000
Founded in 1824, this university has campuses whose buildings are spread throughout the city of Manchester. In 2004 the modern University of Manchester was inaugurated and the university is renowned for having strong students and staff in the sciences.
In 1883 the university accepted female students into its programs. This university is the first civil university in the UK which is closely linked to Manchester’s existence as the world’s first industrial city.
The origin of this university is the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) which was later merged with Victoria University of Manchester, which is the old name of the University of Manchester. This merger occurred in 2003.
If you know the cast of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC TV series, Benedict Cumberbatch, he is a graduate of this university. There is also a famous writer, namely Anthony Burgess. Another famous graduate was Ernest Rutherford who was the Nobel laureate for experiments in atomic physics.
- University College London
Address: Gower St, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Phone: +44 20 7679 2000
Founded in 1826 in the city of London, University College London’s origins can be traced back to the University of London 1826. It is a public research university located in London, England.
This institution was founded under the name London University. It aims to be an alternative to the Anglican universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The University suffered extensive bomb damage during the Second World War, particularly in the Great Hall and Carey Foster Physics Laboratory.
In 1976, under a new charter, the university was officially founded as University College London. In 1878, the university became the first educational institution in England to admit female students.
Notable alumni of this campus include Alexander G. Bell, Mahatma Gandhi, Chris Martin from Coldplay, and Professor John O’Keefe, the discoverer of the cells that make up the positioning system in the brain.
- University of Durham
Address: Durham, UK
Phone: +44 191 334 2000
Durham University was founded in 1832 and is a public research university covering approximately 227 hectares consisting of the main Durham campus and the second Stockton-on-Tees campus. Around 21 percent of the students are not from the UK.
The university has three departments, namely Arts and Humanities, Science and Social Sciences, and Health. In international rankings, the university is in the top 100 positions. Durham is also included in the elite Russell Group of British Universities.
Notable graduates from this campus are actors Andrew Buchan and Sir Roger George Moore who play the character of British secret agent James Bond.
- Aberystwyth University
Address: Penglais, Aberystwyth SY23 3FL, UK
Phone: +44 1970 623111
Aberystwyth, known as the ‘People’s University, was built on the site of an unfinished hotel. The building was purchased from a local railroad contractor and later converted into a university. When it opened in 1872, the university had only 26 students.
Now Aberystwyth University can accommodate more than 8,000 students from various countries. This university, located in Wales, is a public research university.
Notable alumni of this university are Prince Charles, Frederick Soddy who is a Nobel laureate for proving the existence of certain radioactive element isotopes, Rachel Roberts who is a Welsh actress, and Waldo Goronwy Williams, a prominent Welsh-speaking poet.
Those are the 10 oldest universities in the UK. It turns out that the university is not only old but also has several famous graduates, such as actors who played Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch, and the father of India, Mahatma Gandhi.
Maybe some of you will continue your bachelor’s or master’s degree abroad. Of the 10 oldest universities in the UK, is there a university that is your target to continue your studies?