If you are trying to hide your age as you get older, this is not the case with these Universities, who display them proudly at every opportunity.
Although the earliest Universities looked a lot different to modern ones – they marked the beginnings of education as we now know it. Here is a list of the oldest continually operating Universities in the world, and among them, is a Tunisian University.
At the top of the list, we proudly find a Tunisian University, Ez-Zitouna, that makes it all the way to the top of the list of the oldest continually operating Universities in the world.
- University of Ez-Zitouna (737)
- University of al-Qarawiyyin (859)
- Al-Azhar University (972)
- University of Montpellier (1020)
- University of Paris (1050)
- University of Bologna (1088)
- University of Oxford (1096)
- University of Salamanca (1134)
- University of Cambridge (1209)
- University of Padua (1222)
- University of Naples Federico II (1224)
- University of Siena (1240)
- University of Valladolid (1241)
- University of Coimbra (1290)
- Complutense University of Madrid (1293)
University of Ez-Zitouna, 1961 (as university; madrasa c. 737). Ez-Zitouna actually traces its origins back to the Al-Zaytouna Madrasa (School in English) founded around 737, it then gained University status in 1961.
Ez-Zitouna means “the olive” in Arabic. It is the name of Ez-Zitouna Mosque, the oldest mosque (8th- 9th century) in Tunis and one of the oldest in the world. There are contradictory legends on the origin of the word (like the Arabs building the mosque on the site of an olive tree) but it might have been built on a ancient Christian basilic of Santa Oliva, a Christian martyr from Palermo.
Suggested Read: Madrasas in the Medina of Tunis: A Forgotten Emblem
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