Top Ten Oldest Universities Around the World


2. University of Paris (Paris, France, Founded in 1150)

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The Old Sorbonne on fire in 1670.

It was founded in the mid-12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1170 (or, possibly, as early as 1150). After many changes, including a century of suspension (1793–1896), it ceased to exist as such in 1970 and 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII) were created from it. The university is often referred to as the Sorbonne or La Sorbonne after the collegiate institution (Collège de Sorbonne) founded about 1257 by Robert de Sorbon. In fact, the university as such was older and was never completely centered on the Sorbonne. Of the 13 current successor universities, the first 4 have a presence in the historical Sorbonne building, and three include “Sorbonne” in their names.

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