World's 4 Oldest Universities are in Africa, 1 was Founded by a Woman

World's 4 Oldest Universities are in Africa, 1 was Founded by a Woman

Many people would have thought that the oldest universities in the world would be in Europe. But no! Africa is home to the world's four oldest universities and one of these institutions was founded by a woman. presents the four oldest universities in the world courtesy of Erudera, the world’s first education search platform backed by Artificial Intelligence.

1. Ez-Zitouna University (Tunisia)

Ez-Zitouna University in Tunisia is the oldest university in the world in continuous operation. The higher institution was established in 737 AD first as a Madrasa then as a university.

Ez-Zitouna University
Ez-Zitouna University is situated in Tunisia. Photo credit:
Source: UGC

Students are able to learn about science, philosophy, mathematics, art, among others. The university has survived many wars.

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2. Al-Qarawiyyin University (Morocco)

This Moroccan university was founded in 859 AD by a woman identified as Fatima al-Fihri. It is believed that she used the money inherited from her father to build the Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque, which subsequently developed a teaching institution that later became the University of al-Qarawiyyin.

Al-Qarawiyyin University
Al-Qarawiyyin University was established in 859 by a woman identified as Fatima al-Fihri. Photo credit: DeAgostin
Source: Getty Images

3. Al-Azhar University (Egypt)

Al-Azhar University, which is situated in Cairo, was established in 970 AD. According to CSIA, Al-Azhar University attracts 30,000 students a year from over 100 different countries.

Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University is situated in Cairo, Egypt. Photo credit: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group
Source: Getty Images

4. Sankore Mosque and University (Mali)

According to Erudera, this institution was founded in 989 by Mansa Musa, who is often described as the wealthiest individual in all human history.

Sankore Mosque
A Tuareg man at the Sankore mosque around which Sankore University was established in Timbuktu, Mali. Photo credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket
Source: Getty Images

University of Ibadan emerges number one in the list of top 20 universities previously reported that Webometrics released the July 2021 edition of its ranking of the universities and other higher education institutions across the world.

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A look at the ranking by indicates that the University of Ibadan, Covenant University, and Obafemi Awolowo University occupied the top three spots respectively.

While two of the top three, UI and OAU, are federal universities, the remaining one, Covenant University, is private-owned.

The University of Nigeria (UNN) and the University of Lagos (UNILAG) emerged fourth and fifth in Nigeria respectively. gathers that the aim of the ranking is to promote academic web presence and support the Open Access initiatives.


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