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Africa owns four largest, oldest universities in world history

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Africa owns four largest, oldest universities in world history

As against the expectations of many, Africa is standing tall in the education sector as it owns the four largest universities in the world.

According to research the foundation of the first university was laid in US in 1636, and the university of Bologna in Italy was founded in 1088 years after Africa had established universities.

The University of Oxford in the United Kingdom was founded in 1096 after Africa had founded 4 universities.

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According to the research by Erudera, the oldest universities in the world are located in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and Mali respectively.

The Alexandria Museum and Library was established in the third century B.C. in Egypt.

The Library grew to become the largest center of learning in the ancient world.

The complex is estimated to have housed more than 200,000 volumes, and supported up to 5,000 scholars and students.

The center was the largest research institution, and many of the leading Egyptian and other African as well as Greek, Roman, and Jewish scholars of the ancient world studied or worked there at some point in their lives.

The library gradually declined as buildings were destroyed by fire, its holdings looted in times of warfare, and scholars left due to political instability in the twilight years of the Roman empire.

Alexandria left a rich legacy of scholarship covering a wide range of fields from mathematics and the sciences to philosophy and religion.

The second oldest standing university on earth is in Morocco. Known as Al-Qarawiyyin, the university was founded by a young princess from Tunisia, Fatima al-Fihri.

Sankore university was about the 3rd ever university in the world after Alexanderia, and had 25,000 students from Africa and across the Mediterranean(Timbuktu university had thousands of people from Europe as students.

The 4th University was Timbuktu University which was founded during the Wagadu Empire era. At this time, Timbuktu developed into a major trading center of the Sahelian savanna belt between Senegal and Meroitic Kush.

All of the universities of Timbuktu predate Islam and were originally learning centers for Dogon and Meroitic sciences, which flourished throughout the Sahel. Islam did not introduce universities to Timbuktu, Islam appropriated the indigenous African universities already in Timbuktu (as well as numerous other ancient African cities) and turned them into masjids.

The Timbuktu Meroitic universities were appropriated into masjids in 989 ce. This is over 1,200 years after the original university was established.

However, despite the religious shift of the universities, their architectural heritage remains faithful to the indigenous pre-Islamic Sahelian adobe architecture.

After the existence of these universities then come the oldest university in Europe, the University of Bologna in Italy, founded in 1088.

This is followed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, founded in 1096, the Spain’s University of Salamanca founded in 1134 by King Alfonso IX of Leon, and then the University of Montpellier in France, the foundations of which were laid in 1220 by Pope Nicholas IV.

Germany, which is one of the top five most famous countries in the world for international students, had its first university in 1386 when Rupert I Elector Palatine established the Heidelberg University. It is however the 15th country in the world to have a university.

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