This Moroccan World News article claims that the Univeristy of Al Qarawiyyin of Fez, Morocco is "the Oldest University in the World".

Dating back to 859, the University is no doubt older than Egypt’s Azhar University (970) and its European counterparts: the University of Oxford, which is regarded as the oldest university in the English-speaking world (roughly founded in 1096), and University of Bologna (founded approximately in 1088). The historic university of Fez is actually recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest degree-granting university in the world.

This is widely considered a fact in Morocco.

Is it true?

  • 1
    This is affirmed in essence by the Wikipedia page... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Al_Quaraouiyine
    – Avery
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 1:55
  • 1
    Is wikipedia 100% reliable? Wikipedia had as reference "guinnessworldrecords" .. In the article "guinnessworldrecords", Lukas Godfrey said that the oldest university in the world is not Karueein (al-Qarawiyyin), but Nalanda, in Bihar, India! and in this article: informationdose.blogspot.com/2014/12/… for example al-Qarawiyyin is not cited as ...
    – Motaka
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 2:21
  • 5
    The guy in the comments claiming India doesn't seem to understand that Guinness specifies "the oldest existing, continually operating and the first degree-awarding educational institution in the world", as does Wikipedia. By his logic you could revive Plato's Academy and that would now be the oldest university
    – Avery
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 2:43
  • 3
    @Avery Agreed. There are some universities in China that are currently operating that might be considered older, but they were not in continuous use and have changed names several times. The conditions that Guinness specifies for this record makes it so that Al Qarawiyyin will continue to hold the title unless they shut down for some reason.
    – DenisS
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 13:44
  • 2
    @Gomunkl sorry to disappoint you but they didn't teach only theology. They taught grammar, jurisdiction, astronomy and other sciences of the time. Ibn Khaldun who has been described as the founder of what would become historiography, sociology, economics, and demography, was an Alumini of Ez-Zitouna.
    – 0x016F2818
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 6:48


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