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Ancient Universities in the UK 

Written by Rachel Chin, October 2017

Wondering where you should go to when travelling to the UK during your year end holiday? Why not consider a trip to the home where the ancient universities are?

The ancient universities in the UK, are named in such a manner because they were founded between the 12th and 16th centuries. Amongst these universities, are the most well-known and prestigious institutions in the world. Not only are these institutions significant for their historic legacies, but also their ability to adapt to the modern contexts and remain relevant in the globalised environment today.

Below are some interesting facts about the university and some other institutions you can visit when you are in the area for a tour!

University of Oxford

Year of Establishment: 1096–1167

As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, it has played a major role in developing the intellectual history globally. It has been a centre for debate and controversy in religion, science and humanities.

Well-known for its academic excellence, the university is also one of the locations where Harry Potter was filmed. Impressive historical architecture of the university buildings makes it the perfect filming location. Harry Potter fans should not miss out taking this tour.

*Other education institutions within the vicinity:

Oxford Brookes University, Kings Education (Oxford campus)

University of Cambridge

Year of Establishment: 1209

Topping the league table, together with Oxford, this university also tops more than half of the 66 subject tables and is ranked top five in all three main world rankings. Having had the highest entry requirements of any UK university, most conditional offers require A*A*A* at A Level (for undergraduate science courses (excluding Psychological and Behavioural Sciences), and A*AA for arts courses and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences. It is definitely a miracle (well, or close to one) if you ever received an offer from Cambridge!

*Other education institutions within the vicinity:

Anglia Ruskin University, CATS College (Cambridge campus), Bellerbys College (Cambridge campus)

University of St Andrews

Year of Establishment: 1413

St Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland, and third oldest in the English-world. Unexpectedly, it has gained quite a number of distinctions from other universities, having being named as the leading university with the cheapest living costs. International students make up over 40 percent of the intake and give the university a cosmopolitan atmosphere. What some students might not know is, Kate Middleton met Prince William as a student at St Andrews University. So you can be very much assured that the education you are receiving is of a Royal status!

The town of St Andrews is also regarded as the “Home of Golf”, steeped in history; it has one of the oldest golf course in the world, where games have been played since the 15th century.

University of Glasgow

Year of Establishment: 1451

Being Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow has been named by both Condé Nast Traveller magazine and travel publisher Rough Guides as, the “Friendliest city in the World”. What’s more, University of Glasgow has been named, “Scottish University of the Year” by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

Did you know that prior to 1917 every single graduate from the university was recorded? It is actually still possible to view the 19811 graduates on the Glasgow University website. Talk about good record keeping practices!

*Other education institutions within the vicinity:

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow International College (Pathway into University of Glasgow), The Glasgow School of Art

University of Aberdeen

Year of Establishment: 1495

Based in Scotland’s safest city, Aberdeen is known for the innovative modular system in its cross-disciplinary degrees. Students can enjoy flexibility while studying, which means they can try out three or four subjects before committing themselves at the end of their first or even second year. Instead of just studying your chosen area of study, you will develop a deeper understanding in a wider context, which will affect your way of approaching the issues in the current world.

Due to the flexibility of the system which allow students to change direction as their interests, passions and ambitions develop, majority of the students ended up changing their intended degree before graduation.

*Other education institutions within the vicinity:

Robert Gordon University

University of Edinburgh

Year of Establishment: 1582/3

As the largest university in Scotland, the university buildings are spread all around the city, up to the border of the historic Old Town. The city has the second largest population in Scotland. It has the highest percentage of professionals in the UK with 43% of the population holding a degree level or professional qualification.

One of the most notable alumni from University of Edinburgh is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a physician who studied medicine at the university. He is more well known as the author of fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes.

*Other education institutions within the vicinity:

Edinburgh Napier University


Good University Guide 2018

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