International Timeline of Higher Education

Highered:International Timeline of Higher Education

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1 Help us build a global timeline of higher education.
2 3200 BCE
3 2370 BCE
4 1991-1786 BCE
5 1100 BCE
6 500 BCE Taxila
7 380 BCE
8 330 BCE
    8.1 China ca. 318 BCE?
9 307/306 BCE
10 3rd c. BCE
11 200
12 300 Puspagiri
13 400 Pandidakterion
14 500 Nalanda
    14.1 529 Academy closes; Monte Cassino founded
15 800
    15.1 Vikramaśīla
    15.2 877 Al Quaraouiyine University (القرويين)
    15.3 886 The Ohrid Literary School, (also known as Saint Clement's University)
16 900 
17 1000 
18 1100 
    18.1 1100 Jagaddala
    18.2 1160 The University of Paris
19 1200
    25.1 Europe
    25.2 c. 1300 Sankoré, Africa
20 1300
21 1400
22 1450
23 1470
    34.1 Sweden
    34.2 Denmark
24 1490

36 1550
37 1570
38 1559 - University of Évora, created by D. Henrique, king of Portugal. It is the second oldest university in Portugal (Coimbra's being the oldest).
39 1579 - The foundation of the first university in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and one of the first in Central and Eastern Europe - Vilnius University. It originally started as a jesuit college in 1570.
40 1582 - Foundation of the University of Edinburgh - Charter in 1583 (First non-church foundation by Town Council)
41 1590
42 1595
    42.1 Asia - Philippines

43 1600
    43.1 Asia - Philippines

44 1630
    44.1 North America

45 1640
    45.1 Finland

46 1660
    46.1 Canada

47 1740
    47.1 Pennsylvania Colony, North America

48 1760
49 1770
    49.1 Austria

50 1789
    50.1 United States of America

51 1794
    51.1 France
    51.2 United States of America

52 1794
    52.1 United States of America

53 1800
54 1810
    54.1 Norway

55 1815
    55.1 United States of America

56 1819
    56.1 United States of America

57 1820
58 1822
    58.1 Wales

59 1825
    59.1 United States of America

60 1829
    60.1 South Africa
    60.2 United States of America

61 1830
62 1832
    62.1 Russian Empire

63 1833
    63.1 United States of America

64 1836
    64.1 Great Britain

65 1837
    65.1 Greece
    65.2 United States of America

66 1839
    66.1 United States of America

67 1840
68 1842
    68.1 Chile

69 1845
    69.1 Ireland

70 1846
    70.1 United States of America

71 1850
    71.1 Australia
    71.2 Wales

72 1855
    72.1 United States of America
    72.2 United Kingdom

73 1857
    73.1 India

74 1860
75 1862
    75.1 Morrill Act in U.S. (Land-Grant Colleges)

76 1866
    76.1 United States of America

77 1867
    77.1 United States of America, New York

78 1869
    78.1 New Zealand
    78.2 United States of America
        78.2.1 California's first University

79 1870
    79.1 Italy
    79.2 Wales
    79.3 United States of America
    79.4 Japan

80 1873
    80.1 United States of America

81 1874
    81.1 Australia

82 1876
    82.1 United States of America

83 1877
    83.1 Denmark

84 1879
    84.1 United States of America

85 1880
86 1881
    86.1 Australia
    86.2 United States of America
    86.3 India

87 1884
88 1885
    88.1 United States of America

89 1887
    89.1 United States of America

90 1888
    90.1 United States of America
    90.2 Chile

91 1890
    91.1 United States of America
    91.2 Wales

92 1900
    92.1 United States of America

93 1901
    93.1 Asia - Philippines
    93.2 Italy

94 1908
    94.1 Asia - Philippines

95 1910
    95.1 Norway

96 1912
    96.1 California, United States of America
        96.1.1 The Doe Library opened at UC Berkeley

97 1918 Israel
98 1918 The Americas. Córdoba, Argentina
    98.1 The Univerity Reform of Córdoba.Democratization. Student Activism

99 1919 American University on Cairo
100 1920
    100.1 United Kingdom
    100.2 1925 - Israel

101 1925
    101.1 Greece

102 1930
    102.1 1934 - Brazil

103 1940
104 1950
    104.1 Asia/Pacific/Australia
    104.2 India

105 1951
    105.1 Pakistan

106 1954
    106.1 United States of America

107 1960
    107.1 United States of America

108 1961
    108.1 Scotland
    108.2 United States

109 1962
    109.1 United Kingdom
    109.2 United States

110 1963
    110.1 United Kingdom

111 1964
    111.1 United States of America

112 1965
    112.1 Pakistan

113 1966
    113.1 Brazil

114 1968
    114.1 France

115 1969
    115.1 United Kingdom
    115.2 United States

116 1970
    116.1 Saudi Arabia

117 1973
    117.1 France
    117.2 United States

118 1974
    118.1 Pakistan

119 1975
    119.1 Pakistan

120 1976
    120.1 Wales
    120.2 United Arab Emirates

121 1977
    121.1 United States

122 1980
123 1983
    123.1 Pakistan

124 1984
    124.1 Australia
    124.2 Pakistan

125 1986
    125.1 Portugal
    125.2 United States

126 1987
    126.1 United States

127 1988
    127.1 United Arab Emirates

128 1989
    128.1 People's Republic of China
    128.2 United States

129 1990
    129.1 Europe
    129.2 New Zealand

130 1992
    130.1 United Kingdom

131 1994
    131.1 Austria

132 1995
    132.1 Morocco
    132.2 Australia
    132.3 Qatar
    132.4 Ireland

133 1996
    133.1 United States of America

134 1998
    134.1 United States
    134.2 United Kingdom

135 1999
136 2000
137 2003
    137.1 Australia

138 2005
    138.1 United States

139 2005
    139.1 Jordan

140 2006
    140.1 Saudi Arabia

141 2008
    141.1 Wales
    141.2 Scotland
    141.3 Australia

142 2009
    142.1 Saudi Arabia

143 2010
    143.1 England
    143.2 United States

144 2011
    144.1 Sweden

145 2012
    145.1 Europe
    145.2 United States

146 2013
    146.1 Australia
    146.2 Wales
    146.3 New Zealand

147 2014
    147.1 United States

148 1750000000 - 3250000000
149 Categories


Help us build a global timeline of higher education.

Please make sure to cite your sources of information, so that other readers may refer to the original source of information, if necessary for further information or clarification. If you can supply sources for facts that other users have added without sources, please do so.

Please indicate which region or country your entry applies to by adding a subheading underneath the year. When editing, you can do this by putting two # signs before the subheading for the region (see examples below). 

Main headers are provided for each decade from 1800 to the present. If your entry occurs prior to 1800, please specify the decade with an appropriate heading (using one # signs before the heading). 


3200 BCE

Earliest known use of writing (other than for counting), Mesopotamia (Sumer)

Notes regarding writing:

For thousands of years after the Agricultural Revolution human social networks remained relatively small and simple. The first that managed to overcome this problem, were the ancient Sumerians, who lived in Southern Mesopotamia, what is today Southern Iraq. Large towns and even kingdoms began to grow around the year 4000 BC there. 

Sometime between 3500 BC and 3000 BC, some unknown Sumerian geniuses invented a new system for storing and processing information outside the brain. This new system was custom-built to handle large amounts of numbers of mathematical data. In this way the Sumerian’s released their social order from the limitations of the human brain and opened the way for the appearance of larger societies. 

This data processing system that the Sumerian’s invented is of course writing. Writing is a method for storing and processing information by using material signs rather than neurons. Writing wasn’t invented to write poetry or philosophy, or history, this could and was done without writing. (If we look for the first words of wisdom reaching us from our ancestors 5,000 years ago we are in for a disappointment. If you’re thinking that the first words of wisdom written by human kind is some kind of big philosophical idea or some kind of wonderful poem or story then think again).

Source from Louise Charente's fantastic MOOC blog transcribing the video lectures given by Dr. Harari:

The Coursera course can be found here:

2370 BCE

The scholar Ptahhotep completes the writing of the 'Instruction of Ptahhotep' as a guide to living and reflections for the instruction of others. (Nicholas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1992 Blackwell Publishing, p.79)

1991-1786 BCE

Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt sees the wider development of Sebayt or formal teachings on ways to live and ethics, used for education of elite young men and Pharoahs

1100 BCE

The prophet Samuel founded a system of education for the youth of israel (based on the interpretation of religious texts written in a later period)

500 BCE Taxila

Taxila was a Buddist university in present day Pakistan. Various sources vary in terms of origin from fifth to first century BCE. 

380 BCE

In 387 BCE, Plato establishes the Academy in Athens.

330 BCE

In 334 BCE, Aristotle founds the Lyceum.

China ca. 318 BCE?

The Jixia Academy is founded (or possibly revived) in Linzi, capital of the state of Qi during the Warring States Period. More a collection of intellectual "masters" than an organized school, it set a model for later developments. (Richard Hartnett, The Jixia Academy and the Birth of Higher Learning in China, Mellen Press, 2011)

307/306 BCE

In 307/306 BCE the Athenian philosopher Epicurus bought a house with a garden just outside Athens along the road from the Dipylon gate to the Academy (Cicero, De Finibus 5.1.3). (source:

3rd c. BCE

Museion at Alexandria, home to the Library at Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy I Soter or Ptolemy II Philadelphus (source:


By 239, the Law school of Beirut (in todays' capital of Lebanon) had such a well-established reputation that "Beirut was known as the 'Mother of Laws'" in the Roman Empire. Source:

300 Puspagiri

Puspagiri was a Buddist university in present day Odisha, central India. It's ruins were first discovered in 1995. (Source:

400 Pandidakterion

425: Foundation of the Pandidakterion, also known as University of Constantinople or the University of the palace hall of Magnaura in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. (source:

500 Nalanda

Nalanda was a Buddist university in the present day Bihar which is in the North East of present day India. (Source:

529 Academy closes; Monte Cassino founded

Justinian permanently closes the Academy at Athens, and Benedict founds the monastery at Monte Cassino (Source:


Odantapuri was a Buddist university established by King Dharmapala of Pala dynasty. (Source:


A Buddist university established by King Dharmapala of Pala dynasty either late eight century or early ninth century. It is said that this university was started by him as he was disappointed that Nalanda was full of itself and wanted to create an institution that would foster a feeling of competition. (Source:

877 Al Quaraouiyine University (القرويين)

Al Quaraouiyine: القرويين is a university located in Fes, Morocco. According to tradition, its construction began in 859 during the reign of the dynasty Idrisid. It is considered the oldest university in the world, still activity.It is recognized as the oldest university in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, UNESCO and several historians(source:

886 The Ohrid Literary School, (also known as Saint Clement's University)

Believed to be the very first university in the Balkans. Known for supporting the Glagolitic alphabet, and with that continuing the traditions of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the two brothers who gave the Slavic world its first alphabet. (Source:


970 AD - Establishment of Al-Azhar university in Cairo, ##Egypt (source:


1088 - Foundation of the University of Bologna, the first university in the western world, and the oldest in continuous function. 

1096 - Evidence of teaching at Oxford University (source : )


1100 Jagaddala

Jagaddala was a Buddist university established in eleventh century by the kings of Pala Dynasty. It's was located in Jagaddala which is present day Bangladesh.

1160 The University of Paris

The University of Paris (French: Université de Paris),one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the middle of the 12th century and was officially recognized in 1200 by the king Philippe Auguste.



1209 - After fighting with the townsfolk of Oxford, scholars establish Cambridge University (source :

1218 - Founding of University of Salamanca, Spain, oldest university in Spain and 3rd oldest in continuous operation in Europe (

1224 - Founding of the University of Naples, the world's oldest state university, by Frederick II Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily and Head of the Roman Empire, who "wished to subtract the education of the administrative personnel of his own state to the monopoly de factu of the northern Universities, especially that in Bologna"(source: History of the University, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

1229 Students at the University of Paris riot and strike

1257 The Collège de Sorbonne

the Collège de Sorbonne, founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon as one of the first significant colleges of the medieval University of Paris.

1289 The University of Montpellier

The University of Montpellier is the gathering of several higher education schools emerged in the course of the twelfth century and attracting people with medical knowledge throughout the Mediterranean (Christian, Jewish and Arab). Among them, the medical school is attested in 1150 and Lord of Montpellier Guilhem VIII issued an edict making totally free exercise of the practice of medicine in 1181. The world's oldest medicine faculty still in operation The University of Montpellier is created October 26, 1289 by the papal bull Quia Sapientia of Pope Nicolas IV making it a studium generale that is to say, an educational center for all disciplines (medicine, theology, letters).(source:

1290 - Foundation of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, by King D. Dinis

c. 1300 Sankoré, Africa

By the early 14th Century CE the University of Sankoré at Timbuktu, in present-day Mali, functioned as a centre of learning, focusing on teaching the Koran, but also grammar, mathematics, geography, history, physics, astronomy, and chemistry. At its height it could accommodate 25,000 students, and the libraries of the city contained 400,000 to 700,000 manuscripts, the largest in the world at that time.


1365 - Founding of the University of Vienna, Austria on 12 April 1365.


1410 - Foundation of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland - Charter by Papal Bull, 1413


1451 - Foundation of the University of Glasgow, Scotland

1453 - Foundation of Istanbul University by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. Richard Honig, a German law historian, claims that Byzantine and Ottoman traditions could be analyzed together and expresses that the history of Istanbul University can be traced back to March 1, 1321. The university, which was first established in today's main building, was equivalent to Roman universities consisting of schools of medicine, law, philosophy and letters. (



1477 Uppsala University, the first university in Sweden (and the Nordic countries) is founded. (


1479 After thorough preparation the University of Copenhagen opens at a ceremony 1 June 1479. The university was equipped with the traditional medieval faculties of theology, law, medicine and philosophy. The King, Christian 1, had attained permission from Pope Sixtus IV to set up a University in 1475 ( - Københavns Universitet)


1495 - Foundation of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (King's College)

1496 Education Act, makes Scotland one of the first countries to establish compulsory school education across the country

1499 Foundation in Alcalá de Henares, Complutense University of Madrid by Cardinal Cisneros, by Papal Bull issued by Pope Alexander VI.


1551 - Foundation of the University of Lima 

1551 - Foundation of Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico


1575 - The first university in The Netherlands (Universiteit Leiden, Academia Lugduno Batava or Leiden University) was founded by Willem van Oranje.

1559 - University of Évora, created by D. Henrique, king of Portugal. It is the second oldest university in Portugal (Coimbra's being the oldest).

1579 - The foundation of the first university in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and one of the first in Central and Eastern Europe - Vilnius University. It originally started as a jesuit college in 1570.

1582 - Foundation of the University of Edinburgh - Charter in 1583 (First non-church foundation by Town Council)


1592 - Foundation of the University of Dublin and Trinity College as its first (ultimately, only) college

Asia - Philippines

Foundation of the Colegio de San Ildefonso, the first educational institution established in Asia by the Europeans outside Manila. This institution was built in Cebu City, Philippines. It was established by Fr. Antonio Sedeno, Fr. Pedro Chirino, and Antonio Pereira of the Society of Jesus in 1595. Later, it was renamed as the University of San Carlos which still stands to this day in Cebu City.


Asia - Philippines

1611-- April 28, 1611. University of Santo Tomas, founded in Manila, Philippines. The university has the oldest extant university charter, and is the longest continuously existing university in Asia. It is also the only pontifical university in Asia.(


North America

1636 - Founded in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in what is now the United States. 



1640 - Foundation of the The Royal Academy of Turku (Finland was part of the Swedish Empire at the time and it’s capital was Turku/Åbo). The Academy was transferred in Helsinki in 1829, after Finland’s capital had been moved to Helsinki in 1812 at the beginning at the Russian domination, and after the great fire of Turku in 1827. Today’s University of Turku was established in 1920.



1663 -- Grand Séminaire de Québec marks the start of postsecondary education in Canada. (


Pennsylvania Colony, North America

1749, Benjamin Franklin publishes pamphlet "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth" and assembles a board of trustees to create a learning academy that obtains a collegiate charter in 1755 and eventually becomes the University of Pennsylvania. (


1766 Harvard Students' Butter Rebellion

1769, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire was founded under British bylaws as a private institution. By the early 1800’s the College’s board of trustees agreed with the State of New Hampshire that Dartmouth would make a fine “State” college – a public institution. The college's president disagreed and the riff between Dartmouth’s president and the Board of Trustees evolved into the landmark supreme course case of Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward in 1811. The famed Daniel Webster argued the case on behalf of Woodward purporting that it was unconstitutional to usurp the rights of a private institution and turn it into a public institution. Daniel Webster won the case, resulting in laws that have protected the rights of private institutions of higher education for over 200 years. Dartmouth College continues to operate today as a private college in New Hampshire.



1774 First real school reforms were introduced by the ruler of Austria-Hungary Maria Theresia. School was made compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 12 (making school attendance compulsory for 6 years). Also state public schools, school laws and standardized books were introduced. Inspection of all schools was also now under the supervision of the state.


United States of America

After being chartered in 1789, the University of North Carolina began enrolling students in 1795, making it the first state institutions of higher education in the United States of America to open its doors to students. (



École normale de l'an III, established by the National Convention in a decree dated October 30, 1794. (Article 1) "Will be established in Paris a normal school, which will be called from all parts of the Republic, citizens already instructed in the useful sciences, to learn, under the ablest professors in all genres, the art of teaching.".

United States of America

Founded in 1794, Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee is the oldest college in the state of Tennessee, United States and the twenty-eighth oldest college in the nation. It is also the oldest coeducational institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. (from


United States of America

Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee entered the Union as the 16th state the University of Tennessee is a public sun-grant and land-grant university headquartered at Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. (from



Opening of the University of Berlin, founded on the principles of Wilhelm von Humboldt


The University of Oslo was founded in 1811 as the first in Norway


United States of America

Allegheny College in Meadville, PA was founded in 1815 by Dr. Timothy Alden. The college was created in hopes of bringing educational opportunities to what was then the edge of the American frontier. 


United States of America

JANUARY 25, 1819 Thomas Jefferson founds the University of Virginia - the first public, secular state university. Classes begin March 1825. (from


1822 Wales

University of Wales, Lampeter founded by royal charter as St David's College (Coleg Dewi Sant), 

1825 United States of America

Classes begin in March, 1825, at the University of Virginia, founded six years earlier in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. (from

1829 South Africa

University of Cape Town founded 1 October 1829, university status 2 April 1918 University of Stellenbosch founded 1866, university status 2 April 1918

United States of America

The first college in Illinois, Illinois College is established. The college was founded by the Illinois Band, Yale students who travelled west to form new colleges. From 1843 to 1848, it served at the state's first medical school. (Though it received a charter in 1837, Rush Medical College was not operational until 1843.)


1832 Russian Empire

Vilnius University (then the'Imperial' University, as Vilnius was annexed to the Russian Empire) closed by Tsar Nicholas I, the reason being students' and professors' involvement in an uprising against the Empire in 1831. The University remained closed until 1919.

1833 United States of America

founding of Oberlin College in Ohio. Oberlin began admitting African-Americans in 1835 and admitted its first class of women in 1837. About Oberlin (from Oberlin web site).

1836 Great Britain

Foundation of the University of London

1837 Greece

1837, May the 3rd, the state University of Athens is inaugurated. Its 52 students belong to Theology, Philology, Law and Medicine Schools. Its governing committee is presided by Christian August Brandis, a former philosophy professor at the University of Bonn, with the help of Ernst Curtius, an archaeologist and historian at the University of Vienna; the Greek members of this Committee were (apart those appointed by the University academia) Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Zaimis, leading figures of the Greek War of Independence, Neophytos Vamvas and Georgios Gennadios, both eminent figures of the Modern Modern Greek Enlightenment (1750-1821), coined on the similar French and European intellectual movement. 

United States of America

Mary Lyon founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, the first of the group of American women's colleges known as the "Seven Sisters" 

1839 United States of America

the first "normal school" (and the first women-only teachers college in the U.S.) for the education of primary school teachers opens in Lexington, Massachusetts. Founded by legendary U.S. education reformer Horace Mann, the institution moved to Framingham, Massachusetts and is now Framingham State University\


1842 Chile

Universidad de Chile is founded in Santiago, Chile, by Andrés Bello.

1845 Ireland

the National University of Ireland, Galway was founded, as Queen's College Galway

1846 United States of America

The Cherokee National Female Seminary is founded in Park Hill, "Indian Territory" (now Oklahoma). After the original building burns down, the seminary is relocated to Talequah in 1889. In 1909, its main building becomes the core of Northeastern State Normal School, later Northeastern State University.

1850 Australia

In 1850, the University of Sydney was founded by an Act of Parliament, becoming the first university in Australia. It was inaugurated in 1852 and entrance was based on academic merit. In 1858, the Royal Charter from Queen Victoria ensured that the University's degrees were held in equal standing to those conferred in the United Kingdom.  See more information here. In 1853, the University of Melbourne became the second university established in Australia, after an Act of Incorporation providing the power to confer degrees in the areas of medicine, law, music and arts. Building commenced in 1854 and classes began in 1855 with sixteen students. See here for more information 


1853 Foundation of Swansea college of Art

1855 United States of America

In 1855, the Pennsylvania State University was founded as "The Farmers High School of Pennsylvania." 

United Kingdom

1858 Establishment of the 'external', now 'International' programme of the University of London - a self-study programme, following a curriculum developed by a 'lead college' and submitting to examinations for the accumulation of credit towards graduation. The first example of distance-learning degrees.

1857 India

1857 Establishment of University of Calcutta, University of Bombay and University of Madras in three different parts in Indian subcontinent. These three institutions of higher learning, established by the colonial British rulers, marked the initiation of modern higher education system in Indian subcontinent. 


Morrill Act in U.S. (Land-Grant Colleges)

1862, The Morrill Act passed by the Congress of the United States, providing land to each state, intended to be sold to create an endowment to support institutes to teach the residents agricultural, mechanical and other applied professions. The institutions created under this act have send been termed land-grant colleges or land-grant universities.

Here is a U.S. postage stamp commemorating the Act: <img src="" /> Note the symbols on the book showing agriculture, mining, chemistry, and engineering.

United States of America

Fisk University is a historically black university founded in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1930, Fisk University was the first African-American institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (from Source:

Establishment of New York City's Free Academy, the forerunner of The City University of New York, as advocated by Townsend Harris: "Open the doors to all--let the children of the rich and the poor take their seats together, and know of no distinction save that of industry, good conduct and intellect."
New Zealand

New Zealand's oldest University, the University of Otago was founded by an ordinance of of the Otago Provincial Council. It was authorised to grant degrees in Arts, Law, Music and Medicine.

United States of America
California's first University

UC Berkeley's first class was held September 23, 1869. They started with ten faculty members and around forty freshmen. 

Source: Source: http://be...


1870, Maria Montessori is born in Italy. Twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Montessori combined training as a physician (she was the first female doctor in Italy) and self-directed research in child development to found the pedagogical approach that still bears her name. (


1872 Founding of Swansea college of Teacher Education

United States of America

1872, Julia A. Sears becomes the first woman to head a public college in the U.S., as Principal of Minnesota State Normal College (later Minnesota State University, Mankato) in Mankato, Minnesota. (


1877, Founding of the University of Tokyo

United States of America

In 1873 Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt’s made his only major philanthropy, a gift of $1 million that founded Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. (from


In 1874, the University of Adelaide was founded; it was inaugurated in 1876 but building didn't begin until 1879.

United States of America

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland opens as the first U.S. "research university" founded on German models (

University of Pennsylvania admits first women, as "special students."


The first female student gains access to the University of Copenhagen in 1877, ( - Københavns Universitet). 

United States of America

Radcliffe college, the "women's annex" of Harvard University, founded (


In 1881,  The University of Adelaide became the first university in Australia to admit women to study academic courses (and the second university in the world). 

United States of America

1881, Tuskegee Institute (later Tuskegee University) is founded in Mississippi by Dr. Booker T. Washington as a "Negro normal school" chartered by the state.


1882, The University of the Punjab, is a public research university located in the downtown area of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is the oldest and largest public university in Pakistan.


United States of America - In 1884 the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS became the first public college for women in the United States.

United States of America

Foundation by Quakers and chartering of Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA, the fourth independent institution of higher education exclusively for women in the United States, but the first such institution to offer women provision for post-graduate work, with fellowships in Greek, English, mathematics, biology, and history

United States of America

Evelyn College, the female counterpart to Princeton University, is founded. It closes in 1897. (Women are admitted to Princeton in 1969) (

United States of America

Georgia Tech starts classes in Atlanta, Georgia, with a commitment to "Progress and Service."


Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is founded by the iniciative of the Archbishop of Santiago, Mgr. Mariano Casanova

United States of America

1890, The second Morrill Act (1890)sought to expand access to land grant institutions to black students, particularly in Southern states that had traditionally excluded non-white students. In general, the second Morrill Act (1890)is credited with the establishment of large numbers of publicly funded Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the South.

1895, The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is established as one of six regional accrediting agencies for schools and for higher education. Despite its name, the agency's region will eventually extend from West Virgina to Arizona. The branch responsible for colleges and universities will eventually change its name to the Higher Learning Commission.

1896, Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States supreme court validated state sponsored racial segregation in public places (including schools) with its "separate but equal" doctrine - Plessy v. Ferguson was later overturned in the 1954 court case Brown v. the Board of Education. (


1897 Founding of Swansea college of Technology.

United States of America

1906, U.S. Congress charters The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, founded the previous year by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The Foundation has been highly influential in many areas of higher education ever since. (

Asia - Philippines

1901 - Silliman University referred to as Silliman or SU) is a private research university in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines, established in 1901 as Silliman Institute by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. It is the first American university in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent.


1907, Maria Montessori founds the "Casa de Bambini" -- the first school to put her pedagogical philosophy into practice. (

Asia - Philippines

1908 - University of the Philippines was established patterned after the American educational system. In June 18, 1908, as an act of the First Philippine Legislature, Act No. 1870, otherwise known as the "University Act", specified the function of the University, which is to provide advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and arts, and to administer professional and technical training to young Filipinos.


1919, the phrase "lifelong learning" is coined by Leon Richardson, Director of the University of California Extension.


1910 Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is founded as the national technical university

California, United States of America
The Doe Library opened at UC Berkeley

Heart of the Campus: 1912-2012 Doe Library online exhibit

Benjamin Ide Wheeler, President of the University of California, after convincing Charles Franklin Doe to fund the construction of a Doe library commented that he believed that there could not be a great university without a great library and that it's construction was the "strongest encouragement for the future of the institution." Source: ( UC Berkeley slideshow including the Doe Library

1918 Israel

On July 24, 1918, a few months before the end of World War I, Israel received permission from the British Zionist movement to lay a cornerstone for the Hebrew university. 

1918 The Americas. Córdoba, Argentina
The Univerity Reform of Córdoba.Democratization. Student Activism First attempt in the Americas to set apart from the European Colonialist Model of University (Spaniard. Universidad de Salamanca Model) 

1919 American University on Cairo

The American University in Cairo, ##Egypt established. Source:


1922 - With capital Vilnius annexed by Poland, the newly established Vytautas Magnus University in the city of Kaunas (until 1930 - the University of Lithuania) becomes the main higher education institution in Lithuania in the interwar period.

United Kingdom

Oxford University admits women to study academic courses.

1925 - Israel

The official opening of the Hebrew University Spoke one after the other : the Chief Rabbi of Israel to Israel Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Chaim Weizmann ; Lord Balfour, Israel Israel's High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel and poet Chaim Nachman Bialik . 


The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was founded in 1925 by Prime Minister Alexandros Papanastassiou (Law 3341/14-6-25). It was the second Greek university to be founded after the University of Athens, which was established in 1837. It comprised the Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, the Faculty of Law and Economics, the School of Theology and the Medical School. During 3 successive stages it came to include the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (1950); the Departments of Pharmacy and Dentistry (founded in 1955 and 1959 respectively) added to the Medical School; the Institutes of Foreign Languages (English, French, German and Italian) were added to the Faculty of Philosophy; from 1951 to 1975 new departments and Schools were founded as part of the Polytechnic Faculty, which developed to an independent Polytechnical University: School of Civil Engineering (1955–56), School of Architecture (1956–1957), School of Rural and Surveying Engineering (1962–1963), School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1972–1973), School of Chemical Engineering (1972–1973), School of Mathematics, Physics and Computational Sciences (1982–1983) and School of Urban-Regional Planning and Development Engineering (2004). The School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering was split in two independent schools (School of Mechanical Engineering and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering) in 1976. From 1976 till 2010, mane changes were introduced in the structural organization of the Aristotle University and the Polytechnical University of Thessaloniki: some Faculties downgraded to Schools, Schools to Departments and vice-versa; also a number of Institutes and labs have been attached to the University, some of them having an inter-departmental status. In 2013, the Aristotle University comprised 12 Faculties, 36 schools, and numerous units (labs, libraries, clinics, research centers, institutes, etc.). It came to be the largest university in Greece and in southeastern Europe as well, in terms of faculty members number, under- and post-graduate students number, variety and extend of facilities. Aristotle University disposes of a large number of endowments, runs a profitable publishing house, and receives financial support from the Greek government (dramatically diminishing after the economic crisis of 2010). 

1934 - Brazil

USP, University of Sao Paulo is a public research university located in Sao Paulo, Brazil (


1946 - Australia - Australian National University established by a Bill passed in the Australian Federal Parliament. 

1944 - United States - The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 known informally as the G.I. Bill, was a law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s). Benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend college, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation. Between 1945 and 1950, the GI Bill supported some 2.3 million students, most of whom would never have been able to get a college education without it.

1946 - United States - Inventor R. G. LeTourneau, world’s greatest inventors of earthmoving equipment, buys Harmon Navy Hospital in Longview, TX to educate World War II veteran.


Colombo Plan devised. Foreign ministers from countries comprising the Commonwealth of Nations met in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). They proposed an international scheme to facilitate international aid to South and South-east Asia. Although it had a broad sweep, the Colombo Plan is most commonly associated with its educational incarnation, in which thousands of students from Asia were enabled to complete qualifications at Australian tertiary insitutions. 


1st May 1950 - India gets its first "Indian Institute of Technology" as the first IIT is born in Kharagpur, West Bengal to set up technical institutes for higher education in India for post-war industrial development of the nation. (


The University of Karachi is a public research university located in the neighborhood of Gulshan-e-Iqbal of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

United States of America

Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954). The US supreme court overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which allowed for state sponsored racial segregation in public institutions (including schools). The Brown decision overturned Plessy ruling that separate was inherently unequal, therefore ending de jure segregation in US. (

United States of America

The American Montessori Society (AMS) is founded by Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch. Based on the innovative pedagogical theories of Maria Montessori, the AMS coordinates the work of more than 1,000 Montessori institutions. (

Miami Dade College (previously known as Dade Junior College) is established. The college became Florida’s first integrated junior college. It opened amid the strain of desegregation and the influx of thousands of Cuban refugees. &


Publication of George Elder Davie's book The Democratic Intellect a thesis on generalist, liberal education and the struggle to maintain such an ethos in an era of specialisation and the turn towards applied knowledge rather than with a philosophical and broad, democratic underpinning

United States

Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes integrate the University of Georgia

United Kingdom

National Mandatory Student Awards to cover fees and maintenance (living costs) of all students, payable by Local Education Authorities

United States

James Meredith integrates the University of Mississippi

United Kingdom

Robbins Report: opened up the possibility of mass participation in higher education in the UK, by establishing the principle that university places "should be available to all who were qualified for them by ability and attainment" As a result, there was a large expansion in provision. 

United States of America

1964, Berkeley Free Speech Movement begins at University of California, Berkeley, marking the beginning of various campus protest movements throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. source:


Description: Interview with Pat Brown, Governor of California from 1959-1967, concerning his view of events during the Free Speech Movement which occurred in 1964 at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Interview with Pat Brown (October 13, 1978)


The Quaid-i-Azam University, is a public research university located in Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan.


UNICAMP, University of Campinas is a public research university located in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil (


Student protests and strikes trigger the events of May '68

United Kingdom

The establishment of the Open University (UK) as a distance-learning institution of higher education. 

United States

Women admitted for the first time to Princeton University (

Saudi Arabia

Riyadh University for Women (now Princes Nora bint Abdulrahman University)founded. PNU is the largest women-only university in the world.


University of the Third Age (U3A) established in Toulouse (France) for retired members of the community ('third age').

United States

The Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR) is founded in San Francisco, California, USA, under aegis of the University of California Extension, modeled on the Institute for Retired Professionals at the New School for Social Research in New York, NY, and designed as a self-directed, largely self-taught, "self-sustaining intellectual community of older Americans" (Dean Milton Stern). CLIR is the first such educational experiment of its kind in the western United States.


Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is the first Open University in Asia. AIOU is a unique institution in Pakistan because of its philosophy, system, approach, functions and overall structure. The University with its main campus at Islamabad and huge network of regional centers spread all over the country is serving its clientele all over Pakistan and in the Middle East. AIOU is a Distance Education institution, which provides multi disciplinary education from basic to doctoral level programs.


Bahauddin Zakariya University is located in Multan, Punjab, Pakistan. It is the Largest university of South Punjab. Bahauddin Zakariya University was formerly known as Multan University. It was renamed in honor of Hazrat Baha-ud-din Zakariya.


Three Swansea Colleges came together to form the West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - was established. It is the first comprehensive national university in the United Arab Emirates. Founded in 1976 by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAEU is a comprehensive, research-intensive university enrolling approximately 14,000 Emirati and international students.

United States

Apple Computer introduced one of the first personal computers known as the Apple II in the U.S. The next version of the computer, known as the Apple IIe, was integrated for school use as students began using it as a learning tool with games like Oregon Trail.


The Agha Khan University, is a private research university located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Founded in 1983, the university was named for its famed benefactor and philanthropist, Aga Khan IV.


The Australian Technology Network comprising of Curtin University (West Australia), University of South Australia (South Australia), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Vic), University of Technology, Sydney(NSW), Queensland University of Technology (Queensland)was formerly established in 1984. This collaborative network has a long history of working in partnership with industry and the professions.


The Lahore University of Management Sciences, is a private research university located in the vicinity of Defence Housing Authority of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.


Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI)

United States

Bates College, Maine (United States) drops the SAT as a requirement for admission relying instead on multiple measures. Over a 20-year period, Bates monitors the academic achievement and graduation levels of its students and finds no measurable difference. Today, over 800 colleges and universities of the over 3,000 in the U.S. have dropped the requirement.

United States

Allan Bloom publishes The Closing of the American Mind which critiques what the author sees as the liberal, anti-humanist bias of contemporary American higher education. 

United Arab Emirates

The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT; Arabic: كليّات التقنيّة العليا‎) was established in 1988[1] as one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

People's Republic of China

Chinese students lead mass protest in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

United States

A report entitled "Prospects for Faculty in the Arts and Sciences: A Study of Factors Affecting Demand and Supply, 1987 to 2012," colloquially known as the Bowen Report, predicts a shortage of higher education faculty in the coming decades due to faculty retirements and increased student enrollments. Instead, a weak job market that began in the 1970s persisted, and universities increasingly hired contingent rather than tenure-track faculty to fill teaching needs.


Launch of the 'Bologna Process' which seeks to provide articulation of degree structures and courses across signatory countries, preparing the way for the 'European Higher Education Area'.

New Zealand

The Technical Correspondence Institute (TCI) was rebranded as The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and became a specialist national provider in distance and open tertiary education.

United Kingdom

UK Polytechnics become Universities. Often referred to as "post-1992 Universities" to distinguish them from the older "Russell Group" Universities. In Scotland, which did not have formally have Polytechnics (despite the branding of one college in Glasgow) the 'Scottish Central Institutions' became universities.


Danube University Krems in Austria is founded by passing a federal law (Federal Law Gazette no. 269/1994) it is the only university in Europe that specializes in Continuing Education on Master level. (Source:


Al Akhawayn University opens in Ifrane, Morocco. ASU is unique in its emphasis on preserving and continuing Morocco's history of religious diversity and actively encourages dialogue between Muslims, Christians and Jews.


The Australian Qualifications Framework was introduced. This is a national policy that governs the regulated qualifications in the Australian education system. It encompasses all levels of education from Kindergarten to PhD level qualifications. It is essentially a formal classification system. 


His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser founded The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Education City spans 14 square kilometers and includes major universities as Virginia Commonwealth University, Texas A&M, Weill Cornell Medical College, Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, HEC Paris, UCL Qatar, and the Qatari Faculty of Islamic Studies. (Source:


'free fees' scheme introduced, effectively abolishing fees for higher education programmes

United States of America

Council for Higher Education Accreditaton (CHEA) is founded to advocate for self-regulation of American higher education, succeeding several other previous organizations. The six regional accreditors for U.S. higher education are members, as are dozens of smaller agencies providing more specialized programatic accreditation.

United States

US Department of Education approves the Distance Education Demonstration Project - the beginning of fully-online degree programs being eligible for Federal Financial Aid (Title IV).

United Kingdom

Tony Blair's 'New Labour' government introduces tuition fees for higher education and replaces grants with loans.


The Group of Eight (Go8) is a coalition of leading Australian universities (consisting of University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide, UNSW, University of Sydney, Monash University, Australian National University, University of Queensland. The group was formally incorporated in September 1999, although it had been operating as an informal network of vice-chancellors since 1994.


Joondalup Learning Precinct established. At the time of inception the only facility of its kind in the world, the JLP includes Edith Cowan University, West Coast Institute of Training (a Vocational Education and Training provider) and the Western Australian Police Academy. The City of Joondalup is also a partner. 

United States

The Association of American Colleges & Universities launched the Liberal Education and America's Promise campaign.


The German-Jordanian University GJU was founded in Jordan.

Saudi Arabia

Prince Mohammed bin Fahd University founded in Al-Khobar,KSA. PMU has male and female campuses.


The Swansea (formerly West Glamorgan) Institute of Higher Education becomes Swansea Metropolitan University.


de facto Tuition fees (known as the 'graduate endowment') in Scotland were abolished by the SNP government


Review of Australian Higher Education - Denise Bradley

Saudi Arabia

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is founded. KAUST if the first co-educational institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is a graduate research institution for science and technology with one of the largest endowments in the world. ( (



The Social Science Centre (Lincoln, England) established as a model for free, cooperative higher education

United States

Apple Computer introduced the iPad. The iPad was a 9.7-inch LED-backlit multi-touch display tablet. It sold in three storage capacities: 16GB-64GB, and ranged from $499-$699. It featured 3G wireless capability for an extra cost.


On September 15th, 2011, The Mozilla Foundation announced the "Open Badges Project," designed to revolutionize the documentation of educational achievements. See


Fees for higher education are introduced for students from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Higher education is still free for students who are citizens of or permanently resides in Sweden, Switzerland or other countries within the EEA. (


Launch of the University for the Future Initiative (, based on the question: "How would higher education look like if we built it from scratch today?"

United States

In September of 2012, Amy Laitinen published "Cracking the Credit Hour," a report that gave significant momentum to competency-based learning, as opposed to time-based models. Available at


The Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition published. Post-secondary qualifications were categorised into 10 levels. Levels 1-6 encompass Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications (Certificates I to IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree. Levels 7 - 10 include Bachelors (Level 7), Bachelors Honours Degree, garduate Certificate and Graduate Diplomas ( all Level 8), Masters (Level 9) and PhD (Level 10). 


Merger of Swansea Metropolitan University with University of Wales, Trinity St David.

New Zealand

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand was awarded a Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) Excellence in Distance Education Awards for the high quality of its distance learning materials.

2014 United States

New digital-learning resources for Virginia teachers and students. The new resources that will be announced and demonstrated include a virtual astronomy course and an online platform that students and teachers can use to create interactive digital learning content for devices and the web.

1750000000 - 3250000000

Earth ceases to be habitable as the Sun evolves towards the end of its Main Sequence period. All Earth-based universities evaporated or melted.

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