Note from Rafik Beekun
The three oldest universities in the world are Islamic universities:
|859||Fes, Morocco||University of Al-Karaouine||Considered the oldest continuously-operating degree-granting university in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.|
|975||Cairo, Egypt||Al-Azhar University||A degree-granting jāmiʿah (“university” in Arabic) with individual faculties for a general college and theological seminary, Law and Jurisprudence, Grammar, Astronomy, Philosophy, and Logic. Professors at Al-Azhar also delivered lectures on Medicine during the time of Saladin.|
|1065||Isfahan, Iran||Nizamiyya||Technically two institutes under one governance, one in Isfahan and another in Baghdad|
However in the most recent list of top 100 universities in the world, not a single one is a university from an Islamic country.
Oxford University has slipped in the international league table of the world’s top universities – in a study which shows the advance of academia in Asia that will soon pose a challenge to the Ivy League and Oxbridge.
The study, from Times Higher Education and QS Top Universities shows that overall the UK still punches above its weight, second only to the US. The UK has four out of the top 10 slots and 18 in the top 100. But there has been a significant fall in the number of North American universities in the top 100, from 42 in 2008 to 36 in 2009.