In today’s era of modernisation, the upcoming generations are getting more inclined towards western cultures. Moreover, the western educational institutes are gaining more popularity because of their advanced infrastructure.
However, did you know that the oldest university in the world was built in India in the fifth century? The former Nalanda University, primarily a Buddhist monastery that worked as a university, was set up at the then Maghada (now Bihar). The old university site still lies in rubble around 95 kilometres southeast Patna.
Likewise, several other educational institutes were built across India before any other country. Some of the universities, which are more than 100 years old, still stand in glory and operate as prestigious educational institutes.
Here’s a list seven oldest colleges and universities in India:
1. Serampore College:
The oldest educational institute in India that is still functional is the Serampore College in Howrah, West Bengal. In 1818, a trio of English missionaries – William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward – had established the college that still churns out scholars and thousands of graduates every year
2. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee:
Formerly known as the University of Roorkee and the Thomason College of Civil Engineering, the oldest Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was set up at Roorkee in Uttarakhand. It was not an IIT from the beginning, of course. But, the institute’s rich history contributes to its heritage and fame.
3. University of Mumbai:
The main campus of the University of Mumbai is situated at Kalina, Santacruz in Mumbai. However, its first campus was set up at South Mumbai, known as the Fort Campus. It is one of the first state universities in India and still caters to thousands of students.
4. University of Madras:
The second of the trio of state universities in India was set up in the then Madras (now Chennai) in 1857. The institute has six campuses in the city. These are at Chepauk, Marina, Guindy, Taramani, Maduravoyal and Chetpet. It got ranked 5th by the India Today in its 2011 top universities ranking
5. University of Calcutta:
Along with Mumbai and Madras, the then Calcutta (now Kolkata) also got a university in 1857. Recognised as a ‘five-star university’ by the University Grants Commission and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, the University of Calcutta has been associated with four Nobel laureates such as Ronald Ross, Rabindra Nath Tagore, C. V. Raman and Amartya Sen.
6. Aligarh Muslim University:
Situated at Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, the Aligarh Muslim University was set up by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in 1875. The university has one of the biggest campuses in India with over 467 hectares. The institute offers more than 300 courses in various subjects.
7. Allahabad University:
The fourth oldest varsity in India, the Allahabad University was set up on September 23, 1875. The institute was once termed as the ‘Oxford of East’ due to its scholarly alumni and vast potential. Stalwarts such as Motilal Nehru, Chandra Sekhar, Madan Lal Khurana and Saiyid Nurul Hasan have passed out from this university.