File:A lecture at the University of West London, Ealing Campus.jpg
A lecture at the University of West London.

A university is an institution where teaching and research is done. The word university comes from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, roughly meaning "community of teachers and scholars." [1] Students can attend university to get an academic degree. Unlike the schooling they have done before, the courses at university are specialized. A person studying biology at university has many courses about biology and fewer courses in other fields such as languages or history. To get a higher degree, people must do some research.


Old buildings of University of Bologna, founded in 1088

The universities were born in Europe during the Middle Ages. The first institution of this type was the University of Bologna that later became a model for similar centers of education.[2][3][4] This term can often be used in other cultures to mean centers of higher education and higher thought, although their creation was often well before the Middle Ages.

At first, the universities had formed themselves according to the model of the professional groups and like almost everything in the Middle Ages, they remained tied to the Catholic Church. At the beginning, they had worked to teach the so-called "seven liberal arts" (the trivium and the quadrivium):

That earliest division caused the present divisions between literary and scientific fields. The world's oldest university is Qarawiyyin university.


A university can include several campuses, or different places where classes are taught. In each campus there are several faculties and university schools (mainly for teaching), and also laboratories, departments and institutes of research. Many campuses also have housing for students in buildings called dormitories and structures like libraries, study rooms, and gymnasiums for students that live there. Each school offers many courses that students take to earn a degree. The person with the highest right to control and to command in a university is the rector, who governs the university with the help of the party of vice-rectors and of other organs such as the social council and the governing body.

Notable universities

United Kingdom



Hong Kong





United States

There is a group of famous universities called the Ivy League. They are:

Some other famous universities are:









South Korea

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