The Oldest School In Every Country Mapped

Schools and universities around the world are adapting to a ‘new normal’ this year. But some educational institutions have survived pandemics, wars, authoritarian regimes, and economic depressions and still operate today. decided to research the longest-surviving schools and universities in every country in the world, dating as far back as 141 BC.

The team then distilled those findings into a series of illustrated maps — both world and continent versions.

The world maps below show which schools have lasted hundreds and even thousands of years.


The very oldest schools in the world are mostly divided between Europe and Africa. In fact, Europe is home to 19 schools that are more than 500 years old. Africa has four universities that are over 1,000 years old. Still, there is a big gap between Sankore University in Mali (989) and the continent’s next oldest school, which was founded more than seven centuries later.

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Maps that explain the world

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