Top 10 Oldest University in India

See India’s rich cultural heritage with the list of the oldest Universities in India. Know their significance in the field of education with details like courses, history.

The Oldest Universities in India act as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage and its significance. The Nalanda was primarily established by Kumara Gupta, a Buddhist monastery that worked as a university set up in Bihar. Nalanda University is known as the first university in India. The university was established in the 5th century and lasted till the 13th century. UGC re-established Nalanda University in 2007. It was an important learning center before Oxford, Cambridge, and Europe’s oldest university Bologna.

List of Oldest Universities in India

Several educational institutes were built across India before any other country. Some are more than 100 years old, still, stand in glory, and operate as prestigious educational institutes. Some of them still stand in honor and serve as prestigious educational institutes. Some are existing, but their name and visions have changed, and some are closed. Here we have collated a list of the ten oldest universities in India. Following is the list of the ten oldest universities in India that are still functional.

UniversityEstablished YearLocation
Senate of Serampore College (University)1818Serampore
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee1847Uttarakhand
University of Calcutta1857Kolkata
University of Mumbai1857Mumbai
University of Madras1857Chennai
Aligarh Muslim University1875Aligarh
Panjab University1882Chandigarh
University of Allahabad1887Allahabad
Banaras Hindu University1916Varanasi
University of Mysore1916Mysore

Details of Oldest Universities in India

Senate of Serampore College (University)

The oldest university in India still functional is the Serampore College, established in 1818 at Howrah, West Bengal. The Senate of Serampore College is the creation of the Serampore College Act-1918.

The university was founded by the missionaries Joshua Marshman, William Carey, and William Ward (the Serampore trio) to educate students in Arts and Sciences regardless of the student’s caste, color, or country. The university operates through two parallel but distinct forms: College as an academic institution and College as a University. Serampore is the first institution to get the status of a university in India, granted by King Frederick VI of Denmark.

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Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee

Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee was established in 1847 by the then lieutenant governor, Sir James Thomason. In 1854, it was renamed the Thomason College of Civil Engineering in honor of its founder. It was given university status in 1949. It was converted into an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Roorkee) in 2001, thus becoming the seventh IIT to be declared. The university had completed more than 170 years of its existence.

The Institute offers Bachelor’s Degree courses in 10 disciplines of Engineering and Architecture and Postgraduate’s Degree in 55 disciplines of Engineering, Applied Science, Architecture and planning. The Institute has facilities for doctoral work in all Departments and Research Centres. The Institute admits students to B.Tech. and B.Arch. courses through the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted at various centers all over India.

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University of Calcutta

The University of Calcutta is one of India’s oldest universities, established on January 24, 1857. It is the first institution in Asia to be established as a multidisciplinary and secular Western-style university. This university holds third place in the oldest universities list in India. 

Initially, the university adopted the pattern of the University of London and slowly introduced alterations in its structure. The university provides nearly 85 scholarships based on various subjects of study. Many notable alumni have been an example in society; some of them are C.V Raman, Rabindranath Tagore, and Amartya Sen.

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University of Mumbai

The University of Mumbai is one of the oldest and premier Universities in India, established in 1857, under Wood’s despatch drafted by Sir Charles Wood.

The university name was changed from “University of Bombay” to “The University of Mumbai” to highlight the city’s name. Its first campus was set up in South Mumbai, which is also known as the Fort Campus. The university has two campuses of 243 acres and 14 acres situated at Vidyanagari and Fort, respectively. The university consists of 60 University Departments & Institutes and 749 affiliated colleges. The university was awarded the 5-star status in 2001 & ‘A’ grade status in 2012 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Some of the notable alumni are B. R. Ambedkar, Lokmanya Tilak, Mukesh Ambani, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai, Sunil Gavaskar and so on.

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University of Madras

The University of Madras is a public state university established in 1857 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest universities in India, consolidated by the Legislative Council of India.

The university has been awarded five-star accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). It has also been given the status of University with Potential for Excellence by the University Grants Commission. The university has six campuses in the city, namely Chepauk, Marina, Guindy, Taramani, Maduravoyal, and Chetpet. It has produced several personalities who have excellently influenced society such as,  Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Srinivasa Ramanujan, etc.

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Aligarh Muslim University

The Aligarh Muslim University also comes under India’s oldest universities, an Indian public central university. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan established the university in 1875.

Aligarh Muslim University is one of the largest universities in India among these top Oldest Universities. The university’s main campus, located in Aligarh, is the biggest in India, with over 467 hectares and has three off-campus centers at Malappuram in Kerala, Murshidabad in West Bengal, and Kishanganj in Bihar.

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Panjab University

Panjab University is a public collegiate university that originated in 1882 and was established in 1947, located in Chandigarh.

The university has 188 affiliated colleges across eight districts of Punjab state and the union territory of Chandigarh. The university’s notable alumni include Kalpana Chawla, Vikram Batra, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Manmohan Singh, etc.

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University of Allahabad

Allahabad University is a central public university established on September 23, 1887, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. It holds the 8th position in this list of oldest universities of India. The foundation stone was laid by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Northbrook, on December 9, 1873. It was, however, functioning under the University of Calcutta.

Initially, it was called Muir Central College, named after the founder Sir William Muir, Lt. Governor of the United Provinces. At a certain point, it was also called the “Oxford of the East.”

The Allahabad university notable alumni are Madan Mohan Malviya, Hemwati Nandan, Motilal Nehru, Harivansh Rai Bachan, Murli Manohar Joshi, Gulzarilal Nanda, Chandra Shekhar, V. P. Singh, and so on.

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Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University is a central public university established in 1916 by Madan Mohan Malaviya in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It holds the largest residential university title in Asia by accommodating over 30,000 students residing on the campus. The university holds the 9th position in the chart of the oldest universities in India.

The university’s main campus is spread over 1,300 acres, built on land granted by Kashi Naresh, the hereditary ruler of Banaras. Some administrators and notable alumni include Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Moti Lal Dhar, Raj Narain, Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay, C.N.R Rao, etc.

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University of Mysore

The University of Mysore is a public state university located in Mysore, Karnataka, founded by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, by then the Maharaja of Mysore educational experts C. R. Reddy and Thomas Denham. 

The University of Mysore is well known for its architectural brilliance. It holds 10th position in the list of oldest universities in India. It was opened on July 27, 1916, with its first chancellor, the Maharaja of Mysore, and the first Vice-Chancellor was H. V. Nanjundaiah. The university was the first outside the British administration university in India and the first university in Karnataka.

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