Universities and Collleges



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See also Education and Schools for dates relating to general education, philosophers, libraries etc.


Colour key:


University fees

Expansion of HE


1.1   Europe

1.1.1.       United Kingdom

2012, UK university tuition fees tripled to £9,000 a year. They were introduced in September 1998 at £1,000 a year, rising to £3,000 in 2004.

2011, Almost 50% of UK  school leavers were going on to higher education, compared to just 3.4% in 1950.

25/5/2000. Oxford University was castigated for refusing a place to a Tyneside State School girl who was expecting 5 A grades at a Level. However on 26/5/2000 Oxford University offered a record number of places to State School pupils, as controversy over its entry system continued.

20/5/1991, A UK Government White Paper proposed giving polytechnics the same status as universities, increasing participation in Higher Education.

1990, In Britain, the Education (Student Loans) Act introduced loans to supplement  higher education grants.

1989, In Britain, the Education Minister Baker called for a large increase in numbers of students in higher education.

29/1/1985, Oxford University refused to award Mrs Thatcher an honorary degree because of her policies on education.

23/6/1973, The first graduates from the Open University received their degrees at a ceremony at Alexandra Palace, London.

11/1/1973. The Open University awarded its first degrees. See 23/7/1969.

1971, The numbers in higher education in the UK in 1970/71 stood at 457,000, up from 216,000 in 1962/63.

3/1/1971, The Open University began TV broadcasts. Regular courses commenced from Sunday 10/1/1971.

1970, The City of London Polytechnic was formed, by a merger of the City of London College, the Sir John Cass College and the King Edward VII Nautical College.

1/9/1969, Portsmouth Polytechnic was established, one of the first under the UK’s 1966 White Paper, A Plan for Polytechnics and Other Colleges.

23/7/1969. The Open University was established at Milton Keynes. See 11/1/1973.

1967, The University of Dundee received its Charter.For 70 years before this, it was linked to the University of St Andrews.

1966, The University of Surrey, Guildford, was founded.

1966, Aston University, Birmingham, was founded.

1963, The University of York was founded,

1963, In the UK, the Robbins Report called for a huge expansion of higher education; 17 new universities were created.

1962, The University College of North Staffordshire at Keele received its Charter.

1/1/1962. In the UK, the total number of full-time students in the universities and university colleges stood at 93,524, up from 63,063 in 1947-8.

1961, The University of Sussex opened.

18/5/1961, Plans were announced for new UK universities at Canterbury, Colchester, and Coventry.

1957, Leicester University received its Charter (founded 1918 as a University College).

1955, Exeter University received its Charter.

1954, Hull University received its Charter.

1952, Southampton University received its Charter.

1950, 3.4% of UK school leavers were going to higher education. In 2011 this figure had reached almost 50.0%

10/7/1948, Full university status was granted to University College, Nottingham.

20/5/1946, The British Government announced plans for student grants.

1/1/1936, The number of full-time university students in the UK stood at 40,465, up from 12,778 at 1/1/1909.

26/6/1933, King George laid the foundation stone of the University of London’s new Bloomsbury site.

1926, Reading University received its Charter.

7/10/1920, Oxford University admitted its first 100 women, to study for full degrees.  They had been permitted to sit Oxford examinations before this day.

28/5/1920. The foundation stone of the London School of Economics was laid.

24/5/1909, Bristol University received a Royal Charter.

1905, University College Sheffield achieved full University status.

1904, Leeds University wad formally founded.

6/10/1903, Manchester University formally opened. In 1902 Britain hosted just six Universities, 1) Oxford, 2) Cambridge, 3) Durham, 4) London, 5) Birmingham, and 6) the Federated Victoria University (see 1884),  which had campuses at Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. In 1903 the Victoria |federation split into its constituent city universities.

17/1/1903, Quintin Hogg, polytechnic founder, died.

1900, Birmingham University was founded.

1900, Cambridge University now hosted 3,000 students, as against 400 in 1800. In December 2015 the university had 20,015 students.

1899, Ruskin College Oxford,was founded.

1896, The City University was founded, as Northampton Polytechnic, sited on Northampton Square, London EC1`. It became a University in 1966.

1893, The University of Wales was established. It was formed from an amalgamation of colleges at Bangor, Cardiff and Aberystwyth.

17/6/1887, Mark Hopkins, US philosopher, died in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

1884, Owens College Manchester joined with other colleges in Liverpool and Leeds to form the Victoria University, see 6/10/1903.

24/10/1883, The University of South Wales and Monmouth opened in Cardiff.

7/5/1883, The Prince of Wales opened the Royal College of Music, Kensington, London.

1882, Bradford (Yorkshire) Technical College, Bradford University from 1962, was founded.

1881, University College Liverpool was founded.

1879, University College Sheffield weas founded by Mark Firth, a local steel manufacturer.

1876, Bristol University College was founded.

1874, Hertford College, Oxford, founded.

15/10/1872. University College of Wales founded at Aberystwyth.

1871, Newnham College, Cambridge, was founded.

1870, Keble College, Oxford, founded.

1854, The Working Men’s College, London, was founded by F D Maurice.

1852, The Royal Commission on Oxford University estimated the annual cost of attendance at this institution, with university holidays spent at home, to be £600. This included both living costs and fees. This equates to around £60,000 in 2017 prices. This level of costs ensured that only the offspring of the very wealthy could afford to attend Oxford University. However it was possible to attend with around £500 to spend (£50,000, 2017 prices), and obtain credit from tradesmen for the balance.

1851, The University of Manchester was founded.

1850, The School of Mines was established in London, later becoming the College of Science and Technology. Queens University Belfast was founded.

1849, Bedford College, London, was founded.

9/1845, The Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester was established, and granted its Charter by Queen Victoria. It was the first agricultural college in an English-speaking country. It became a university in 2013.

1843,The  Rothamsted agricultural research station was founded in Hertfordshire.

1/12/1841, George Birkbeck (born 1776), co-founder of University College London, died.

1832, Durham University was founded.

11/2/1826, University College London was founded, as London University.

2/12/1823. Birkbeck College, University of London, was founded.

1822, St David’s College, Lampeter, Wales, was founded.

1819, Oxford University appointed its first Professor of Geology, William Buckland (1784-1856). His pupil, Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was Professor of Geology at Kings College London from 1831 to 1833. Christians were alarmed at possible discrepancies between Genesis and the fossil record.

1800, Downing College, Cambridge, founded.

1872, The University College of Wales was founded in Aberystwyth.

10/1/1776, George Birkbeck, Professor of natural philosophy, was born in Settle, North Yorkshire. He gave unpaid lectures to working class men, and founded the London Mechanics Institue, now known as Birkbeck College, in 1824.

1714, Worcester College, Oxford, founded.

1624, Pembroke College, Oxford, founded.

1612, Wadham College, Oxford, founded.

1604, The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge were granted UK Parliamentary representation (withdrawn 1948).

1596, Gresham College, London, founded.

1589, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, founded.

1584, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, founded.

1582, Edinburgh University was founded. It opened to students in October 1853.

1571, Jesus College Oxford was founded by Hugh Price.

1555, St John’s College, Oxford, founded.

1554, Trinity College Oxford founded.

1564, Christ Church College, Oxford, founded.

1546, Trinity College, Cambridge, founded.

1540, King Henry VIII of England founded Regius Professorships in Greek, Hebrew, Divinity, Civil Law and Physics at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

1519, Magdalene College, Cambridge, founded.

1516, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, founded.

1511, St Johns College, Cambridge, founded.

1509, Brasenose College, Oxford, was founded.

1505, Christ’s College Cambridge was founded by Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby.

1497, Lincoln College, Oxford, founded.

1496, Jesus College, Cambridge, founded.

1495, Aberdeen University was founded.

1473, St Catherines College, Cambridge, was founded.

12/6/1458. Magdalen College, Oxford, was founded.

7/1/1451, Glasgow University was founded.

1448, Queens College, Cambridge, was founded.

1441, Kings College Cambridge was founded.

1437, All Souls College, Oxford, was founded.

1427, Lincoln College, Oxford, was founded.

1411, St Andrews University was founded. This was the first university in Scotland.

1379, William of Wykeham founded New College, Oxford.

10/2/1355, The St Scholastica Day riot in Oxford. Opposing members of ‘town’ and ‘gown’ fought for three days.

1352, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, founded.

1350, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, was founded.

1348, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, was founded.

1347, Pembroke College, Cambridge, was founded.

1340, Queen’s College Oxford founded.

1326, Oriel College, Oxford, and Clare College, Cambridge, were founded.

1314, Exeter College, Oxford, founded.

1264, Merton College, Oxford, founded.

1263, Balliol College, Oxford, founded.

1260, A university was established at Northampton, but it was shut down soon afterwards.

1257, St Peters College, Cambridge, was founded.

1249, University College Oxford founded.

20/6/1214, The University of Oxford received its charter (founded 1167).

1200, Cambridge University founded.

1.1.2.       Ireland

1592, Dublin University was founded. However an older establishment was founded in 1320, connected with St Patrick’s Cathedral.

1.1.3.       Norway

1811, The University of Christiania, Oslo, opened.

1.1.4.       Sweden

1668, The University of Lund was founded.

27/2/1477, The Swedish University of Uppsala was founded, becoming the first university in Sweden and all of Scandinavia.

1.1.5.       Denmark

1933, Aarhus University was founded.

1479, Copenhagen University was founded by King Christian I.

1.1.6.       Finland

1640, Helsinki University was founded; originally in Abo, moved to Helsinki in 1827. In 1936 it had 6,000 students and 353 teaching staff.

1.1.7.       Netherlands

1)      26/3/1636, The University of Utrecht was founded.

2)      1614, The University of Groningen, Netherlands, founded.

3)      1582, Utrecht University founded.

4)      1575, University of Leyden founded by William of Orange. See Netherlands 1574.

1.1.8.       Belgium

1)      1817, Liege University was founded.

2)      1425, Louvain University was founded.

1.1.9.       Germany

1)      1919, Hamburg University founded,

2)      1826, Munich University founded.

3)      16/8/1809. The University of Berlin was founded.

4)      1665, University of Kiel founded.

5)      1567, University of Helmstedt, Brunswick, was founded.

6)      1558, University of Jena founded.

7)      1527, The first Protestant University was founded, at Marburg by Philip the Magnanimous.

8)      1506, University of Frankfurt am Oder founded (transferred to Breslau, 1811).

9)      1477, Tubingen University was founded.

10)  1472, Ingoldstadt University was founded.

11)  17/10/1456, The University of Greifswald was established.

12)  1455, Frieburg University was founded.

13)  1410, Rostock University was founded.

14)  1409, Leipzig University was founded by German refugees from Prague.

15)  1388, Cologne University was founded.

16)  18/10/1386, The University of Heidelberg was founded.

17)  1379, Erfurt University was founded (closed 1816).

1.1.10.    Poland

24/5/1945, The University of Lodz, Poland, was founded.

1576, University of Warsaw founded. Suppressed in 1832, it was reopened in 1864.

5/11/1370. King Casimir III of Poland died in a hunting accident, aged 60, after a 30 year reign. He founded the University of Cracow, in 1364, and codified the law and administration.

1.1.11.    Switzerland

1832, University of Zurich founded.

1559, University of Geneva founded.

4/4/1460, The University of Basle opened.

1.1.12.    Austria

1622, Benedicine University of Salzburg founded. Closed, 1810.

1586, Graz University founded.

1365, Vienna University founded.

1.1.13.    France

1)      10/5/1806. The University of France was founded.

2)      1621, University of Strasbourg founded.

3)      1552, Douay University founded by King Philip II.

4)      1464, The University of Bourges founded.

5)      1461, The University of Nantes founded.

6)      1459, The University of Valence founded.

7)      1450, The University of Besancon founded.

8)      1441, The University of Bordeaux founded.

9)      1437, The University of Caen founded.

10)  1431, The Universitiy of Poitiers founded.

11)  1426, Louvain University founded.

12)  1409, The University of Aix founded.

13)  1365, The University of Orange opened.

14)  1349, The University of Perpignan founded.

15)  1339, Grenoble University founded.

16)  1332, The University of Cahors opened.

17)  1307, Orleans University founded.

18)  1289, Montpellier University founded.

19)  1265, The University of Avignon opened.

20)  1256, Sorbonne College, Paris, opened. It had been founded by Robert of Sorbon in 1253.

21)  1235, The University of Orleans founded.

22)  1229, Toulouse University founded.

23)  1150, The University of Paris founded.

1.1.14.    Portugal

1/3/1290, The University of Coimbra was founded in Lisbon, Portugal by King Denis of Portugal; it moved to Coimbra in 1308.

1.1.15.    Spain

1)      1531, University of Granada founded.

2)      1504, University of Santiago de Compostela founded by Papal Bull from Pope Julius II.

3)      1500, Valencia University was founded.

4)      1483, The University of Palma was founded.

5)      1482, The University of Avila was founded. It was reduced to a college in 1807.

6)      1474, The University of Saragossa was founded.

7)      3/11/1450, University of Barcelona founded.

8)      1359, The University of Huesca was founded,

9)      1348, The University of Valladolid was founded.

10)  1300, The University of Lerida was founded.

11)  1254, The University of Seville was founded.

12)  1208, The University of Casstile was founded at Palencia. It was moved to Salamanca in 1239.

13)  968, Cordoba University founded.

1.1.16.    Italy

1)      1701, University of Venice founded.

2)      1687, University of Bologna founded.

3)      1677, University of Sassari, Sardinia, founded. It reopened in 1766.

4)      1645, University of Palermo founded.

5)      1623, Genoa University founded.

6)      1611, University of Rome founded.

7)      1601, University of Parma re-founded.

8)      1548, University of Messina founded.

9)      1447, Palermo University founded.

10)  1444, Catania University, Sicily, was founded.

11)  19/10/1434, University of Catania founded.

12)  1422, Parma University founded.

13)  1412, Turin University founded.

14)  4/3/1391, Ferrara University was founded.

15)  1390, Pavia University founded.

16)  1358, Lucca University was founded.

17)  1349, Florence University was founded.

18)  1329, Pisa University founded.

19)  1320, Perugia University founded.

20)  1248, Piacenza University was founded.

21)  1244, Rome University founded.

22)  1240, Siena University was founded.

23)  1228, Padua University founded.

24)  1224, Naples University founded.

25)  1215, Arezzo University was founded.

26)  1204, Vicenza University was founded.

27)  1188, Reggio University was founded.

28)  1088/1119. Bologna University founded. In 1262 it is reputed to have had 10,000 students, as against 3,400 in 1935.

29)  850, Salerno University founded.

1.1.17.    Russia/USSR

1918, A second university in Moscow was founded.

1804, The University of Kazan was founded by Alexander I.

12/1/1755. The first Russian university, at Moscow, opened.

1.1.18.    Rest of Europe

1919, Ljubljana University, Slovenia, was founded.

1880, Sofia University, Bulgaria, founded.

1837, The University of Athens was founded in Greece.

1635, Budapest University, Hungary, founded.

1632, The University of Dorpat (now, Tartu), Estonia, was founded by Gustavus Adolphus. It was re-established by Tsar Alexander I in 1802.

1467, The University of Bratislava was founded.

1367, The University of Pecs was founded.

1348, Prague University founded by King Charles IV.

1.2   Asia

23/11/1949, The Mashhad University Faculty of Medicine was officially opened by Dr Zanganeh, the Iranian minister of culture.

1919, The José Rizal University, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, was founded in 1919 by Vicente Fabella.

1917, Patna University, Bihar, India, was founded.

1867, The University of Calcutta (now Kolkata) was established.

1961, The University of Jordan, Amman, opened.

1921, Dhaka University, Bangladesh, was founded.

14/6/1910, The University of the Philippines Los Baños was opened as a college of agriculture, with 50 students taught by Dr. Edwin Copeland.

1882, Waseda University, Japan, was founded as the Tokyo College; became Waseda University in 1902.

1877, Tokyo University was founded in Japan.

1866, Beirut’s American University was founded as the Syrian Protestant College.

1857, Madras University, India, founded.

1595, The University of San Carlos was founded at Cebu City, Philippines.

1.3   Oceania

1.3.1         Australia

1)1946, The Australia National University, Canberra, was founded.

2) 1874, The University of Adelaide was founded.

3) 22/1/1853, The University of Melbourne, Australia, was established by Act of Incorporation.

4) 1850, The University of Sydney, Australia, was founded.

1.3.2. New Zealand

1882, Auckland University, New Zealand, was founded.

1.4   Africa

1.4.1. North Africa

1957, Asyut University, Egypt, was founded.

972, Cairo University founded.

859, Fez University, Morocco, was founded.

1.4.2. Sub-Saharan Africa

1970, The University of Benin was founded.

1962, Ibadan University, Nigeria, was founded.

1949, Natal University, South Africa, was founded.

1948, University College Ghana opened.

1924, Achimota College, Ghana (then, Gold Coast) was established by Sir Gordon Guggisberg. The aim was to create an educated African elite who could administer the colony. By 1938 the College was offering degree courses.

1873, The University of South Africa was founded at Pretoria.

1/10/1829, Cape Town University, South Africa, was founded.

1814, Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Liberia, was founded as a missionary college. In 1827 it became a training college for teachers and missionaries, and was affiliated to the Universityof Durham (UK) in 1876 for degree-awarding purposes. Fourah College educated many of the ruling elite of West Africa, and many leaders of various African nationalist movements were taught there.

1.5   North America

1.5.1. Canada

  1. 1925, The Memorial University of Newfoundlamd was founded, as Memorial College, in St Johns.
  2. 1908, The University of Alberta was founded at Edmonton. The University of British Columbia was founded at Vancouver.
  3. 1907, The University of Saskatchewan was founded at Saskatoon.
  4. 1877, The University of Manitoba was founded in Winnipeg.
  5. 1866, The University of Ottawa was founded in Ontario.
  6. 1859, Canada’s first Agricultiural College was founded, St Annes, in Quebec. It is now affiliated with Laval University.
  7. 1852, Laval University (Quebec) was founded. It began as a seminary in 1663.
  8. 1851, The University of Toronto began offering the country’s first agricultural degrees.
  9. 1827, The University of Toronto was founded.
  10. 1813, McGill University, Montreal, founded.

1.5.2. USA

1)      1934, The University of Houston, Texas, was founded.

2)      1925, Trinity College, North Carolina, changed its name to Duke University, after receiving a US$ 40 million from tobacco magnate James B Duke.

3)      1922, Teaching began at the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. In 1935 this became the University of Alaska.

4)      1912, Memphis State University was founded in Tennessee.

5)      1907, The University of Hawaii was founded at Honolulu.

6)      1901, Idaho State University was established at Pocatello.

7)      1899, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, was established.

8)      1892, The Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts was established. In 1909 it became Rhode Island State College, and in 1951, Univefrsity of Rhode Island.

9)      1891, Chicago University was founded. In 1890 only 3% of US citizens aged 18-21 attended college, a figure that rose to 8% by 1930.

10)  1889, Catholic University, Washington DC, was founded.

11)  1886, The University of Wyoming was established; teaching began in 1887.

12)  1885, The Arizona State University was established.

13)  1883, The Univefrsity of North Dakota was established.

14)  1882, The University of South Dakota was established.

15)  1877, The University of Detroit was founded in Michigan.

16)  1876, The University of Texas was founded at Austin.

17)  1874, The University of Navada was established at Elko; moved to Reno in 1885.

18)  1872, The University of Oregon was founded at Eugene.

19)  1871, The University of Arkansas was founded at Fayetville.

20)  1870, Syracuse University was founded at Syracuse, New York. In 1870, only 2% of US 17+ year olds were high school graduates, a figure that rose to 76% in 1970.

21)  1869, The University of Nebraska was established, at Lincoln.

22)  1867, The University of Illinois was established at Urbana. West Virginia University was established at Morgantown. Atlanta University was founded in Georgia.

23)  1866, The University of New Hampshire at Durham received its Charter, originally as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.

24)  1865, Purdue University, Cornell University, the University of Maine and the University of Kentucky (all in the USA) were founded.

25)  1861, The University of Colorado was founded at Boulder; the University of Washington was founded at Seattle.

26)  1860, Louisiana State University was founded at Baton Rouge.

27)  1858, Oregon State University was founded at Corvallis.

28)  1856, Auburn University, at Auburn, Alabama, was founded.

29)  6/3/1856, The Maryland Agricultural College, now University of Maryland, received its Charter.

30)  1855, Pennsylvania State University and Michigan State University opened.

31)  1853, The University of Florida was founded.

32)  1850, University of Utah founded in Salt Lake City.

33)  1848, The University of Wisconsin at Madison, and The University of Mississippi at Oxford, were founded.

34)  1840, Missouri State University was funded, in Columbia.

35)  1839, The Universities of Boston and Missouri were founded.

36)  1837, Michigan State University was founded at Ann Arbor.

37)  1837, The University of Louisville was opened in Kentucky.

38)  1836, The University of Wisconsin was founded at Madison.

39)  1831, New York University was founded, as the University of the City of New York.

40)  1831, The University of Alabama was founded.

41)  1/6/1808. The first students were admitted to Ohio University; its charter had been approved on 18/2/1804.

42)  11/1/1807, Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, New York, was born.

43)  1804, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, received its Charter.

44)  1801, The University of South Carolina was founded.

45)  1766, State University, New Jersey, was founded as Queen’s College.

46)  1754, Kings College, New York City, was founded. Originally Kings College, it became Columbia College in 1784, and Columbia University in 1896.

47)  1746, Princeton University, New Jersey, was founded, as the College of New Jersey.

48)  1701, Yale University was founded.

28/10/1638, John Harvard left a bequest of 400 books and £700 to what is now Harvard University.

28/10/1636, Harvard University, the oldest in the USA, was founded at Cambridge, Massachusetts by Puritan emigrants from Britain. The General Council of Massachusetts set up a college with the comparatively modest sum of £400. However on 28/10/1638 Mr John Harvard, assistant pastor of the First Church of Charleston, who died aged 31, left the College a bequest of £780 and 400 books. The aim was establish an educational institution equal to Oxford or Cambridge in England.

26/11/1607. John Harvard, founder of Harvard University, was born in London.

1.6   South America,

1948, The University of the West Indies was established, in Kingston, Jamaica; It is sited on a former sugar plantation.

1920, Rio de Janeiro University was founded.

12/3/1903, The University of Puerto Rico was officially founded.

1859, Valparaiso University, Chile, founded.

1842, The University of Santiago, Chile, was founded. An earlier University of Chile had been founded in 1738 by the King of Spain.

1810, The National University of Nicaragua opened.

1787, The University of Quito, Ecuador, was founded.

1676, The University of San Carlos of Guatemala was established at Guatemala City.

1598, Cuzco University (Peru) was founded.

1572, The University of Bogota, Colombia, was established.

1551, The University of San Marcos, Lima, Peru, was established.         

28/10/1538, The first University in the Americas, the Universidad Santo Tomas de Aquino, Santo Domingo, was founded.


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