ListMoto - Ancient University

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The ancient universities are seven extant British and Irish medieval universities and early modern universities founded before the year 1600.[1] Four of these are located in Scotland, two in England, and one in Ireland. The ancient universities in Britain and Ireland
are amongst the oldest extant universities in the world.


1 Foundation 2 Undergraduate Master of Arts degree 3 Universities (Scotland) Acts 4 Later universities 5 References

Foundation[edit] The surviving ancient universities in England, Scotland
and Ireland are, in order of formation:

Year Name Nation of Founding Location Notes

1096 University of Oxford Kingdom of England Oxford, England, UK "There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris."[2] Teaching suspended in 1209 (due to town execution of two scholars) and 1355 (due to the St. Scholastica riot).

1209 University of Cambridge Kingdom of England Cambridge, England, UK Founded by scholars leaving Oxford
after a dispute caused by the execution of two scholars in 1209.

1413 University of St Andrews Kingdom of Scotland St Andrews, Scotland, UK Founded by a Papal Bull
Papal Bull
building on earlier bodies established between 1410 and 1413

1451 University of Glasgow Kingdom of Scotland Glasgow, Scotland, UK Founded by a Papal Bull

1495 University of Aberdeen Kingdom of Scotland Aberdeen, Scotland, UK King's College was founded in 1495 by Papal Bull
Papal Bull
and Marischal College in 1593; they merged in 1860

1582 University of Edinburgh Kingdom of Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Established by a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
granted by James VI

1592 University of Dublin Kingdom of Ireland Dublin, Ireland. Founded by Charter of Queen Elizabeth I; Trinity College[1][3][4] is the only constituent college of the university

These universities often find themselves governed in a quite different fashion to more recent additions. The ancient universities of Scotland also share several distinctive features and are governed by arrangements laid down by the Universities (Scotland) Acts. In addition to these universities, a number of now-obsolete universities were founded during this period, including the University of Northampton (1261–1265), royal attempts to establish universities in Fraserburgh
and Durham, plus the predecessor institutions to the University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
founded in 1495 and 1593 (noted above).

University of Oxford

University of Cambridge

University of St Andrews

University of Glasgow

University of Aberdeen

University of Edinburgh

University of Dublin

Undergraduate Master of Arts degree[edit] Main articles: Master of Arts (Scotland) and Master of Arts (Oxbridge and Dublin) The ancient universities are distinctive in awarding the Magister Artium/Master of Arts (MA) as an undergraduate academic degree. This is commonly known as the Oxbridge
MA, Trinity MA (Dublin), or the Scottish MA. The ancient universities in Scotland
confer the MA degree at graduation with honours and a final mark; in contrast, the ancient universities in England
and Ireland
award the MA purely after a period of good standing following graduation as Bachelor of Arts, usually around three years. Because they award the MA as an undergraduate Arts degree, the ancient universities award differing titles for their postgraduate master's degrees in the Arts and Humanities, such as the taught Master of Letters ("MLitt (T)"). Some confusion can arise as to whether such degrees are taught degrees or the most established (and advanced) two-year research degrees, although this is often specified. Universities (Scotland) Acts[edit]

The University of St Andrews, the oldest university in Scotland
and the third oldest in Britain or Ireland.

Main article: Ancient university
Ancient university
governance in Scotland As mentioned above, the Universities (Scotland) Acts created a distinctive system of governance for the ancient universities in Scotland, the process beginning with the 1858 Act and ending with the 1966 Act. Despite not being founded until after the first in these series of Acts, the University of Dundee
University of Dundee
shares all the features contained therein. As a result of these Acts, each of these universities is governed by a tripartite system of General Council, University Court, and Academic Senate. The chief executive and chief academic is the University Principal who also holds the title of Vice-Chancellor
as an honorific. The Chancellor is a titular non-resident head to each university and is elected for life by the respective General Council, although in actuality a good number of Chancellors resign before the end of their 'term of office'. Each also has a Students' Representative Council as required by statute, although at the University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
this has recently been renamed the Students' Association Council.[5] Later universities[edit] Main article: List of UK universities by date of foundation Following the creation of the ancient universities, no more universities were created in Britain and Ireland
until the 19th century. Precisely which of these 19th-century institutions was the earliest post-ancient university is a matter of debate. In brief, the main university-level foundations after this time are:

St David's College, Lampeter was established in 1822 (Royal Charter 1828), University College London
University College London
in 1826 ( Royal Charter
Royal Charter
1836 when it joined with King's College London
King's College London
to form the University of London) King's College London
King's College London
in 1829 ( Royal Charter
Royal Charter
1829) University of Durham in 1832 ( Royal Charter
Royal Charter

In addition the University of Strathclyde
University of Strathclyde
in Glasgow
traces its origins back to the Andersonian Institute of 1796, but did not receive a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
until 1964. The more recent red brick universities of the later 19th century and early 20th century such as the University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
were soon to follow. Thereafter in the 1950s and 60s the "plate glass universities" were formed and after the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, polytechnics were granted university status. References[edit]

^ a b "Radcliffe dean to lead historic university in Scotland". Ukinusa.fco.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-17. [permanent dead link] ^ A brief history of the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine., Oxford
University ^ http://www.tara.tcd.ie/bitstream/2262/5699/1/jssisiVolXVII594_610.pdf ^ "Rise & Progress of Universities – Chapter 17". Newman Reader. Retrieved 2012-02-17.  ^ " University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
Students' Association Constitution". Archived from the original on 8 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 

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University associations and groupings in the United Kingdom

Formal associations


Cathedrals Group Eastern ARC G5 GuildHE GW4 MedCity Midlands Innovation Million+ N8 Research Partnership NCUK Russell Group SES SETsquared University Alliance Universities Scotland Universities UK Wallace Group White Rose University Consortium


1994 Group Global Medical Excellence Cluster

Informal groupings

Ancient university
Ancient university
(Ancient universities of Scotland) Campus university Golden triangle New universities Oxbridge Plate glass university Red brick university

United Kingdom
United Kingdom


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