This is a list of the oldest universities in continuous operation. It includes universities founded before 1500.

By contrast, the earliest university in the Western Hemisphere is the National Autonomous University in Mexico, founded in 1551; the oldest in the United States is the University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1749 (the oldest college is Harvard College, founded in 1636); the oldest in Canada, Université Laval, founded 1663; the oldest in Australia is University of Sydney, founded 1850.

See also: Medieval university