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La Universidad de Oxford , la universidad más antigua del mundo de habla inglesa

Las antiguas universidades son británicos e irlandeses universidades medievales y universidades principios modernos fundados antes del año 1600. [1] Cuatro de ellas están situadas en Escocia, dos en Inglaterra, y uno en Irlanda. Las antiguas universidades de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda se encuentran entre las universidades más antiguas del mundo .

Fundación [ editar ]

Las universidades antiguas supervivientes en Inglaterra, Escocia e Irlanda son, en orden de formación:

Estas universidades a menudo se rigen de una manera bastante diferente a las fundaciones más recientes. Las antiguas universidades de Escocia también comparten varias características distintivas y se rigen por disposiciones establecidas por las leyes de universidades (Escocia) . Además de estas universidades, algunas instituciones ahora desaparecidas se fundaron durante este período, incluida la Universidad de Northampton (1261-1265), [5] la universidad o colegio en Stamford, Lincolnshire (1331? -1335), [6] el universidad o colegio en Fraserburgh , Aberdeenshire (1592-1605), [7] y el colegio en Durham (1657-1660) fundado bajoOliver Cromwell, for which a charter as a university was drawn up under Richard Cromwell but never sealed.[8]

  • 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]

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.

Acts of Parliament related to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge[edit]

While both universities received grants of liberties and privileges by royal charter, the charters granted to Cambridge in 1231 and to Oxford in 1248 being the earliest recorded on the Privy Councils list of chartered bodies,[9] neither university was created or incorporated by royal charter. After existing for the first few centuries of their existence as common law corporations, they were formally incorporated by the Oxford and Cambridge Act 1571, under Elizabeth I. The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act 1859 repealed the parts of the 1571 act that required the mayor, aldermen, citizens or municipal officer of the City of Oxford to take any oath for the conservation of the liberties and privileges of the University of Oxford.

In the 19th century a series of acts and commissions reduced the powers of the universities to make their own statutes. A Royal Commission in 1850 looked into both universities and proposed major reforms to their constitutions. These were enacted by the Oxford University Act 1854 and the Cambridge University Act 1856. The Universities Tests Act 1871 removed almost all religious tests from both universities (and from Durham University). The Oxford and Cambridge Universities Act 1877 set up commissioners to look into further reform of the statutes of both universities and of their constituent colleges. Further Royal Commissions into both universities were established in 1919, resulting in the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Act 1923, setting up a commission to again make statutes and regulations for the universities and their colleges. This has resulted in there being two kind of statutes at these universities – those made by the universities themselves, which may be changed by them, and the "Queen-in-Council" statutes made under the 1923 act or the Education Reform Act 1988 that can only be changed with permission from the Privy Council.[10][11]

Universities (Scotland) Acts[edit]

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

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 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 this has recently been renamed the Students' Association Council.[12]

Later universities[edit]

Following the creation of the ancient universities, no more universities were created in Britain and Ireland until the 19th century, when a number of universities and colleges were established. Which of these 19th-century institutions should be considered the earliest post-ancient university is a matter of debate. The main university-level foundations up to the mid 19th century were:

  • St David's College, Lampeter by the Bishop of St David's in 1822 (royal charter 1828),
  • University College London as a joint stock company in 1826 under the name "London University" (royal charter as University College, London 1836)
  • King's College London by royal charter in 1829
  • Durham University by act of parliament in 1832 (royal charter 1837)
  • University of London by royal charter in 1836
  • Queen's College Belfast (now, Queen's University Belfast), Queen's College Cork (now University College Cork) and Queen's College Galway (now NUI Galway) by royal charters in 1845
  • Bedford College, London founded by Elizabeth Jesser Reid in 1849 and the first institution of higher learning for women in the British Isles; now part of Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Queen's University of Ireland by royal charter in 1850, with the above Queen's Colleges as constituent institutions
  • Catholic University of Ireland in 1851 (royal charter as University College Dublin 1908)
  • Owens College Manchester in 1851, now the University of Manchester (via the Victoria University of Manchester)

Only Durham, London and the Queen's University of Ireland were recognised as universities at the time of their foundation, granting their first degrees in 1837, 1839 and 1851 respectively. Durham was a collegiate university, London was an examining board, and the Queen's University was a federal university. The other institutions, while teaching at university level, were colleges, some becoming universities later. In addition, many other universities trace their roots to institutions founded in this period, including the University of Strathclyde to the Andersonian Institute (1796), Heriot-Watt University to the School of Arts of Edinburgh (1821), Birkbeck, University of London to the London Mechanics' Institute (1823), and the University of Manchester (via UMIST) to the Manchester Mechanics Institute (1824). Many medical schools also date from the 18th century or earlier, including St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (now part of King's College London) between 1693 and 1709,[13] St George's, University of London in 1733, Middlesex Hospital Medical School (now part of University College London) in 1746, London Hospital Medical College (now part of Queen Mary, University of London) in 1786.

The redbrick universities were established as university colleges in the latter half of the 19th century and mostly became universities in the early 20th century. The Royal University of Ireland (1881, as the successor of the Queen's University of Ireland), the Victoria University (1881), the University of Wales (1893) were the only other universities established in the 1800s, all as federal or examining universities. The first unitary university in the British Isles outside of Scotland was the University of Birmingham (1900).[14]


  1. ^ a b "Radcliffe dean to lead historic university in Scotland". Archived from the original on 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
  2. ^ A brief history of the University of Oxford Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine, Oxford University
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Rise & Progress of Universities – Chapter 17". Newman Reader. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
  5. ^ Laurence Cawley (11 September 2016). "Northampton: The ancient English university killed by a king". BBC News.
  6. ^ William Page (1906). Stamford University. The Victoria History of the County of Lincoln. pp. 468–474.
  7. ^ R. P. Wells (23 September 2004). Fraser, Sir Alexander, of Philorth. Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
  8. ^ "Plans for a College in Durham". Durham World Heritage Site. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  9. ^ "List of chartered bodies". Privy Council. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Preface: Constitution and Statute-making Powers of the University". Statutes. University of Oxford. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Royal Commission of 1850". 125 Years of Engineering Excellence. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  12. ^ "University of Aberdeen Students' Association Constitution". Archived from the original on 8 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-21.
  13. ^ "ST THOMAS'S HOSPITAL: Medical school records". King's College London College Archives.
  14. ^ William Whyte (16 January 2015). Redbrick: A Social and Architectural History of Britain's Civic Universities. Oxford University Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780191025228.