These colleges give new meaning to the term "old school."
On any tour of a college campus, a prospective student is likely to hear the names of famous alumni who’ve graced that institution’s halls of learning. More often than not, the names of politicians, TV personalities, and business people will be dropped as evidence of that school’s ability to launch successful careers.
But what if your college opened in the 11th century, as the University of Bologna did?
A tour guide ushering high school students through that ancient but still-operating institute of higher learning might mention that enrolling there would put in them in the company of an accomplished list of alumni: the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, Petrarch, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Nicolaus Copernicus and Pope Innocent IX, to name only a few.
Over the centuries, the University of Bologna and the other four oldest universities have maintained their reputations for academic excellence and continue to attract the best and brightest. Here’s a list of the world’s oldest universities and their most famous former students: