Silk Road Universities
A brief review of the oldest universities in the world is located at the bottom of this page. It's not compete by any means but I've got a little start on it.
There are a few internet sites that rank universities within and between countries according to a wide variety of criteria.
www.topuniversities.com has a QS Stars ranking system with four primary measures: strength, access, flagship institution performance, and economic context which include 50 some factors including employability of graduates, sports facilities and community engagement. https://www.topuniversities.com/system-strength-rankings/2016
http://www.4icu.org/ has its own trademarked ranking system “based upon an algorithm including 5 unbiased and independent web metrics extracted from 4 different web intelligence sources.” These are: Mox Domain Authority (link metrics), Alexa Global Rank (based on commercial web data), SimilarWeb Global Rank (analyzes web growth and traffic) , Majestic Referring Domains (analyzes domains, referring IP addresses, etc.), Majestic Trust flow (sites closely linked to a trusted seed site can see higher scores, whereas sites that may have some questionable links would see a much lower score). Countries with weak internet systems thus will be heavily discriminated against.
http://www.webometrics.info/en/ The "Webometrics Ranking of World Universities" is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain. They primarily use webmetrics.
Editor of this Silk Road University site is primarily interested in universities with international studies, multiple languages and of course, Silk Road Studies programs. Below is only a very few of the thousands of amazing universities along the Land Silk Road. (5/15/2017)
(A few of the) Major Universities
in the Land Silk Road Countries
Prof. Dipl. Eng. Raihana Popalzai
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Foreign Relations and Cultural Affairs
American University of Afghanistan
American University of Armenia
CHINA Of the Silk Road countries China ranks highest on www.topuniversities.com ranking system, in 8th place, ahead of many developed advanced countries.
Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU)
For BFSU’s site in other languages
Over 400 Chinese ambassadors have come from BFSU
They also have a Silk Road Studies Institute
Xi’an Jiaotong University
They’ve started moving in the right direction towards a virtual Silk Road university with the “University Alliance of the Silk Road” (UASR - 2015) with 132 universities across 32 countries and regions on 5 continents. However, many notable Silk Road countries and their most prestigious universities are absent, and they have not yet initiated a MOOC.
City University of Hong Kong
Research Center on One Road One Belt
India has an enormous number of high quality universities. For a ranked list of the top 10, see: https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings-articles/brics-rankings/top-10-universities-india-2016
University of Tehran is Number 1 on all scales. They have Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) / academic partnerships and collaboration with more than 260 world-class universities from 74 different countries including all Silk Road countries.
306 universities in Iran are ranked here: http://www.4icu.org/ir/
University of Baghdad (UOB) is a very large (enrollment range: over-45,000 students) coeducational higher education institution formally affiliated with the Islamic religion. But their website is in Arabic only.
75 universities in Iraq are ranked here:
27 universities in Jordan are ranked here: http://www.4icu.org/jo/
Though not normally listed (e.g. by UNESCO) as a Silk Road country, this editor finds it impossible to believe it was not, especially during the Yuan Dynasty.
South Korea has organized Silk-Road Universities Network . Starting in 2014 they seem to have about 35 partner universities in this network. They have an International Association for Silk Road Studies (IASS)
The largest and wealthiest of the countries nicknamed the ‘Stans’, Kazakhstan is establishing itself as a regional hub for education. With about 150 universities there, the top are ranked here: https://www.topuniversities.com/where-to-study/asia/kazakhstan/guide
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University http://www.kaznu.kz/en/
Webometrics ranks: American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyz Turkish Manas University and Kyrgyz Russian Slavic universities as the best, whereas 4icu.org ranks Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University, Kirgizstan-Turkiye Manas University and the International Academy of Management, Law, Finance and Business as the top three.
Also, there is:
International Ataturk Alatoo University
1/8 Ankara Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
has a well-developed and active Silk Road Research Center
http://www.4icu.org/kg/ lists and describes some 45 universities there.
Topuniviersities.com and 4icu ranks the American University of Beirut (AUB), Saint Joseph University, and Lebanese American University (LAU) as the top three. 4icu ranks 34 universities there.
https://www.usj.edu.lb/ (French only)
The National University of Mongolia ranks number one on both 4icu (which ranks 65 universities there) and webometrics (which reviews 25 universities there).
4icu ranks the University of the Punjab as number 1, of the 162 universities they rank.
Topuniversities.com ranks National University of Sciences and Technology as number 1
Allama Iqbal Open University (Has e-learning program)
Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology
International Islamic University - Islamabad
Syrian Arab Republic
Webometrics ranks 23 universities there, with Higher Institute of Applied Science and Technology and Damascus University ranked as numbers 1 and 2. 4icu ranks 14 universities there with Damascus University ranked as number 1
Topuniversities.com lists Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) as number 1, however oddly doesn’t rank it. It is followed by Saint-Petersburg State University (founded 1724).
4icu ranks 387 universities there with Moscow State University as number 1.
4icu.org ranked Tajik State Medical University, Russian-Tajik Slavonic University and Tajik National University as the top three. Ninteen universities are ranked.
Webometrics agreed with the top two and also ranked 14 universities total.
http://www.tnu.tj/index.php/ru/ (Russian only)
There are nearly 200 universities in Turkey, which has one of the longest histories of education in the world.
Koç University (MOOC in Turkish language)
http://www.istanbul.edu.tr/tr/_ (There is also English version)
Though a relatively sparsely populated country Turkmenistan has some very respectable universities!
Webometrics lists the following three universities at the top:
National University of Uzbekistan,
Samarkand State University
Tashkent University of Information Technologies – 69 universities are ranked
4icu agreed with none of this listing: Tashkent Agrarian University, Jizzax Davlat Pedagogika Instituti & Westminster International University in Tashkent at the top.
In Tashkent can also be found the Ikuo Hirayama International Caravanserai of Culture of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan is a marvelous Silk Road research center with library, museum and very helpful people.
The World's Oldest Universities
Nalanda (IAST: Nālandā; /naːlən̪d̪aː/) was an acclaimed Mahavihara, a large Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha (modern-day Bihar) in India. The site is located about 95 kilometres (59 mi) southeast of Patna near the town of Bihar Sharif, and was a centre of learning from the seventh century BCE to c. 1200 CE.:149 It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The highly formalized methods of Vedic learning helped inspire the establishment of large teaching institutions such as Taxila, Nalanda, and Vikramashila which are often characterized as India's early universities.
In Taxila (founded around 1,000 BCE) I found the remains of the temples of many ancient religions and philosophies which resided next to each other, suggesting that at that ancient time in history the different religions got along quite well - as well they should!
Again, according to Wikipedia:
"Taxila became a noted centre of learning (including the religious teachings of Buddhism) at least several centuries BCE, and continued to attract students from around the old world until the destruction of the city in the 5th century. At its height, it has been suggested that Taxila exerted a sort of "intellectual suzerainty" over other centres of learning in India., and its primary concern was not with elementary, but higher education. Generally, a student entered Taxila at the age of sixteen. The ancient and the most revered scriptures, and the Eighteen Silpas or Arts, which included skills such as archery, hunting, and elephant lore, were taught, in addition to its law school, medical school, and school of military science. Students came to Taxila from far-off places such as Kashi, Kosala and Magadha, in spite of the long and arduous journey they had to undergo, on account of the excellence of the learned teachers there, all recognized as authorities on their respective subjects."
If a modern university is basically a collection of colleges, the number of truly ancient universities may be huge, and I suspect probably military in nature. An advanced civilization such as the Hittites probably had "colleges" of unarmed fighting, wrestling, kicking/punching, as well as knife, sword and spear fighting, and of course charioteering. They were the first great civilization to use iron and almost certainly co-evolved their military arts with the Egyptians. The war ended with the treaty of Kadesh, in about 1,269 BCE, so one might wonder if they also pioneered the first school of diplomacy.
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