What is the oldest university in the world? It is very difficult to tell, but we have found some records about this. There are several universities that can be considered the oldest in the world. One of these universities is the oldest and it is the Takshashila or Taxila University. It dates back to fifth century BC. All other universities have been founded in the later years. As such, it can be named the first university in the world.
The Takshashila University
♦ The Takshashila University was located in Taxila, which was a part of ancient India. It was located in the northwestern region of India. This place is now a part of the present Pakistan near Rawalpindi. It was situated along the Sindhi and Jhelum rivers. It is also known as Taxila University. It was destroyed during the destruction of Taxila city.
♦ There were about 10,500 students attending this university. These students came from around the globe to study. They came from Greece, Persia, Babylonia, Arabia, Syria and China. Students used to start their studies at the age of sixteen. He had to complete his basic education before joining this university. Only students who had good scores in their basic education could apply to study here. Some of them became highly reputed scholars around the globe, back in those days.
♦ The university offered specializations in many fields. There were about 64 fields. The subjects that were taught in this university were numerous, and they included the Vedas, astronomy, agriculture, law, documentation, accounting, literature, arts, ayurveda, surgery, futurology, medicine, philosophy, grammar, language, commerce, politics, military science, warfare, witchcraft, sorcery, occult, dance, music and the 18 arts such as hunting, elephant riding and archery. Some special subjects were also taught like the techniques to discover treasure, the techniques to encrypt mails and messages, the techniques of dealing with omens, handling snakes and so on. The students had to select one specialization subject to complete a research on it.
♦ Many experienced masters and teachers taught the students in this university. Some of them were very famous, renowned and well known. One of the senior masters in this university is Chandra Gupta Maurya. Other masters were Atreya, Nagarjuna and Dhaumya Muni.
♦ One of the students who graduated from this university was the great Chanakya. He is also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta. He was into many fields like politics, economics, intelligence systems of state, statecraft, management, administration, military etc. He wrote a lot of material on these subjects. His books contain many strategies and techniques related to these areas. One of his famous books is the Artha Shastra. Later he became a mentor for Chandragupta Maurya and then laid the foundation of the Mauryan Empire. He acted as the prime minister in this empire. Other famous students of this university were Panini, Vishnu Sharma, Jivak and Charaka