May 30 · 5 min read

As a PhD, academic or university student, the majority of your time is spent on a university campus. Whilst day to day life gets in the way, when was the last time you stopped and looked at the architectural magnificence of your campus? From structural aesthetics, to open spaces and natural surroundings, many universities are inherently beautiful. So to celebrate universities and their beauty, we would like to present you, in no particular order, with (what we believe to be) the most beautiful universities around the globe.

Flagler College — Florida, USA

Flagler College’s main campus, founded in 1968, is located in the historic city of St. Augustine, in Northeast Florida on the Atlantic Ocean. With the palm trees, fountains and the main buildings aesthetic, this campus looks more like a 5-star holiday resort than an academic institution.

Trinity College — Dublin, Ireland

Whilst a college and not a university, Trinity College at the University of Dublin deserves to be on this list. Modelled after the grand collegiate universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Trinity College is certainly worth a place on this list.

Princeton University — New Jersey, USA

Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The university sits on 500 acres and incorporates a variety of architectural styles.

University Of Cambridge — Cambridge, United Kingdom

Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. With multiple stretches of open space and multiple museums, the University of Cambridge’s is world renowned for not only academia but for its aesthetics too.

Paris-Sorbonne University — Paris, France

Paris-Sorbonne University was one of the inheritors of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Paris which ceased to exist following student protests in May 1968. Following in the footsteps of Parisian architecture, the Sorbonne is the largest institution in France dedicated to the study of literature, languages, civilizations, arts, humanities and the social sciences.

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven — Leuven, Belgium

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a research university in the Dutch-speaking town of Leuven in Flanders, Belgium. With a mixed and interesting history that involve the French revolutionary wars and a split between two separate schools, KU Leuven’s tranquillity deserves to be recognised.

University Of Oxford — Oxford, United Kingdom

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university. Featuring Baroque, Gothic and Neoclassical architectural styles, the University of Oxford is aesthetically magnificent.

National Autonomous University of Mexico — Mexico City, Mexico

The National Autonomous University of Mexico’s campus is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico’s best-known architects of the 20th century. The university has been built using layers in order to ensure that there is always more than meets the eye.

Yale University — New Haven, United States

Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. From Gothic to Brutalist architecture, Yale’s place on our top 10 beautiful universities is certainly merited.

Xiamen University — Xiamen, China

Xiamen was the first university in China founded by a member of the overseas Chinese diaspora. With each campus being home to perfectly maintained gardens, lakes, and buildings in the unique Tan Kah Kee-style (a mixture of Eastern and Western architecture), Xiamen University is not only one of the most beautiful universities in China, but in the world too.

There are hundreds of other universities that deserve to make this list, and we would love to know what you think! What other universities should we include, and does your university deserve to be here? Let us know by taking a picture of your university campus and tag us on social media!

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