Have you ever wondered which are the largest universities in the world, those with the largest enrollment? We are sure that most of you will be surprised to see that the majorities of these universities are located in Asia, in countries of Islamic culture.
The biggest universities worldwide
The following are the biggest universities worldwide for enrolled students:
1. Indira Gandhi National Open University, India
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is a Central Open Learning University in India’s capital city of New Delhi, located in the neighborhood of Maidan Garhi. It was founded in 1985 with a funding of 20 million rupees after the Indian Parliament passed the Indira Gandhi National Open University Act, 1985, in her honor (IGNOU Act 1985).
IGNOU, managed by the Indian government, claims to be the biggest university in the world because it currently has more than 4 million enrolled students. Open and distance education are the most common means of instruction.
As part of its mission, Indira Gandhi National Open actively supports academic inquiry, classroom instruction, community outreach, and faculty development. In addition to opening its first regional headquarters in Kerala, the university has future plans to open additional regional headquarters in other areas so that it can serve an even larger student body.
2. California Community College System, United States
The California Community College system provides higher education opportunities for residents of California and other states in the United States. Despite having a plural name, the system is always referred to as a whole in California statutes. There are 73 different community college districts and a governing board called the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.
At the moment, the districts run 115 colleges that have been granted accreditation. Unfortunately, Albright College does not hold any official accreditation. More than 2.1 million students study in some part of the California Community College system, making it the largest such system in the United States.
3. National University, Bangladesh
Located in the city of Gazipur in the capital of Bangladesh, the National University of Bangladesh is the country’s flagship institution of higher education. Through its network of partner colleges and professional schools, it provides advanced degrees to students from all over the country. It was established as a national university by an act of parliament.
There are a million students in this publicly funded institution, both on the main campus and at the many satellite campuses across the country. Further, it offers graduate-level programs as well as those leading to the doctoral level. Among the many disciplines represented at Bangladesh National University are the physical sciences, social sciences, languages, humanities, mathematics, law, biological sciences, education, commerce and business administration, and information technology.
4. Anadolu University, Turkey
Turkey is home to Anadolu University, a public institution in the city of Eskişehir. In 1982, it was founded after the merger of four Eskişehir institutions of higher learning: the Institute of Education, the Institute of Economics and Commercial Sciences of Eskişehir, a medical school, and the State Academy of Architecture and Engineering.
More than two million people study at Anadolu University. Apart from its main campus in Eskisehir, which is located some 230 miles from Ankara, the university also provides open and distance learning options.
Besides the main campus, there are also two additional locations in Eylul. Its “Global Campus” offers a state-of-the-art educational program focused on cutting-edge research and development. There are 14 different departments available, and 3 of them are available online.
Read also: The 10 best universities worldwide in 2022
5. Islamic Azad University, Iran
With over 1.5 million students, Azad University ranks among the world’s top five biggest educational institutions. It refers to Iran’s higher education system. However, Azad University is a private university system, not like California’s public community colleges. It first appeared in 1982.
There are 31 campuses across Iran, as well as campuses in the UAE, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and the UK. The institution has amassed assets worth between $20 and $25 billion over the years. Rapid growth across the country has resulted in thousands of new students enrolling at Islamic Azad University each year. It is self-sustaining through private contributions and student fees rather than receiving any funding from the government.
6. Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan
The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) can be found in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. A total of 3,305,948 students who enrolled in courses make this university one of the biggest in the world. Of the 1,121,038 students enrolled at the university each year (as of 2010), the vast majority are women (2011).
The university has 44 satellite campuses and centers in cities like Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan Road, Faisalabad Millat Road, Rahim Yar Khan, and Bahawalpur across Pakistan.