Largest Universities in the World

Largest Universities in the World – The Top 6

Universities around the world vary in size and type, offering a wide range of educational opportunities. The diversity in higher education is remarkable from public institutions to private universities, distance learning programs to vocational schools. This article will delve into the topic of the largest universities globally, considering the number of enrolled students. It is important to note that these figures are subject to change over time, and obtaining the most up-to-date data can sometimes be challenging.

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Location: New Delhi, India Number of Students: Over 3,300,000

With a staggering student population exceeding 3.3 million, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) stands as the largest open university in the world. Founded in 1985, IGNOU aims to democratize higher education by providing access to individuals regardless of age, region, or formal qualifications. Through its flexible learning methods, extensive network of study centers, and commitment to inclusive education, IGNOU has solidified its position as a leader in the global education landscape.

National University of Bangladesh Location: Gazipur, Bangladesh Number of Students: Over 2,000,000

Situated in Gazipur, just north of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, the National University of Bangladesh holds a prominent place among the world’s largest universities. Established in 1992, the university comprises approximately 2,300 affiliated colleges. Offering a diverse range of degrees, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in various disciplines, the National University of Bangladesh plays a vital role in advancing higher education in the country.

Anadolu University Location: Eskişehir, Turkey Number of Students: Over 2,000,000

Anadolu University, located in Eskişehir, Turkey, boasts a student population exceeding 2 million, making it one of the largest universities globally. The university’s comprehensive programs span fields such as engineering, science, technology, and management. Anadolu University continues to contribute significantly to the development and advancement of education in Turkey.

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California Community Colleges System Location: California, USA Number of Students: Over 1,800,000

The California Community Colleges System (CCCS) is the largest higher education system in the United States, with a student population of over 1.8 million. This expansive system comprises numerous community colleges spread across California, providing accessible and affordable education to students from diverse backgrounds. With its student-focused environment and a wide array of academic offerings, CCCS continues to play a crucial role in shaping the educational landscape of California.

Islamic Azad University Location: Iran Number of Students: 1,500,000

The Islamic Azad University (IAU) is not only the largest university system in Iran but also one of the largest globally, with an impressive enrollment of 1.5 million students. The university operates numerous campuses within Iran and maintains branches in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Lebanon, and Armenia. IAU offers a wide range of degree programs in various fields and significantly shapes higher education in Iran and beyond.

Allama Iqbal Open University Location: Islamabad, Pakistan Number of Students: 1,027,000

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) stands as Pakistan’s largest distance-learning university, catering to over 1 million students. Founded in 1974, AIOU initially served as the second open university in the world, and the first in Africa and Asia. In addition to its distance learning programs, AIOU now offers face-to-face degree programs in various disciplines. The university’s diverse study programs accommodate the educational needs of a wide-ranging student population.


The world’s largest universities demonstrate the immense scale and impact of higher education on a global scale. Institutions like Indira Gandhi National Open University, the National University of Bangladesh, and Anadolu University continue to provide opportunities for millions of students to pursue their academic aspirations.

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Additionally, the California Community Colleges System, Islamic Azad University, and Allama Iqbal Open University contribute significantly to the educational landscape of their respective regions. As these universities evolve and adapt to changing times, their commitment to inclusive education and academic excellence remains unwavering.

By presenting an overview of the largest universities worldwide, we gain insights into the diverse educational opportunities available to students, fostering a global perspective on higher education.

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