One of the oldest universities in the world is the University of Timbuktu, now in Mali. In the 12th century, the University had about 25,000 students in a city that had 100, 000 people. The ancient mosques, tombs and monuments of the university in Timbuktu comprised the Masajid of Djinguereber, the Masajid of Sidi Yahya, and the Masajid of Sankore.
The university curriculum included different degrees of learning called primary, secondary and superior as well as what they called the Circle of Knowledge. Other subjects offered included literature, science, mathematics and medicine. Timbuktu mystified European explorers for centuries. In 1824, the Paris-based Société de Géographie offered a 10 000-franc prize for the first European to find Timbuktu. (The legacy of Timbuktu, Africa’s oldest university, by Maidei Magirosa)