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Number of universities worldwide

It is difficult to give an exact number as the number of universities worldwide is constantly changing due to new universities being established and others closing down. However, according to the World Higher Education Database (WHED), there were approximately 19,400 universities and other institutions of higher education worldwide in 2020. This number includes both public and private institutions, as well as universities offering online and distance education. It is important to note that this number is constantly changing and may not include some institutions that are not officially recognized by governments or other accrediting bodies.

The World Higher Education Database (WHED) is a comprehensive and authoritative database of information on higher education institutions worldwide. It is developed and maintained by the International Association of Universities (IAU) and is widely used by students, educators, researchers, and policymakers around the world.

The WHED contains detailed information on over 20,000 higher education institutions in more than 190 countries. This includes information on the institution's name, location, type, accreditation status, language of instruction, fields of study, academic programs, and contact information.

In addition to basic institutional information, the WHED also provides information on national education systems, quality assurance agencies, and higher education legislation in different countries. The database is regularly updated to ensure that the information is current and accurate.

The WHED is available online and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. There is a fee to access the full database, but a limited version is available for free. The database is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in higher education worldwide, and it is widely recognized as the most comprehensive source of information on higher education institutions around the world.


Merely appearing on this list does not indicate endorsement by ECLBS, nor does it imply any evaluation, approval, or assessment of the caliber of the article by the ECLBS Board of Directors...

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