European cultures have been colouring their existence with the beauty of Art from early medieval times and today Europe is widely viewed as the World capital of Art. It's no suprise then that academically too, Europe has a reputation as one of the best places in which to study Art History. In the UK, Oxford University (15) places highly in the 2016 QS World University rankings, and is well known for offering History of Art courses which embrace items beyond ‘Fine art’ or ‘Western art’. History of Art at Oxford aims to arrive at an historical understanding of the origins of artefacts within specific world cultures, asking about the circumstances of their making, their makers, the media used, the functions of the images and objects, their critical reception and – not least – their subsequent history. As well as educating students in the historical interpretation of artefacts in their cultural contexts, a degree in History of Art provides skills in the critical analysis of objects through the cultivation of ‘visual literacy’. Many European Higher Education Institutes are also highly rated for their courses in the History of Art, including EHEVF 2016 India and South Asia participants, Bristol University and the Estonian Academy of Arts - as well as The Royal Academy of Art in the Netherlands, The Royal University College of Fine Arts in Sweden, and the Academy of Fine Arts in the Czech Republic. The highest ranked institution in the world according to the 2016 QS rankings is the Royal College of Art in the UK.