Portal:University of Oxford

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Coat of arms of the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford (informally "Oxford University" or "Oxford"), located in the English city of Oxford, is the oldest surviving university in the English-speaking world and is regarded as one of the world's leading academic institutions. Although the exact date of foundation remains unclear, there is evidence of teaching there as far back as the 11th century. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge, where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two "ancient universities" have many common features and are sometimes collectively and colloquially referred to as "Oxbridge". For more than a century, Oxford has served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, which brings students from a number of countries to study at Oxford as postgraduates. (more about the university...)

The colleges of the university, of which there are 38, are autonomous self-governing institutions. All students and teaching staff belong to one of the colleges, or to one of the six Permanent Private Halls (religious foundations that admit students to study at Oxford). The colleges provide tutorials and classes for students, while the university provides lectures and laboratories, and sets the degree examinations. Most colleges accept undergraduate and postgraduate students, although some are for graduate students only; All Souls does not have students, only Fellows, while Harris Manchester is for students over the age of 21. All the colleges now admit both men and women: the last single-sex college, St Hilda's, began to admit men in 2008. The oldest colleges are University, Balliol, and Merton, established between 1249 and 1264, although there is dispute over when each began teaching. The most recent new foundation is Kellogg College, founded in 1990, while the most recent overall is Green Templeton College, formed in 2008 as the result of a merger of two existing colleges. (more about the colleges...)

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Selected article

Ronald Reagan

The first Honorary Fellows of Keble College, Oxford, were elected in 1931, when the college's governing body was given power to elect "distinguished persons" to this position. Under the current statutes of the college, Honorary Fellows cannot vote at meetings of the Governing Body and do not receive financial reward, but they receive "such other privileges as the Governing Body may determine." Those elected have included college alumni (for example, the Pakistan cricketer and politician Imran Khan, elected 1988), benefactors (for example Sir Anthony O'Reilly, elected 2002), and individuals of distinction without academic links to the college such as former U.S. President Ronald Reagan (pictured) (elected 1994) and the poet Sir John Betjeman (elected 1972). The three longest-serving Honorary Fellows are Sir John Forsdyke (Principal Librarian of the British Museum; appointed 1937, died 1979), Sir Thomas Armstrong (conductor; appointed 1955, died 1994) and Harry Carpenter (Warden of Keble, later Bishop of Oxford; appointed 1960, died 1993). (Full article...)

Selected biography

Izzy Westbury

Izzy Westbury (born 1990) is an international cricketer who has represented the Netherlands national women's cricket team in one One Day International (ODI) in 2005. She has also been part of the England women's academy. A right-handed batsman and off break bowler, she has played for Somerset women since 2007. Beginning her career in the Netherlands, Westbury progressed quickly within the national side, appearing at both the 2004 and 2006 Women's European Under-21 Championships, and made her senior international debut at the 2005 Women's European Championship. During this tournament, she also made her only ODI appearance, playing for the Netherlands against Ireland. She moved to England in 2006 to study, reading physiology at Hertford College, Oxford. She joined Somerset for the 2007 season, where she has played ever since. In 2010, she was selected as part of the England women's academy, travelling to India for the High Performance Camp. She won her blue for hockey by playing in the varsity match against Cambridge University in 2010, and was President of the Oxford Union in 2011. (Full article...)

Selected college or hall

Coat of arms of University College

University College, founded by William of Durham in 1249, is one of the oldest of the Oxford colleges. Claims that it was founded by King Alfred the Great in 872 are no longer taken seriously by historians. It is one of the largest colleges in terms of student numbers, with about 420 undergraduates and 150 postgraduates. Univ, as it is generally known, has its main entrance on High Street, between Merton Street and Magpie Lane. The medieval buildings were replaced by the main quadrangle in the 17th century, after delays caused by the English Civil War. The Radcliffe Quadrangle was added in 1719. Women have been admitted as students since 1979. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley studied at the college but was expelled for writing The Necessity of Atheism; he is now commemorated by the Shelley Memorial. Two British prime ministers, Clement Attlee (student) and Harold Wilson (fellow) were members of the college, as were the American president Bill Clinton and the Australian prime minister Bob Hawke. Other alumni include the scientist Stephen Hawking, the writer C. S. Lewis and the poet Andrew Motion. (Full article...)

Selected picture

John Henry Newman, a student at Trinity College and then a fellow of Oriel College, was a leading religious figure in the 19th century; he was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.
Credit: Sir John Everett Millais (1829–1896)
John Henry Newman, a student at Trinity College and then a fellow of Oriel College, was a leading religious figure in the 19th century; he was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

Did you know...

Articles from Wikipedia's "Did You Know" archives about the university and people associated with it:

Selected quotation

Selected panorama

Oxford from Magdalen College, looking west up the High Street
Credit: Oliver Woodford
Oxford from Magdalen College, looking west up the High Street

On this day...

Events for 25 April relating to the university, its colleges, academics and alumni. College affiliations are marked in brackets.

More anniversaries in April and the rest of the year...
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