Portal:University of Oxford

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The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. 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' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The university is made up of 38 constituent colleges, and a range of academic departments, which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly tutorials at the colleges and halls, supported by classes, lectures, seminars, and laboratory work provided by university faculties and departments; some postgraduate teaching includes tutorials organised by faculties and departments. It operates the world's oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide.

In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2018, the university had a total income of £2.237 billion, of which £579.1 million was from research grants and contracts.

The university is ranked first globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as of 2019 and is consistently ranked as among the world's top ten universities. It is currently ranked second in all major national league tables, behind Cambridge.

Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 27 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. As of 2019, 69 Nobel Prize winners, 3 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals. Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, which is one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes.

Selected article

The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Known to Oxford scholars as "Bodley" or simply "the Bod", it is one of six legal deposit libraries under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 for works published in the United Kingdom and under Irish Law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. Though University members may borrow some books from dependent libraries (such as the Radcliffe Science Library), the Bodleian operates principally as a reference library and in general documents cannot be removed from the reading rooms. The Bodleian was established in 1602 by Thomas Bodley, who donated some of his own books. The library has expanded considerably since its foundation, and now houses 8 million items on 117 miles (188 km) of shelving. The buildings on the main site include Duke Humphrey's Library (completed 1488), the Radcliffe Camera, the Clarendon Building and the New Bodleian (designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and completed in 1940). (Full article...)

Selected biography

Sir John Stainer

Sir John Stainer (1840–1901) was an English composer and organist whose music, though not generally much performed today (except for The Crucifixion, was very popular during his lifetime. Stainer became a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral when aged ten and was appointed to the position of organist at St Michael's College, Tenbury at the age of sixteen. In 1860 he became organist at Magdalen College, Oxford, studying for his BA degree alongside his duties and later obtaining his doctorate. He improved the Magdalen choir and was highly regarded as an organist. The Vice-Chancellor, Francis Jeune, appointed Stainer in 1861 to the prestigious post of University Organist at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. He had considerable influence on sacred music in Oxford and his reputation spread beyond the confines of the city. In 1872 he was appointed organist at St Paul's Cathedral. When he retired due to his poor eyesight and deteriorating health, he returned to Oxford to become Professor of Music at the university. His work as choir trainer and organist set standards for Anglican church music that are still influential. (Full article...)

Selected college or hall

Coat of arms of St Benet's Hall

St Benet's Hall is one of the Permanent Private Halls (PPHs) of the University of Oxford. Unlike the colleges, which are run by their Fellows, PPHs are run by an outside institution – in the case of St Benet's, Ampleforth Abbey. Established in 1897, it was the first Benedictine foundation in Oxford since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the mid-16th century. Historically its principal function was to allow Benedictine monks to study at Oxford, but nowadays most members are lay undergraduates and there is no requirement that students should be Catholics. It became a PPH in 1918, when it was named after Benedict of Nursia, the founder of the Benedictine order. It is the last Oxford institution to admit only men for undergraduate degrees: women are admitted for postgraduate study, and will be admitted as undergraduates when new housing facilities are obtained. Until 2012, the Master of St Benet's had always been a Benedictine monk; the current Master is Werner Jeanrond, a lay Catholic theologian. Alumni include Cardinal Basil Hume, the philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, the politician Damian Collins and the England rugby international Simon Halliday. (Full article...)

Selected image

Part of the wine cellar of Jesus College – not normally open to students or visitors!
Credit: Jorgeroyan
Part of the wine cellar of Jesus College – not normally open to students or visitors!

Did you know...

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

Aiguilles de Peuterey seen from Val Veny

Selected quotation

Selected panorama

A panoramic view of the First Quadrangle of Jesus College. The hall is in the centre (at the west of the quadrangle), on the right-hand of the passageway leading through into the Second Quadrangle, and lit by three large windows. The Principal's Lodgings are on the north side of the quadrangle, between the hall and the chapel.
Credit: Bencherlite
A panoramic view of the First Quadrangle of Jesus College. The hall is in the centre (at the west of the quadrangle), on the right-hand of the passageway leading through into the Second Quadrangle, and lit by three large windows. The Principal's Lodgings are on the north side of the quadrangle, between the hall and the chapel.


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