Portal:University of Oxford

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The University of Oxford (formally The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford) is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. It has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back 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 (see "town versus gown"). The two "ancient universities" are frequently jointly referred to as "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 a variety of institutions, including 38 constituent colleges and a full 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. Being a city university, it does not have a main campus and instead its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Most 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.

Oxford is ranked first in the world in the THE World University Rankings, and is consistently ranked as one of the world's best universities by three other university ranking tables. The university operates the world's oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system in Britain. Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 29 Nobel laureates, 27 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. Sixty-nine Nobel Prize winners, 4 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford. Oxford is the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the world's oldest international scholarships.

Selected article

Harold Wilson

The alumni of Jesus College include two Prime Ministers (Harold Wilson of Britain (pictured) and Norman Manley of Jamaica), a Speaker of the House of Commons of England (Sir William Williams), a co-founder of Plaid Cymru (D. J. Williams) and a co-founder of the African National Congress (Pixley ka Isaka Seme). Politicians from Australia (Neal Blewett), New Zealand (Harold Rushworth), Sri Lanka (Lalith Athulathmudali) and the United States (Heather Wilson) also studied at the college. Lawyers include a Lord Chancellor (Lord Sankey) and a Law Lord (Lord du Parcq). Clergy include three Archbishops of Wales (A. G. Edwards, Glyn Simon and Gwilym Owen Williams). Celticists include Sir John Morris-Jones, and historians include David Powel, who published the first printed history of Wales in 1584. The list includes Angus Buchanan (who won the Victoria Cross) and T. E. Lawrence, better known as "Lawrence of Arabia." Record-breaking quadriplegic solo sailor Hilary Lister was a student, as were Magnus Magnusson (presenter of Mastermind), Welsh poet Gwyn Thomas and television weather presenters Kirsty McCabe and Siân Lloyd. (Full article...)

Selected biography

Davis Tarwater

Davis Tarwater (born 1984) is an American swimmer who won gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London for his contributions in the heats of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. He grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and began competitive swimming at age seven. During high school, he set three state swimming records and was named High School Swimmer of the Year in 2002. He attended the University of Michigan, where he was a three-time NCAA national champion and won a Big Ten Medal of Honor for being the school's top student-athlete. Tarwater has represented the United States in the World Championships three times, winning a gold medal as part of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay team in 2009. He has won three individual and five relay national titles, and set an American record in the 200-meter butterfly in 2011. In 2004, 2008 and 2012, he narrowly missed making the Olympic team in the 200-meter butterfly. After failing to make the Olympic team in 2008, he retired from swimming and obtained a Master's degree in Latin American Studies at St Antony's College, Oxford, returning to swimming full-time in 2010. (Full article...)

Selected college or hall

Coat of arms of Wolfson College

Wolfson College, in north Oxford on the banks of the River Cherwell, is a college for postgraduate students (about 600) and fellows. It was established in 1965 as Iffley College with grants from 12 other colleges, but it did not have any premises initially. The college was renamed in honour of Sir Isaac Wolfson, in recognition of his financial contribution to the construction of the college under its first President, Sir Isaiah Berlin. The main building, designed by Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya, was completed in 1974 and were given Grade II listed building status in 2011. There are three quadrangles: the central quadrangle (known as the Berlin Quad), the Tree Quad built around established trees, and the River Quad into which the Cherwell has been diverted to form a punt harbour. Unlike many other Oxford colleges, there is no separate High Table or Common Room for the fellows, and the students and fellows eat and associate together. Alumni include the astronomer Richard Ellis, the novelist Iain Pears and the mathematician Nigel Hitchin. (Full article...)

Selected picture

Magdalen College on May Morning. By tradition, revellers gather outside the college at 6am on 1 May (many having attended all-night balls and parties) and the college choir sings madrigals from the top of Magdalen Tower.
Credit: Romanempire
Magdalen College on May Morning. By tradition, revellers gather outside the college at 6am on 1 May (many having attended all-night balls and parties) and the college choir sings madrigals from the top of Magdalen Tower.

Did you know...

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

Lamington cake

Selected quotation

John Cecil Masterman, Provost of Worcester College 1947–61

Selected panorama

Oxford looking south from the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in the centre of the city – the spire on the left is Christ Church Cathedral and Tom Tower is on the right.
Credit: David Iliff
Oxford looking south from the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in the centre of the city – the spire on the left is Christ Church Cathedral and Tom Tower is on the right.

On this day...

Events for 16 July relating to the university, its colleges, academics and alumni. College affiliations are marked in brackets.

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


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