UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, OXFORD ENGLAND
The University of Oxford does not have a clear date of foundation. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form in 1096. The University grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. In post-nominals the University of Oxford is typically abbreviated as Oxon. (from the Latin Oxoniensis), although Oxf is sometimes used in official publications.
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 often jointly referred to as Oxbridge. In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, the two universities have a long history of rivalry with each other.
Most undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly essay-based tutorials at self-governing colleges and halls, supported by lectures and laboratory classes organised by University faculties and departments. League tables consistently list Oxford as one of the UK’s best universities, and Oxford consistently ranks in the world’s top 10.
The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the Coimbra Group, the League of European Research Universities, International Alliance of Research Universities and is also a core member of the Europaeum. For more than a century, it has served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, which brings students from a number of countries to study at Oxford as postgraduates or a second bachelor’s degree.
As a collegiate university, Oxford’s structure can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it. The university is a federation: it comprises over forty self-governing colleges and halls, along with a central administration headed by the Vice-Chancellor. The academic departments are located centrally within this structure; they are not affiliated with any particular college. Departments provide facilities for teaching and research, determine the syllabi and guidelines for the teaching of students, perform research, and deliver lectures and seminars. Colleges arrange the tutorial teaching for their undergraduates. The members of an academic department are spread around many colleges; though certain colleges do have subject alignments (e.g. Nuffield College as a centre for the social sciences), these are exceptions, and most colleges will have a broad mix of academics and students from a diverse range of subjects. Facilities such as libraries are provided on all these levels: by the central university (the Bodleian), by the depart