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

Thomas Bodley

Bodley's Librarian is the head of the Bodleian Library, the main library at the University of Oxford. Both are named after the founder, Sir Thomas Bodley (pictured). The university's library was established in about 1320 but had declined by the end of the 16th century, so in 1598 Bodley offered to restore it. The first librarian, Thomas James, was selected in 1599, and the Bodleian opened in 1602. Bodley wanted the librarian to be diligent, a linguist, unmarried, and not a parish priest, although James persuaded him to dispense with the last two requirements. In all, 25 people have served as Bodley's Librarian, some less well than others: John Price (who held the post from 1768 to 1813) was accused of "a regular and constant neglect of his duty". The first woman, and the first foreign librarian, to run the Bodleian was Sarah Thomas (2007–13). The current librarian is Richard Ovenden. (Full article...)

Selected biography

Thomas Jefferson Hogg
Thomas Jefferson Hogg (1792–1862) was a British barrister and writer best known for his friendship with the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. They became friends while studying at University College, Oxford, and remained close until Shelley's death. They collaborated on several literary projects at Oxford, culminating in their joint expulsion following the publication of one controversial treatise. Hogg became a barrister and met Jane Williams, who became his common law wife; they had two children together. The family settled in London, although Hogg's legal career meant that he often had to travel away from home. While living in London Hogg made the acquaintance of several well-known writers, and he published literary works of his own, including two entries on Greek literature in the Encyclopædia Britannica. His best-known work was The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, an unfinished biography of the poet, criticised for portraying him negatively. Hogg received an appointment to a government commission on municipal corporations and became a revising barrister. His legal career was moderately successful, but he was often frustrated by his failure to attain his goal of becoming a professor or judge. (more...)

Selected college

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Kellogg College is one of the newest colleges at Oxford. It was established on 1 March 1990 as Rewley House, and changed its name on 1 October 1994 to reflect donations made by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (set up by the American food industrialist Will Keith Kellogg). It accepts only graduate students, mainly on a part-time basis (there are about 150 full-time students compared to 400 part-time students), and operates to support Oxford's lifelong learning provision, as well as continuing education and professional development. It traces its heritage back to efforts made by the university to provide education to those outside the university from the 1870s onwards. The college acquired a site for a new home, in the Norham Manor of north Oxford, in 2004. The President of the college is the economist Jonathan Michie, who is also Director of the university's Department for Continuing Education. (more...)

Selected picture

The sundial pillar in the quadrangle of Corpus Christi College. The college, one of the smallest in terms of student numbers, was founded by Richard Foxe, the Bishop of Winchester, in 1517.  The sundial pillar was added in 1581.
Credit: Godot13
The sundial pillar in the quadrangle of Corpus Christi College. The college, one of the smallest in terms of student numbers, was founded by Richard Foxe, the Bishop of Winchester, in 1517. The sundial pillar was added in 1581.

Did you know...

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

Clement of Dunblane


Selected quotation

Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!

Selected panorama

The Old Building Quadrangle of Hertford College incorporates the lodge, library, chapel, hall, bursary and other administrative buildings. It is the only Hertford quadrangle to have a lawn in the centre, in the traditional college style.
Credit: Kunal Mehta
The Old Building Quadrangle of Hertford College incorporates the lodge, library, chapel, hall, bursary and other administrative buildings. It is the only Hertford quadrangle to have a lawn in the centre, in the traditional college style.

On this day...

Events for 24 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...