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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Jesus College, Oxford

The main buildings of Jesus College are located in the centre of Oxford between Turl Street, Ship Street, Cornmarket and Market Street. Jesus College was founded in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I, upon the petition of a Welsh clergyman, Hugh Price. The foundation charter gave to the college the land and buildings of White Hall, a defunct academic hall, to which new buildings were added. The first quadrangle, which included the hall, chapel, and principal's lodgings, was completed between 1621 and 1630; it has been described as "small and pretty" and possessing "a curious charm". Construction of the second quadrangle began in the 1630s and was completed in about 1712. Further buildings were erected in a third quadrangle during the 20th century, including science laboratories, a new library, and additional accommodation. The chapel was extensively altered in 1864; one historian of the college described the work as "ill-considered". The Fellows' Library, restored in 2007, contains 11,000 antiquarian books. A project to build new student and teaching rooms opposite the college was completed in 2010. Eleven parts of the college are listed buildings. (Full article...)

Selected biography

James McCormack (1910–1975) was a United States Army officer and the first Director of Military Applications of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, McCormack also studied at Hertford College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After service in World War II, he was chosen in 1947 as the Director of Military Applications of the Atomic Energy Commission. He took a pragmatic approach to handling the issue of the proper agency to hold custody of the nuclear weapons stockpile, and supported Edward Teller's development of thermonuclear weapons. He was appointed Director of Nuclear Applications at the Air Research and Development Center in 1952, later becoming Deputy Commander of the Air Research and Development Command. After retiring from the military in 1955, McCormack became the first head of the Institute for Defense Analysis, a non-profit research organization. In 1958 he became vice president for industrial and governmental relations at MIT, and originated a proposal for a new space agency, which eventually became NASA. (Full article...)

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Jesus College coat of arms

Jesus College was founded by Elizabeth I on 27 June 1571 at the request of Hugh Price, a leading Welsh clergyman. The college's oldest buildings date from the 16th and early 17th centuries, with additions or changes at intervals thereafter. The life of the college and its finances were disrupted by the English Civil War, but Leoline Jenkins, who became principal after the war in 1661, managed to put the college on a more stable financial footing. The 19th century saw a decline in numbers and academic standards, before reforms of the university led to removal of many of the restrictions placed on the college's fellowships and scholarships, such that the college ceased to be predominantly full of Welsh students and academics. The college is still informally associated with Wales, however. Students' academic achievements rose in the early 20th century as fellows were appointed to teach in new subjects. Women were first admitted in 1974 and now form a large part of the undergraduate population. There are about 475 students; the Principal of the college is Lord Krebs. Former students include Harold Wilson (who was twice British Prime Minister), Norman Manley (Chief Minister of Jamaica), T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), Angus Buchanan (winner of the Victoria Cross) and Viscount Sankey (Lord Chancellor). (Full article...)

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The contemporary approach to the "dreaming spire" taken by the Saïd Business School. The School was established at the University of Oxford in 1996, and the buildings were completed in 2001.
Credit: Anders Sandberg
The contemporary approach to the "dreaming spire" taken by the Saïd Business School. The School was established at the University of Oxford in 1996, and the buildings were completed in 2001.

Did you know...

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

Gordon Brown

Selected quotation

George Farquhar, from Sir Harry Wildair

Selected panorama

The Berlin Quad of Wolfson College is named after the college's first President, Sir Isaiah Berlin. It was given Grade II listed building status in 2011.
Credit: Mtcv
The Berlin Quad of Wolfson College is named after the college's first President, Sir Isaiah Berlin. It was given Grade II listed building status in 2011.