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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Keble College

The Council of Keble College, Oxford ran the college (in conjunction with the Warden) from its foundation in 1868 until 1952. The council – a group of between nine and twelve men – has been described as "an external Council of ecclesiastical worthies", as most of the members came from outside the college, and many were not otherwise linked to the university. Keble was established by public subscription as a memorial to the clergyman John Keble. The first council members were drawn from the committee whose work had raised the money to build the college. By keeping matters relating to religion and the college's internal affairs in the hands of the council, the founders hoped to maintain Keble's religious position as "a bastion of 'orthodox' Anglican teaching" against the opponents of Tractarianism. In total, 54 men served on the Council, 11 of whom were college alumni; in 1903, Arthur Winnington-Ingram (Bishop of London) became the first former Keble student to join the council. It ceased to exist after 9 April 1952, when new statutes of the college placed full management in the hands of the Warden and Fellows. (Full article...)

Selected biography

The title page of a 1634 version of Hues' Tractatus de globis in the collection of the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
Robert Hues (1553–1632) was an English mathematician and geographer. He graduated from St Mary Hall, Oxford, in 1578 before making observations of the variations of the compass off the coast of Newfoundland. He later travelled with Thomas Cavendish on a circumnavigation of the globe, taking the opportunity to measure latitudes. In 1589, Hues went on the Earl of Cumberland's raiding expedition to the Azores to capture Spanish galleons. On a further circumnavigation, Hues made astronomical observations while in the South Atlantic, and also observed the variation of the compass there and at the Equator. In 1594, Hues published his discoveries in Tractatus de globis et eorum usu (Treatise on Globes and their Use) which was written to encourage English sailors to use practical astronomical navigation. He became a servant of Thomas Grey, 15th Baron Grey de Wilton, staying with him when Grey was imprisoned in the Tower of London for participating in the Bye Plot. Following Grey's death in 1614, Hues attended upon Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, when he was confined in the Tower. He died in Oxford in 1632 and was buried in Christ Church Cathedral. (more...)

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Trinity College coat of arms

Trinity College, in the centre of Oxford on Broad Street alongside Balliol College, was established in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope. It stands on the site of Durham College, founded in 1286 for monks from Durham Cathedral; the east range of Durham Quad, containing the Old Library, dates from 1421 and is the only major surviving building from Durham College. Pope, who had no surviving children, founded the college in the hope that he would be remembered in the prayers of its students; his remains are still encased beside the chapel altar. Trinity has four major quadrangles, a large lawn and gardens, but despite its size it is relatively small in student numbers, with about 300 undergraduates and 125 postgraduates. Alumni include the theologian John Henry Newman, the politician Pitt the Elder, the poet Laurence Binyon, Lord Goddard (Lord Chief Justice 1946–58), and the humorist Miles Kington. (Full article...)

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Thomas More, who studied at Canterbury College, Oxford, was a leading counsellor to Henry VIII and served as High Steward of the University. He was imprisoned and beheaded in 1535 after he had fallen out of favour with the king over his refusal to sign the Act of Supremacy 1534.
Credit: Hans Holbein the Younger
Thomas More, who studied at Canterbury College, Oxford, was a leading counsellor to Henry VIII and served as High Steward of the University. He was imprisoned and beheaded in 1535 after he had fallen out of favour with the king over his refusal to sign the Act of Supremacy 1534.

Did you know...

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

Nuffield College, Oxford

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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 5 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...