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

The portrait of Elizabeth I in the hall of Jesus College

The founding Fellows, Scholars and Commissioners of Jesus College were appointed in 1571 by Elizabeth I (college's portrait of her shown). She founded the college at the instigation of a Welsh clergyman, Hugh Price. Her royal charter appointed a Principal, Fellows to educate the Scholars and to run the college (under the overall direction of the Principal) and Commissioners to draw up statutes for the governance of the college. Jesus College was founded to help with the increased numbers of Welsh students at Oxford, and the founding Fellows included a number of individuals with links to Wales. The Commissioners included prominent individuals such as William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the Principal Secretary of State. Whilst the foundation process of the college started in 1571, it took more than fifty years and a further two charters, one in 1589 from Elizabeth and one in 1622 from her successor, James I, to complete the process. One Principal lost a draft copy of the statutes; the next kept the next draft in his study for several years without taking steps to have them confirmed by the Commissioners. It was not until after the 1622 charter that statutes were approved by the Commissioners and the college was fully constituted. (Full article...)

Selected biography

Bernard Bosanquet

Bernard Bosanquet (1877–1937) was an English cricketer. He is best-known for inventing the googly, a delivery designed to deceive the batsman. When bowled, it appears to be a leg break, but after pitching the ball turns in the opposite direction to that which is expected, behaving as an off break instead. Bosanquet played cricket for Eton College and whilst at Oriel College, Oxford. He played with moderate success as a batsman who bowled at fast-medium pace for Oxford University between 1898 and 1900. While playing a tabletop game, Bosanquet devised a new technique for delivering a ball, later christened the "googly", which he steadily practised during his time at Oxford. He then played first-class cricket for Middlesex. Having gone on several minor overseas tours, Bosanquet was selected in 1903 for the Marylebone Cricket Club tour of Australia. During that tour, he made his Test debut for England and although his batting was unsuccessful, he did well as a bowler and troubled all the opposing batsmen. He appeared in seven Test matches for England as an all-rounder. He was chosen as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1905. (more...)

Selected college or hall

Coat of arms of St Anne's College

St Anne's College began life as "The Society of Oxford Home-Students" in 1879, which was renamed "The St Anne's Society" in 1942, finally taking its present name in 1952 when it received a charter. It was originally an institution for women only, but men have been admitted since 1979. It is one of the larger colleges in Oxford, with around 440 undergraduate and 190 postgraduate students, in a roughly equal mix of men and women. The college is to the north of the city centre between Woodstock Road and Banbury Road, on land donated by St John's. Hartland House, built in 1937 and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was the first purpose-built college building; other buildings include the Wolfson Building from the 1960s and the Ruth Deech building (2005), named after a former principal of the college. The current principal is the journalist and television executive Tim Gardam. Alumni include the novelists Penelope Lively and Helen Fielding, the politicians Edwina Currie and Danny Alexander, magazine editor Tina Brown, and Cicely Saunders, pioneer of the hospice movement. The novelist Iris Murdoch was a fellow of the college. (Full article...)

Selected picture

Wadham College was founded in 1610 by Dorothy Wadham using money bequeathed for this purpose by her husband Nicholas Wadham. The main quadrangle, seen here, was built 1610–13 to designs by William Arnold.
Credit: Ukexpat
Wadham College was founded in 1610 by Dorothy Wadham using money bequeathed for this purpose by her husband Nicholas Wadham. The main quadrangle, seen here, was built 1610–13 to designs by William Arnold.

Did you know...

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

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Selected quotation

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 4 December relating to the university, its colleges, academics and alumni. College affiliations are marked in brackets.

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