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University of Oxford
The University of Oxford (formally The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford) is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. It has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. 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 (see “town versus gown”). The two “ancient universities” are frequently jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”. The history and influence of the University of Oxford have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Oxford is ranked first in the world in The World University Rankings and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s best universities by three other university ranking tables.
Student Services and Facilities
Oxford meets the needs of its students with a wide range of library services provided by more than 100 libraries, making it the largest library system in the UK.
Student jobs
There are opportunities for a limited amount of paid work within colleges, for which students may need their tutor’s permission.
Colleges may also offer some employment during the summer conference season.
Health services
Each college has a college doctor, linked to a local GP surgery, and many colleges have a nurse available to students.
Counselling services
The university has a professionally staffed and confidential Student Counselling Service. The service offers a range of group and workshops, as well as individual therapy.
Disability support
The university welcomes applications from students with disabilities and has over 3,500 students registered with a disability.
The Disability Advisory Service provides support and advice to students on a wide range of adjustments to facilitate access to courses across the university.
Other services and facilities
Please refer to the university website, resources section, for details of all facilities and student services.
Students’ Union
Oxford University Students’ Union (OUSU) offers a wide range of services including advice, events, activities and campaigns to ensure students get the very best from their university experience.
OUSU represents Oxford’s 23,000-strong student community, within their colleges and the wider university, on undergraduate or postgraduate issues.
Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, with teaching dating back to 1096.
With the arrival of Emo of Friesland in 1190, Oxford recruited its first international student.
Oxford’s first women’s colleges were founded in the nineteenth century. Every college today admits men and women.
Fascinating Fact
The majority of the University of Oxford’s UK undergraduates come from state schools.
The role of the colleges and halls and the University in student life:
  • Almost every student at Oxford is a member of a college. Most colleges admit both graduate and undergraduate students.
  • The undergraduate admissions process is coordinated by the University, but colleges are ultimately responsible for selecting and admitting their undergraduate students. 
  • The University admits graduate students, but once they have been offered a place by the University, graduate students are also selected by a college.
Facilities and resources
  • Colleges provide accommodation, catering, social spaces, pastoral care and other facilities for their students.
  • The University provides centralised student services, including careers and counselling, as well as resources such as libraries, laboratories and museums.
  • Colleges organise tutorial teaching for undergraduates. Tutorials are central to studying at Oxford, giving students an opportunity to discuss and explore their subject in small groups with an expert in the field.
  • The University supervises graduate students and examines graduate theses. 
  • The University determines the content of degree courses and organises lectures, seminars and lab work for both undergraduate and graduate students. 
  • The University sets and marks examinations and awards degrees to students.
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Content accurate at the time of compilation. However, details may be subject to change. You should always confirm details with the provider. Student statistics are sourced from HESA, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2016–17 data.

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