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The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early 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. The two English ancient universities share many common features and are jointly referred to as Oxbridge.

The university is made up of thirty-nine semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford consists of lectures, small-group tutorials at the colleges and halls, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further tutorials provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

Oxford operates the world's oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the university had a total income of £2.45 billion, of which £624.8 million was from research grants and contracts.

Oxford has educated a wide range of notable alumni, including 28 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals. Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes. (Full article...)

Selected article

The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Known to Oxford scholars as "Bodley" or simply "the Bod", it is one of six legal deposit libraries under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 for works published in the United Kingdom and under Irish Law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. Though University members may borrow some books from dependent libraries (such as the Radcliffe Science Library), the Bodleian operates principally as a reference library and in general documents cannot be removed from the reading rooms. The Bodleian was established in 1602 by Thomas Bodley, who donated some of his own books. The library has expanded considerably since its foundation, and now houses 8 million items on 117 miles (188 km) of shelving. The buildings on the main site include Duke Humphrey's Library (completed 1488), the Radcliffe Camera, the Clarendon Building and the New Bodleian (designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and completed in 1940). (Full article...)

Selected biography

Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale (born 1973) is an English actress. After some minor television roles, she made her film debut in Much Ado About Nothing (1993) while still a student at New College, Oxford. After leaving Oxford without completing her degree in Modern Languages, she appeared in British costume dramas such as Cold Comfort Farm, Emma and The Golden Bowl, in addition to various stage and radio productions. She began to seek film work in the United States in the late 1990s and, after appearing in some small-scale dramas, she had a breakout year in 2001 with starring roles in the war epic Pearl Harbor and the romantic comedy Serendipity. She built on this success with appearances in the bio-pic The Aviator and the comedy Click. Appearances in action films include Underworld, Van Helsing, and Contraband. She was nominated for a Critic's Choice Award in 2008 for her performance in Nothing but the Truth. Born and raised in London, Beckinsale is the child of actor Richard Beckinsale (1947–1979) and actress Judy Loe. She had an eight-year relationship with Welsh actor Michael Sheen from 1995 until 2003; they have one daughter. She married American film director Len Wiseman in 2004 and they live in Brentwood, Los Angeles. (more...)

Selected college or hall

Coat of arms of Hertford College

Hertford College can trace its history back to 1282 as "Hart Hall", one of the university's academic halls which was linked to Exeter College for many years, but it does not have a continuous history. During the 18th century, the institution suffered a severe decline leading to its dissolution, and the site and buildings were taken over by Magdalen Hall (founded 1448), another academic hall associated with Magdalen College. Hertford was established as an independent foundation in 1874 by Act of Parliament, with the help of a benefaction from the banker Thomas Baring. Some of the buildings date from the 17th century, but others (including the "Bridge of Sighs" across New College Lane) were built by the architect Thomas Graham Jackson in the late 19th century. The college is in Catte Street, opposite the Bodleian Library. It has about 600 students (undergraduates and postgraduates), and the Principal is the historian John Landers. It was one of the first of the men's colleges to admit women. Fellows of the college include the historian Roy Foster and the philosopher Peter Millican, and alumni of the college or its predecessor institutions include the Prime Minister Henry Pelham, the newsreader Fiona Bruce, the archeologist Bernard Ashmole and the American judge Byron White. (Full article...)

Selected image

Stained glass in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The chapel of Christ Church also serves as a cathedral for the Diocese of Oxford, a unique combination of university chapel and cathedral.
Credit: Akoliasnikoff
Stained glass in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The chapel of Christ Church also serves as a cathedral for the Diocese of Oxford, a unique combination of university chapel and cathedral.

Did you know

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

David Lloyd George in 1911

Selected quotation

Mallard Song, sung once a century at All Souls College

Selected panorama

Green Templeton College in the snow; the building in the centre is the Radcliffe Observatory, now part of the college.
Credit: Craig Webber
Green Templeton College in the snow; the building in the centre is the Radcliffe Observatory, now part of the college.

On this day

Events for 24 October relating to the university, its colleges, academics and alumni. College affiliations are marked in brackets.

More anniversaries in October and the rest of the year


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