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Oxford is a city, and the county town of Oxfordshire, in South East England. The city has a population of just under 165,000, with 151,000 living within the District boundary. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through Oxford and meet south of the city centre. For a distance of some 10 miles (16 km) along the river, in the vicinity of Oxford, the Thames is known as The Isis.

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.


Oxford is an historic and unique institution. As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, it can lay claim to nine centuries of continuous existence. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.

In 1188, the historian, Gerald of Wales, gave a public reading to the assembled Oxford dons and in 1190 the arrival of Emo of Friesland, the first known overseas student, set in train the University's tradition of international scholarly links. By 1201, the University was headed by a magister scolarum Oxonie, on whom the title of Chancellor was conferred in 1214, and in 1231 the masters were recognized as a universitas or corporation.

In the 13th century, rioting between town and gown (townspeople and students) hastened the establishment of primitive halls of residence. These were succeeded by the first of Oxford's colleges, which began as medieval 'halls of residence' or endowed houses under the supervision of a Master. University, Balliol and Merton Colleges, established between 1249 and 1264, are the oldest.

Less than a century later, Oxford had achieved eminence above every other seat of learning, and won the praises of popes, kings and sages by virtue of its antiquity, curriculum, doctrine and privileges. In 1355, Edward III paid tribute to the University for its invaluable contribution to learning; he also commented on the services rendered to the state by distinguished Oxford graduates.

Early on Oxford became a centre for lively controversy, with scholars involved in religious and political disputes. John Wyclif, a 14th-century Master of Balliol, campaigned for a bible in the vernacular, against the wishes of the papacy. In 1530, Henry VIII forced the University to accept his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. During the Reformation in the 16th century, the Anglican churchmen Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley were tried for heresy and burnt at the stake in Oxford. The University was Royalist in the Civil War, and Charles I held a counter-Parliament in Convocation House.

In the late 17th century, the Oxford philosopher John Locke, suspected of treason, was forced to flee the country. The 18th century, when Oxford was said to have forsaken port for politics, was also an era of scientific discovery and religious revival. Edmund Halley, Professor of Geometry, predicted the return of the comet that bears his name; John and Charles Wesley's prayer meetings laid the foundations of the Methodist Society.

Radcliffe Camera, 1814 (Picture: Bodleian Library)The University assumed a leading role in the Victorian era, especially in religious controversy. From 1833 onwards The Oxford Movement sought to revitalise the Catholic aspects of the Anglican Church. One of its leaders, John Henry Newman, became a Roman Catholic in 1845 and was later made a Cardinal. In 1860 the new University Museum was the scene of a famous debate between Thomas Huxley, champion of evolution, and Bishop Wilberforce.

From 1878, academic halls were established for women, who became members of the University in 1920. Since 1974, all but one of Oxford's 39 colleges have changed their statutes to admit both men and women. St Hilda's remains the only women's college.

During the 20th century, Oxford added to its humanistic core a major new research capacity in the natural and applied sciences, including medicine. In so doing, it has enhanced and strengthened its traditional role as an international focus for learning and a forum for intellectual debate

The University of Oxford is one of the most famous universities in the world. Leading academics come to Oxford from all over the world.

The University of Oxford is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the Coimbra Group (a network of leading European universities), the League of European Research Universities, International Alliance of Research Universities and is also a core member of the Europaeum. Academically, Oxford is consistently ranked in the world's top 10 universities. For more than a century, it has served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, which brings highly accomplished students from a number of countries to study at Oxford as postgraduates.

The list of distinguished scholars at the University of Oxford is long and includes many who have made major contributions to British politics, the sciences, medicine, and literature. More than forty Nobel laureates and more than fifty world leaders have been affiliated with the University of Oxford.

1.b. Organisation

As a collegiate university, Oxford's structure can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it. The university is essentially a federation: it comprises over forty self-governing colleges and halls, along with a central administration headed by the Vice-Chancellor. The academic departments are located centrally within this structure; they are not affiliated to any particular college. The departments perform research, provide facilities for teaching and research, organise lectures and seminars, and determine the syllabi and guidelines for the teaching of students. Colleges then organise the tutorial teaching for their undergraduates. The members of an academic department are spread around many colleges; though certain colleges do have subject strengths (e.g. Nuffield College as a centre for the social sciences), they are the exception, and most colleges will have a broad mix of academics and students from a diverse range of subjects. Facilities such as libraries are provided on all these levels: by the central university (the Bodleian), by the departments (individual departmental libraries, such as the English Faculty Library), and by colleges (all of which maintain a multi-discipline library for the use of their members). 

1.c. Welcome from the Chancellor

Welcome to the University of Oxford. People from all walks of life and all parts of the world have been visiting us for nine centuries and we are delighted that via this website you are joining that long tradition. Oxford was the first University in the English-speaking world. Our aim is to remain at the forefront of centres of learning, teaching and research. 

Oxford's remarkable global appeal continues to grow. Students from more than a hundred and forty countries and territories make up a student population of over twenty thousand. Over a third comes from outside the United Kingdom.

2. Museums, Collections and Libraries

Oxford has the largest university library system in the UK, with over 100 libraries.

Over 1.1 million people visit the University's six museums and collections every year, including over 78,000 children on school visits.

2.a. Museums and Collections

Oxford's museums and collections are world renowned. They provide an important resource for scholars around the world, and welcome visits from members of the public. More than a million people visit the University's museums and collections every year.

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology houses the University's extensive collections of art and antiquities, ranging back over four millennia. Established in 1683, it is the oldest museum in the UK and one of the oldest in the world. Free admission.

University Museum of Natural History houses the University's scientific collections of zoological, entomological, palaeontological and mineral specimens. With 4.5 million specimens it is the largest collection of its type outside of the national collections. Free admission.  

Pitt Rivers Museum holds one of the world's finest collections of anthropology and archaeology, with objects from every continent and from throughout human history. Free admission.

Museum of the History of Science is housed in the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. It contains the finest collection of historic scientific instruments from around the globe. Free admission.

Bate Collection of Musical Instruments celebrates the history and development of the musical instruments of the Western Classical tradition, from the medieval period to present day.

University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain, and forms the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world. Admission charge.

Harcourt Arboretum is home to informal gardens, walks and rides. Situated six miles south of Oxford, it is an integral part of the plant collection of the Botanic Garden. Admission charge.

Christ Church Picture Gallery houses an important collection of 300 Old Master paintings and almost 2,000 drawings in a purpose-built gallery of considerable architectural interest. Admission charge.


2.b. Libraries

Oxford meets the needs of its students, academics and the international research community with a wide range of library services provided by more than 100 libraries, making it the largest university library system in the UK.

Oxford University Library Services OULS is the integrated library service of the University of Oxford. Established in 2000, it comprises nearly 40 libraries. There are major research libraries as well as libraries attached to faculties, departments and other institutions of the University. The combined collections of OULS number more than 11 million printed items, in addition to vast quantities of materials in many other formats.

Bodleian Library This is the University's main research library and is the second largest in the UK after the British Library. It has 120 miles of occupied shelving, 29 reading rooms and 2,490 places for readers.

College Libraries Every College has its own library, often consisting of a modern, working library and older collections. Further information can be found on individual college websites.

SOLO - search service for library collections. SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) is now the main search engine for library collections.  SOLO offers a one-stop search and delivery solution for quickly accessing Oxford's main library information resources regardless of type, format, or location. These include OLIS (Oxford's union catalogue of printed and electronic books), ORA (Oxford University Research Archive), OxLIP+ (currently over 800 e-resource databases) and OU E-Journals (over 28,000 e-journals).  Search results are presented with a wide array of additional links to improve resource discovery. The Single-Sign-On will offer easy access to subscription resources, whether on or off campus.

Oxford Libraries Information System All Oxford libraries participate in the online catalogue (OLIS). It contains records for over five million of the estimated ten million titles held by libraries associated with Oxford University.

E-resources University libraries share an extensive range of e-resources across all subject areas.

Oxford Digital Library Oxford is actively involved in developing electronic information, including electronic text archives and image databases. Through the Oxford Digital Library, the University is a leader in the digitisation of manuscripts and other library material.

Oxford University Libraries A-Z The University also houses many departmental and museum libraries, such as the Museum of the History of Science Library and Oxford University Museum of Natural History Library - Hope Library.



The Main Library houses our lending collection of modern books, journals, CDs and DVDs. We add over 1,000 new items each year, often within 24 hours of receiving a student's request. We provide multiple copies of key textbooks in many subjects, and aim to update the collections with the latest editions as soon as they appear. Loan allocations are generous and books may be borrowed for an entire term or vacation. DVDs are available for overnight loan or may be watched on laptop computers in the library.

The Law Library has extensive stocks of law reports, journals and textbooks. Many further law resources are available online.

Manuscripts and Early Printed Books: The College's collection of manuscripts, some dating from the 12th century, is housed in the Bodleian Library. Most of our early printed books are kept in the College. The library participates in the Early Printed Books Project, as a result of which a large proportion of our historic collection is included in the OLIS catalogue. Visiting scholars may consult these books by prior arrangement with the College Librarian.

3.The University year

3.a. The Boat Race

Oxford won the 155th Boat Race (29th March 2009) by three-and-a-half lengths taking exactly 17 minutes.

The first boat race was the result of a challenge issued to Oxford by Cambridge in 1829. It was rowed on the Thames at Henley. Oxford wore dark blue jerseys, later to become the Oxford blue, and Cambridge donned pink sashes. Oxford were the first winners. The second race was staged in 1836 when Cambridge adopted their own light blue, and was rowed on a five and three-quarter mile stretch of the Thames between Westminster and Putney.

Today the 4.5 mile course, which was first used in 1845, stretches from Putney to Mortlake. The race is held in March or early April, after the captain of the previous year's losing team issues a formal challenge. The average time taken to complete the course is 20 minutes, but Cambridge holds the record for the fastest time of 16 minutes and 19 seconds, achieved in 1998.

Cambridge sank in 1859 and 1978, Oxford in 1925 and 1951, and both boats went down in 1912 when the race was started in a virtual gale. The most recent sinking occurred in 1984, when Cambridge sank after ramming a barge before they were even under starter's orders. The remains of the boat now have pride of place in a Cambridge public house, and have been signed by all crew members.
Oxford made history in 1981 with the selection of the first female cox, Sue Brown. She coxed crews to victory in both 1981 and 1982.

The current score stands at 79 to Cambridge, 75 to Oxford, with one controversial dead heat in 1877. There have been other very close results: Oxford won by a canvas in 1952 and 1980, and the 2003 race was won by just 12 inches. The race is the most famous of the Varsity Matches and has a huge audience on television, radio and online. 7.2 million people in the UK alone tuned into the 2006 Race, and on average more than 100 million watch the race worldwide each year. Around a quarter of a million people are estimated to watch the race from the riverbank.

Varsity Football Match

3.b.The Varsity Football match

In 2009, Oxford won the 125th Varsity match 1-0.

The Varsity Football match is one of the oldest regular fixtures in world football, having been played every year since 1873 (with a break for the First and Second World Wars).

The first Varsity match resulted in a 1-0 victory for Oxford, with England international Robert Vidal scoring the only goal. In 1964 Bobby Robson managed the Oxford team to a 3-1 victory at Wembley. The current running total for the matches won stands at 48 to Oxford and 48 to Cambridge, with 28 draws.

Those who compete in the Varsity match receive the much sought-after Full Blue in addition to playing a part in the history of one of football's longest-running rivalries.

4. College Life and Facilities

4.a. Accommodation and Food

The College has 360 single study bedrooms in total. Over 250 are on the main site and the others are at our annexe in North Oxford, Stavertonia. There are also 25 flats for couples and small families. Most rooms use shared facilities. There are three fully accessible rooms and several others with small adaptations for disabled people. Accommodation is allocated by the Domestic Bursar, in accordance with our stated policy.

Meals are served daily in Hall. Breakfast, lunch and early supper (Informal Hall) are self-service. Formal Hall (served dinner) is offered 6 times a week. All meals are optional.

The accommodation at Stavertonia is self-catering, although residents may take as many meals as they wish in College, if they prefer to do so. There is some self-catering accommodation on the main site, mainly in graduate accommodation.

4.b. Graduate Accommodation

Space permitting, first-year graduate students are typically housed on the main College site, in the heart of the historic city: many of the rooms are in houses in Merton Street, without doubt the most beautiful street in Oxford.

4.c.Catalogues and other resources

College members can access our user-friendly online catalogue via the college intranet, UnivWeb, allowing them to check whether a book is available without having to come in to the library. Other computers provide constant access to OLIS, the union catalogue of the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries, as well as to an extensive range of bibliographic databases, electronic journals and other e-resources via OxLIP (access is limited to within Oxford University). Desks in both libraries are wired for laptop use, and there are plans to introduce a wireless network in the near future.

4.d.Disabled Students at University

University actively supports its students with disabilities. It has the good fortune of being in receipt of a generous benefaction from an Old Member of the College for the purpose of assisting disabled students over and above what can be provided by the Local Authorities or equivalent, and by the University's Disability Office. The College has some excellent accommodation that has been adapted for the needs of physically disabled students.

What happens if you think that you may have a disability that has not previously been diagnosed?

If you think that you may have a disability (e.g. a specific learning difficulty such as Asperger's syndrome or dyslexia) you may wish to be assessed by a University-approved educational psychologist or other appropriate specialist. Information and advice about approved Chartered Educational Psychologists and other professionals is available from the University Disability Office. It will probably be useful to speak first to a tutor who will be familiar with your work, or to your GP, the Disabled Persons' Officer, or the Senior Tutor. Each of these people can give you advice about whether they think that you have good reasons to see a specialist. The University offers some financial support towards the cost of a specialist assessment, provided that you have proof of (e.g.) dyslexic tendencies in a letter of support from a GP, a tutor or from the College.

5.Jobs and Vacancies at Oxford University

Join us and you will find yourself in a vibrant, open-minded and friendly environment that is sure to inspire. Our aim is to provide job satisfaction and all the benefits and opportunities you'd expect from one of the region's largest and most prestigious employers.

Use the following links to view current vacancies:

Clinical/Medical - clinical academic appointments, normally based within an NHS hospital.

Academic - professorships and lecturerships.

Academic-related - professional administration and general management, including specialisms such as finance and personnel, press and PR and qualified librarians.

Research - research fellows and assistants, scientists, programmers, engineers.

Technicians, Nurses - scientific and maintenance technicians, IT support, conservators, research nurses, radiographers, scientific officers, technical posts within clinical departments.

Clerical and Library - library assistants, secretaries, receptionists, finance assistants, general clerical and admin staff, administrative support posts within clinical departments.

Parks, Gardens and Ancillary - gardeners, sports grounds staff, museum attendants, skilled and unskilled maintenance staff, security staff, caretakers, porters, cleaners and catering assistants.

College Vacancies - the colleges at Oxford University advertise their jobs separately.

6.Ten reasons to apply to Oxford

Oxford University seeks to attract the best and brightest students.  Here are some of the reasons why you might like to apply.


Oxford University has a world-class reputation for academic excellence. For information about undergraduate courses available, and how to make your choice, please see the course list.


Oxford University is accessible to all students of talent and ability, whatever their background. The generous Oxford Opportunity Bursary ensures that finance should not be a barrier to any UK student who wants to apply to Oxford. For further details please read more about student funding.


Oxford is one of the few universities in the world that bases its teaching on the tutorial system, which means more individual attention and teaching from your tutors, tailored to your learning needs. See our pages on studying at Oxford for more information.


Many Oxford tutors are international experts in their chosen fields. This engagement with research and scholarship enables students to have an enhanced understanding of their subject discipline.


College life is one of the University's greatest assets, since a close college community provides a friendly and welcoming home for students who are living away for the first time. Students soon get to know each other, and tutors get to know students individually, enabling them to respond to their individual academic needs. For information on Oxford Colleges please refer to college information


Students have access to resources across the University: unrivalled libraries, sports facilities, laboratories, language-learning opportunities, computer equipment and music facilities. Read our pages on facilities and services for more information.


Oxford University provides a diverse study environment: undergraduate students represent over 130 nationalities as well as all nations and regions of the UK.  We have specific admissions information for international students.


With clubs, societies and events organised by both colleges and the wider University, as well as a vibrant city nightlife, Oxford offers opportunities for whatever social life you may be looking for. See some examples.


Most colleges offer student accommodation for two years of your course, and many can offer accommodation for every year of your course, saving you the trouble and expense of privately rented accommodation. For more information on where Oxford students live please see our accommodation pages.


Oxford University has an excellent graduate employment record. Students have the use of the comprehensive careers service and enter a huge range of careers. Employers recognise that Oxford's rigorous academic degree courses give graduates many transferable skills, as well as breadth and depth in their chosen subject.


I have chosen to write about Oxford University because Oxford is an historic and unique institution and also oldest English speaking university in the world.

My paper is devided into 8 chapters and each chapter deals with an important aspect of this topic.

First chapter shows that there is no clear date of foundation,but teaching existed at Oxford in same form in 1906.As a collegiate university Oxford's structure can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it.The university comprises over forty self-government colleges and halls,along with a central administration headed by the Vice-Chancellor which is elected by the Convocation,an holds office until death.

The second chapter deals with Oxford Museums,Collections and Libraries.Oxford maintains a number of museums and galleries in addition to it's libraries.We can remember "The Ashmolean Museum"which is the oldest museum in the UK and the oldest university museum in the world. Oxford's central research library is the"Bodleian" which is the second-largest library in the UK,after the British Library.

The third chapter emphasis The University Year. The academis year at Oxford University runs from October to June.Major events which take place during the academic year include: The Boat Race and Varsity Football Match.The Boat Race is a rowing race in England between Oxford University and Cambrige University.It is rowed annualy each spring on the Thames in London.The Varsity Football Match is one of the oldest regular fixtures in world of football,having been played every year since 1873.

The fourth chapter focuses on College life and Facilities.The College has 360 single study bedrooms ,there are also 25 flats for couples and small families.College members can acces the online catalogue via the college internet.Also university actively support its students with disabilities and offer excellent accomodation.

The fifth chapter mentions Jobs and Vacancies at Oxford University.The College has an equal opportunities code of practice to make sure that man and women,people of different races,and those with disabilities are all treated fairly.Some departments use an application form.and other ask CV.You will find yourself in a vibrant open-minded and friendly environment that is sure to inspire.

The last chapter shows reasons to apply to Oxford.The College seeks to attract the best and brightest students.Oxford will give you the best education you could hope for.

In conclusion Oxford University is one of the famous university in the world.

8. Bibliography



www.Ox.ac.uk/about the university/.com



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