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, five 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, the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2022, the university had a total consolidated income of £2.78 billion, of which £711.4 million was from research grants and contracts.
Oxford has educated a wide range of notable alumni, including 30 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. 73 Nobel Prize laureates, 4 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...)
The Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship is a scholarship for post-graduate philosophy students at The Queen's College (pictured), with preference given to students of Iranian citizenship or heritage. It was established in 2009 following the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian philosophy student, in the street protests that followed the disputed Iranian presidential election. The college received offers from two anonymous donors to establish a scholarship, followed by many individual donations from members of the public and former students of Queen's. The Iranian embassy in London told the college that the university was involved in a "politically motivated campaign... in sharp contract with its academic objectives". In response, The Times praised the scholarship, saying that the establishment of the scholarship was indeed politically motivated, "and admirably so", given the regime's reaction to her death and continuing problems in Iran. The college has denied that it took a political decision in establishing the scholarship, arguing that refusing the donations would itself have been a political act. Anonymous British diplomatic sources were reported as saying that the scholarship put "another nail into the coffin" of relations between Britain and Iran. (Full article...)
Richard Barrons (born 1959) is a general in the British Army, currently Commander, Joint Forces Command. After studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at The Queen's College, Oxford, his early army career was spent in various staff and field posts, serving his first tour of duty in the Balkans in 1993. After a tour in Northern Ireland, he became a Military Assistant to the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina and then to the Chief of the General Staff. Between 2000 and 2003, Barrons served again in the Balkans, in Afghanistan during the early days of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and in Basra, Iraq. As a brigadier in 2003, Barrons served his second tour in Northern Ireland, this time as a brigade commander. In 2005, he was appointed to Assistant Chief of Staff, Commitments. He was promoted to major general in 2008 and deployed to Iraq for the second time, with responsibility for joint operations. He then served briefly with the NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps before heading an ISAF reintegration unit in Afghanistan to provide incentives for Taliban soldiers to surrender. He later became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations). (Full article...)
St Cross College was established by the university in 1965 to cater for the growing numbers of graduate students and academics who lacked a college affiliation; Wolfson College was set up in the 1960s for this reason as well. St Cross has approximately 400 graduate students at any one time, studying for degrees in all subjects. There is a strong emphasis on international diversity, with 67 % of the students from outside the UK. This is reflected in the college motto Ad quattuor cardines mundi ("to the four corners of the earth"). The Fellowship (led by the Master Sir Mark Jones, formerly Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum) is similarly diverse and represents a broad range of academic disciplines in the sciences and the arts. The college was originally established at a site on St Cross Road, near St Cross Church; it moved to a site owned by Pusey House in the centre of Oxford, on St Giles' Street, in 1981. The buildings, by the Gothic revival architect Temple Moore, date from between 1911 and 1926, with a new wing added in 1993. Alumni include the philosopher Alan Carter, the Olympic gold medallist Tim Foster, the historian R. Joseph Hoffmann, and the writer Hermione Lee. (Full article...)
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