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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The FA Cup

The 1874 FA Cup Final was played between Oxford University A.F.C. and Royal Engineers A.F.C. on 14 March 1874 at Kennington Oval in London. It was the third final of the world's oldest football competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup (known in the modern era as the FA Cup). Both teams had previously reached the final but been defeated by Wanderers F.C. The Engineers had reached the final with comparative ease, scoring sixteen goals and conceding only one in the four previous rounds. Oxford's opponents in the earlier rounds had included two-time former winners Wanderers. The final was decided by two goals from Oxford in the first twenty minutes. Their opponents had spent two weeks training for the match, an innovative concept at the time, but were repeatedly thwarted by Charles Nepean, the Oxford goalkeeper. The Engineers were said to have missed their best back, Lieut. Alfred Goodwyn, who had been posted overseas. The 1874 final was the only occasion upon which Oxford University won the FA Cup; the team made further appearances in the 1877 and 1880 finals, but lost on both occasions. (Full article...)

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Herbert Hope Risley
Sir Herbert Hope Risley (1851–1911) was a British ethnographer and colonial administrator, a member of the Indian Civil Service who conducted extensive studies on the tribes and castes of Bengal. He is notable for the formal application of the caste system to the entire Hindu population of India in the 1901 census, of which he was in charge. Risley was influential in the 20th century revival of the hierarchical varna system as a structure for social order in India. He was born in Buckinghamshire and attended New College, Oxford, prior to joining the Indian Civil Service. He was posted initially to Bengal where his professional duties engaged him in statistical and ethnographic research, and soon developed an interest in anthropology. His decision to indulge these interests curtailed his initial rapid advancement through the ranks of the Service, although he was later appointed Census Commissioner and, shortly before his death in 1911, became Permanent Secretary at the India Office in London. He emphasised the value of fieldwork and anthropometrical studies, in contrast to the reliance on old texts and folklore that had historically been the methodology of Indologists and which was still a significant approach in his lifetime. (more...)

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Somerville's coat of arms

Somerville College (on Woodstock Road to the north of the city centre) was established as "Somerville Hall" in 1879 and took its present name in 1894. One of the first colleges for women at Oxford, it is named after Mary Somerville, a Scottish mathematician and astronomer who died in 1872. It was founded as a college "in which no distinction will be made between students on the ground of their belonging to different religious denominations", in contrast to Lady Margaret Hall which was an Anglican institution. In 1992, Somerville's statutes were amended to make it a mixed sex college; the first male fellows were appointed in 1993, with the first male students admitted in 1994. About half of the approximately 400 undergraduates and 90 postgraduates are men. Alumni include the politicians Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and Shirley Williams, the novelists Vera Brittain, A. S. Byatt and Iris Murdoch, and the scientists Dorothy Hodgkin and Kay Davies. (Full article...)

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Did you know...

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

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A 360-degree view of the main quadrangle of Keble College. Designed by the 19th-century architect William Butterfield, the buildings have attracted considerable praise and criticism for their use of bricks in various colours and patterns, in contrast to the older stone-clad colleges elsewhere in the city.
Credit: David Iliff
A 360-degree view of the main quadrangle of Keble College. Designed by the 19th-century architect William Butterfield, the buildings have attracted considerable praise and criticism for their use of bricks in various colours and patterns, in contrast to the older stone-clad colleges elsewhere in the city.

Template:/box-header Events for 27 June relating to the university, its colleges, academics and alumni. College affiliations are marked in brackets.

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