University of Oxford

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.

But it is not just longevity and global reach that mark Oxford out and give the University its special character. There is also our distinctive college and tutorial system which underpins a culture of close academic supervision and careful personal support for our outstanding students. Our colleges and halls of which there are more than forty also help to foster the intense interdisciplinary approach that inspires much of the outstanding research achievement of the University and makes Oxford a leader in so many fields. It is an approach especially suited to confronting many of the hugely complex challenges that face us all. That is why we believe that the greater we can make Oxford, the greater its contribution to the well-being of the world you and I share.

- The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, CH

Oxford at a glance

  • There are over 22,000 students at Oxford, including 11,772 undergraduates and 9,850 postgraduates.
  • The University, including the colleges and Oxford University Press, is the largest employer in Oxford and the second largest in Oxfordshire, supporting more than 16,500 jobs and injecting £750 million annually into the regional economy.
  • In the 2013 National Student Survey, 96% of Oxford students found their courses intellectually stimulating, compared to 90% in other Russell Group universities and 84% of all English university students.
  • 91% of Oxford students are satisfied with their course quality, compared to 88% in other Russell Group universities and 85% of all English university students.
  • Oxford has one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK: figures published in March 2012 by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that only 1.6% of Oxford students dropped out, compared with the national average of 8.6%.
  • 94% of Oxford leavers are employed or in further study six months after graduating.
  • Every year there are more than 15,000 enrolments on courses offered by the Department for Continuing Education, making Oxford University one of the largest providers of continuing education in the UK.
The University Year
The academic year at Oxford University runs from October to June. The year is divided into three eight week terms, Michaelmas (autumn), Hilary (spring), and Trinity (summer).

Major events which take place during the academic year include:
  • The Boat Race
  • Varsity Football Match
  • Varsity Rugby Match
  • Encaenia, the ceremony at which the University awards honorary degrees to distinguished men and women and commemorates its benefactors.
  • The Romanes Lecture
  • The Oxford London Lecture is an annual lecture series hosted by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Exploring the newest research emerging from Oxford this lecture and panel discussion will consider how research at Oxford impacts on the world in the twenty-first century.
  • Degree days, at which students graduate, take place throughout the year, as do undergraduate open days.