The University of Oxford (Formally Oxford University) is a collegiate university which is located in the city of Oxford in England. The university is widely recognized as one of the leading universities and research institutions in the world.
There is no known formal date that has been documented for the University of Oxford. However, evidence of early teaching can be traced far back as 1096. The University of Oxford is the oldest teaching institution in all the English-speaking world. It is also the second oldest overall in the world. In the year 1167, English students were banished from attending the University of Paris. As a result students flocked into the University of Oxford causing it to expand rapidly.
There is no doubt of the university’s supremacy among prominent universities in the world. The university has managed to claim the top-spot in most of the rankings done in the recent past. The recent 2016-2017 ranking by World University Ranking has placed the university in the Number one position which is an improvement from the previous second position.
In the year 1248 the university was officially granted a royal charter. This was during the reign of King Henry the III. An array of disputes between the students and the townsfolks of Oxford caused a number of academicians to flee the town to seek for peaceful environment in Cambridge, forming what is known today as the University of Cambridge. In 1333 to 1334 a group of academicians who were dissatisfied by the university’s administration tried to break away and form a new institution at Stamford, a move which was utterly blocked by a petition by Oxford and Cambridge universities to King Edward III. The 20th and 21st century has witnessed drastic changes in the management and the curriculum of the university. The scientific research institutes have been enhanced and emphasized to match the current global requirements.
The university is a collegiate institution and it consists of the central university and colleges. The main college is the mother of all other sectors and it is composed of research centers, administrative departments as well as other correlated departments such as libraries. The congregation is the overall governing body and it is held responsible for overall decision making. The council is the main executive body. Finally, there are academic divisions responsible for different disciplines of study.
The university alumni are famously known as "Oxonians". Oxford University has nurtured some of the greatest leaders, scholars, scientists, artist among others. This list includes two British kings and others from 10 different states, twenty-five British prime ministers and many more from nineteen different states. The University prides itself on being a home to renowned religious leaders which includes ten saints and eighteen cardinals. It also claims forty-seven Nobel prize winners and other Field Medalists. This list of Oxonians is a tip of the iceberg as far as notable people are concerned. The list spans a lot of prominent personalities across the globe.