About the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is a world-renowned institution with a distinctive collegiate system. A home for globally leading research, excellent teaching and interdisciplinary communities, the University has over 25,000 students and an annual income of more than £2.5billion.

With a mission to advance learning by teaching and research and its dissemination by every means, the University is the oldest in the English-speaking world. Its long-held commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and academic achievement has fostered many varied successes, such as the ten Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher Education awarded to the institution, numerous Nobel Prizes including the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics, and over 200 spinout companies that have translated cutting-edge research into successful products and businesses.

Set within one of Europe’s leading centres of enterprise and innovation, Oxford is a broad multi-disciplinary university with the largest volume of world-leading research in the UK. Over the last five years, there have been significant advances across the University. The new Centre for the Humanities will be a dynamic hub for research, learning and experimentation across disciplines, made possible by the generosity of Stephen A Schwarzman. The Ineos Oxford Institute which will investigate antimicrobial resistance is yet another example of the ways in which the University continues to innovate and advance its responses to the major challenges of the present day. Our work is of great benefit to society, drawing together ideas and innovation with the ability to convene sector leaders to tackle global challenges such as the development of a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus or the work on climate change.

The University of Oxford has roughly 100 major academic departments, which are overseen by the four academic divisions: Medical Sciences; Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences; Humanities and Social Sciences, and there are many smaller specialist research centres and sub-departments.

There are 39 Oxford colleges, which are financially independent and self-governing but relate to the central University in a kind of federal system. There are also six permanent private halls, which are similar to colleges except that they tend to be smaller and were founded by particular Christian denominations. The colleges and halls are close academic communities, which bring together students and researchers from different disciplines, cultures and countries. This helps to foster the outstanding research achievement that has made Oxford a leader in so many fields. The colleges and the University work together to organise teaching and research, and many staff at Oxford hold both a college and a University post.

The University’s vision and strategic priorities are to work collectively as One Oxford to provide world-class research and education, building on the University’s long traditions whilst at the same time fostering a culture of innovation. We are committed to equality of opportunity and to engendering inclusivity. The distinctive democratic structure will continue to offer a source of strength and, together with our colleges, create environments that are supportive to individual scholars and promote interdisciplinarity.