Oxford, England

University of Oxford

What do Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Aung San Suu Kyi, C. S. Lewis, Imran Khan, Hugh Grant and Lawrence of Arabia have in common? Well, it happens to be their alma mater, the grand old University of Oxford. This legendary institution is the oldest English speaking university in the world.

Engraved in history

While the origins of Oxford University have been lost in the pages of time, there is evidence of teaching in these premises since 1096 AD. The institution has since grown in size and scope and is currently a conglomeration of 38 self-governing colleges.

The University of Oxford has consistently ranked among premier educational institutions worldwide. It is also home to the world’s second oldest publishing house, the Oxford Press which has several illustrious publications to its name.

Distinguished alumni

The alumni of Oxford University read like a list of who’s who of the world. The hallowed halls of the University have played host to 12 saints, 58 Nobel Prize winners, several international heads of states, 50 Olympic medalists, innumerable artists, authors, philosophers and adventurers.

Diverse architectural styles

The University boasts of several iconic buildings scattered through-out the city center. The Christ Church Cathedral, Church of St. Mary the Virgin and the Divinity School lend liberally to the romantic sobriquet that best describes the city of Oxford, the city of dreaming spires. The magnificent University Museum and Keble College revive the Gothic tradition in Oxford. The beautifully classical Sheldonian Theatre, the neo-classical Ashmolean Museum and the Radcliffe Camera enhance the University’s aura.

University Museums, Libraries and Parks

The University maintains several museums for the benefit of its scholars and visitors. These include the famed Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, the University Museum of Natural History, Museum of the History of Science, Pitt Rivers Museum, Bate Collection of Musical Instruments and Christ Church Picture Gallery. Only two of their libraries are open to the public – the Old Bodleian Library and the Weston library which contribute to the largest university library in the United Kingdom. When all of the architecture, culture and literature get to be overwhelming, you can bask in some delightful greenery at the Christ Church Meadow, Botanic Gardens, Harcourt Arboretum or the University Parks.

When you’ve seen it all, you can reminisce over an afternoon of tranquil punting on the Cherwell or the Thames, locally known as Isis. It is considered one of the best ways to wrap up your trip to the remarkable city of Oxford.