The University of Oxford (informally referred to as Oxford University or simply Oxford) is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the second-oldest surviving university in the world, after the University of Bologna.
In post-nominals, the University of Oxford is commonly abbreviated as "Oxon.", from the Latin Universitas Oxoniensis. Since 2007, "Oxf" has been used in official university publications, though this "has been criticized by some readers".
The university has a long history. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. 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.
Most undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly tutorials at self-governing colleges and halls, supported by classes, lectures and laboratory work organised by university faculties and departments. Oxford regularly contends with Cambridge for first place in the UK league tables.
The university is home to the Clarendon Scholarships for graduate students. Around 20,000 students applied in 2012-13 for 150 scholarships. For more than a century, it has also served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, which brings students from a number of countries to study at Oxford as postgraduates.
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