The University of Oxford (informally Oxford University or Oxford) is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096. The University grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. In post-nominals, the University of Oxford was historically abbreviated as Oxon. (from the Latin Oxoniensis), although Oxf is now used in official university publications.
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. The two ancient English universities have many common features and are often jointly referred to as Oxbridge. In addition to their cultural and practical associations, as a historic part of British society, they have a long history of rivalry with each other.
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 league tables, and consistently ranks among the top ten universities in the world, according to global rankings. For more than a century, it has served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, which brings students from a number of countries to study at Oxford as postgraduates or for a second bachelor’s degree.
Oxford is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the Coimbra Group, the G5, the League of European Research Universities, and the International Alliance of Research Universities. It is also a core member of the Europaeum and forms part of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of British universities.