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Facts and Figures

Oxford at a glance

  • There are over 22,000 students at Oxford, including 11,772 undergraduates and 9,850 postgraduates.
  • In the 2013 National Student Survey, 96% of Oxford students found their courses intellectually stimulating, compared to 90% in other Russell Group universities and 84% of all English university students.
  • 91% of Oxford students are satisfied with their course quality, compared to 88% in other Russell Group universities and 85% of all English university students.
  • Oxford has one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK: figures published in March 2012 by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that only 1.2% of Oxford students dropped out, compared with the national average of 6.7%.
  • 94% of Oxford leavers are employed or in further study six months after graduating.
  • Every year there are more than 15,000 enrolments on courses offered by the Department for Continuing Education, making Oxford University one of the largest providers of continuing education in the UK.
  • The University, including the colleges and Oxford University Press, is the largest employer in Oxfordshire, supporting more than 16,500 jobs and injecting more than £750 million annually into the regional economy.

Undergraduate admissions and access

  • Oxford is very competitive: over 17,200 people applied for around 3,200 undergraduate places for entry in 2014.
  • That means that Oxford receives, on average, around five applications for each available place.
  • The majority of Oxford’s UK undergraduates come from state schools. Latest figures (entry 2013) show that, for UK students attending schools or colleges in the UK, 56.8% of places on undergraduate courses went to applicants from the state sector, and 43.2% went to applicants from the independent sector.
  • The University conducts more than 24,000 interviews for over 10,000 applicants over the two-week interview period in December.
  • Oxford spends over £5.67 million each year on outreach activities, in addition to the around £7 million it spends on bursaries.
  • Oxford, through its outreach work, reaches 72% per cent of UK schools with post-16 provision - that's almost every school that fields candidates capable of making a competitive application to Oxford.
  • Oxford holds nearly 2,900 outreach activities annually with groups from primary age upwards, including summer schools, school visits, student shadowing schemes, e-mentoring, aspiration days and events for teachers.
  • Oxford’s flagship access programme is the UNIQ summer school. 237 of the 2013 UNIQ cohort went on to win an Oxford place, meaning that over a quarter (28.1%) of all attendees will go on to study here. Of those UNIQ students who put in applications, over 43% ended up with places – against an overall success rate for Oxford applicants of around 20%.
  • UNIQ is the largest free university summer school in the UK, with 1,000 places available.

Financial support for undergraduates

  • In 2014-15, Oxford has the most generous no-strings attached financial support for UK and EU undergraduates from the lowest income households.
  • The lowest-income students receive support, through bursaries and fee waivers, totalling almost £20,000 over three years.
  • Oxford centrally spends around £7 million annually on bursaries, in addition to scholarships and bursaries offered by individual colleges.

Postgraduate admissions and support

  • Graduate students make up around 45% of the total student body at Oxford.
  • 4% of all the UK’s graduate research students are studying at Oxford University.
  • Oxford offers more than 300 different graduate degree programmes and has over 9,800 graduate students from more than 140 countries and territories.
  • The University received 19,969 applications for graduate study for entry in 2012-13, 75% of which came from outside the UK.
  • Overall, 62% of Oxford’s current graduate students come from outside the UK.
  • Over 1,000 fully-funded scholarships are available for new master’s and doctoral students in 2014.

Oxford international

  • 41% of our academic staff are citizens of foreign countries. 
  • Our academic staff come from almost 100 different countries and territories. The largest groups of international academic staff are from the USA, Germany, Italy, China (excluding Hong Kong), Australia, France, Ireland, India and Canada.
  • Almost 40% of our total student body - over 8,400 students - are citizens of foreign countries, including 16% of undergraduates and 62% of graduate students.
  • Students come to Oxford from over 140 countries and territories. The largest groups of international students come from the USA (1,486), China (908), Germany (788), Canada (395), India (381), Australia (300), Italy (295), France (243), Singapore (228) and Ireland (225).
  • Oxford is one of the leading centres for the study of globalisation, through the Oxford Martin School, the Blavatnik School of Government, the Programme on Global Economic Governance, the Oxford Department of International Development (which created the world’s first refugee studies programme), and our global health programmes.
  • Oxford’s Centre for Tropical Medicine conducts cutting edge research at its laboratories in Kenya, Vietnam and Thailand, as well as Laos, Tanzania, Indonesia and Nepal.
  • Oxford University Press is the world’s largest university press and has offices in 50 countries and more than 6,000 employees worldwide.
  • In China alone, 14 million school children use Oxford books every year, and internationally around 16 million children use Oxford ELT materials to learn English.
  • More than one in five people who learn English across the world do so with an Oxford University Press resource.

Oxford research

  • Oxford's research activity involves more than 70 departments, the colleges, over 1,600 academic staff, more than 4,100 research and research support staff, and over 5,500 graduate research students. 
  • Oxford has more world-leading academics (rated 4* in the 2008 national Research Assessment Exercise) than any other UK university. Oxford also has the highest number of world-leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*) academics in the UK.
  • At graduate level, 56% of students are studying for a higher degree by research.
  • External research grants and contracts continue to be the University’s largest source of income. In 2012-13, 40% (£436.8m) of income came from external research sponsors.
  • Oxford consistently has the highest research income from external sponsors of any UK university.
  • Oxford, through Isis Innovation Limited , our wholly owned technology transfer company, pioneered the successful commercial exploitation of academic research and invention. Isis has created more than 100 companies. It files, on average, more than one patent application each week and manages over 470 patent application families and 700 licence agreements.
  • Oxfordshire is one of Europe’s leading centres of enterprise, innovation and knowledge. The county’s growth rate in high-tech employment remains one of the highest in the UK and many of its 1,500 high-tech companies have links to Oxford University.

Oxford awards and rankings

  • Oxford’s academic community includes 80 Fellows of the Royal Society and 100 Fellows of the British Academy.
  • In 2013, six Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society.
  • In 2013, six Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
  • In 2013, seven Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the British Academy.
  • The successes of Oxford’s academics are recognised regularly in the awarding of prestigious international prizes, such as the European Laureate Award in the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards, bestowed on Professor Fran Ashcroft in 2012; the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine, given to Professor Fiona Powrie in 2012 and Sir Peter Ratcliffe in 2009; the Gairdner Award for medical research, awarded in 2014 to Sir Marc Feldmann and Sir Ravinder Maini and in 2010 to Sir Peter Ratcliffe and Professor Nick White; and the International Balzan Prize, awarded to Professor Reinhard Strohm in 2012 and Professor Joe Silk in 2011.
  • Oxford University has won nine Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher Education, more than any other university. The prizes were awarded to: the Stroke Prevention Research Unit (2013); the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) (2011); the University's museums, libraries and archives (2009); the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography at Oxford University Press (2007); the Clinical Trial Service Unit (2005); the Refugee Studies Centre (2002); the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology & Tropical Medicine (2000); the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (1996); and Isis Innovation Ltd (1994).
  • Oxford was ranked first in the UK and joint second in the world in the Times Higher Education Supplement’s World University Rankings 2013-2014. In the disciplinary tables, Oxford was ranked first in the world in clinical, pre-clinical and health subjects; joint second for social sciences; third for life sciences; third for the arts and humanities; eighth for physical sciences; and seventh for engineering and technology.
  • Oxford is repeatedly ranked in the top ten of universities worldwide in the annual tables compiled by Shanghai Jiaotong University.
  • Oxford is ranked second in the UK by The Guardian (2013), The Complete University Guide (2013) and The Times and Sunday Times (2013).

Oxford finance

  • In 2012-13, total University income was £1,086.9m.
  • The University’s largest source of income continues to be external research grants and contracts. In 2012-13, 40% (£436.8m) of total income was derived from external research sponsors.
  • Of the remaining income, 18% came from grants from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the National College for Teaching and Leadership; 18% from academic fees; and 24% from other sources including trading activities and investments.
  • Oxford consistently has the highest research income from external sponsors of any UK university.
  • Total University expenditure in 2012-13 was £1037.4m.
  • The University has endowment assets of £686.1m. Individual colleges have their own endowment assets, which amount to more than £3.4bn.
  • The Oxford Thinking Campaign, one of the biggest university fundraising campaigns in the world, has so far raised more than £1.6bn for the collegiate university.