Facts and Figures
Oxford at a glance
- There are over 22,000 students at Oxford, including 11,832 undergraduates and 9,857 postgraduates.
- The University, including the colleges and Oxford University Press, is the largest employer in Oxford and the second largest in Oxfordshire, supporting more than 16,500 jobs and injecting £750 million annually into the regional economy.
- In the 2011 National Student Survey, 97% of Oxford students found their courses intellectually stimulating, compared to 89% in other Russell Group universities and 84% of all English university students.
- 93% of Oxford students are satisfied with their course quality, compared to 88% in other Russell Group universities and 84% 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 1.6% of Oxford students dropped out, compared with the national average of 8.6%.
- 94% of Oxford leavers are employed 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.
Undergraduate admissions and access
- Oxford is very competitive: over 17,200 people applied for around 3,500 undergraduate places for entry in 2012.
- That means that Oxford receives, on average, more than five applications for each available place.
- 98% of those taking A-levels who enter the University achieve grades of AAA or better.
- The majority of Oxford’s UK undergraduates come from state schools. Latest figures (entry 2012) show that, for UK students attending schools or colleges in the UK, 57.5% of places on undergraduate courses went to applicants from the state sector, and 42.5% went to applicants from the independent sector.
- The University conducts more than 24,000 interviews for over 11,000 applicants over the two-week interview period in December.
- Oxford spends over £3 million each year on outreach activities, in addition to the more than £8 million it spends on bursaries.
- Oxford, through its outreach work, reaches 78% of UK schools with post-16 provision – virtually all schools that field candidates capable of making a competitive application to Oxford.
- Oxford holds nearly 2,200 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. 197 of the 2012 UNIQ cohort went on to win an Oxford place, meaning that over a quarter (26.3%) of all attendees will go on to study here. Of those UNIQ students who put in applications, over 40% ended up with places – against an overall success rate for Oxford applicants of around 20%.
- By 2014 UNIQ will be the largest free university summer school in the UK, with 1,000 places available.
Financial support for undergraduates
- For students who started after October 2012, Oxford has the most generous no-strings attached financial support for UK and EU students from the lowest income households.
- While many universities are offering either fee reductions or bursaries, Oxford provides both.
- The lowest-income students receive support totalling £10,000 in their first year and over £6,000 in every later year.
- Oxford centrally spends over £8 million annually on bursaries, in addition to scholarships and bursaries offered by individual colleges.
Postgraduate admissions and support
- Graduate students make up around 44% 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 320 different graduate degree programmes and has over 9,800 graduate students from more than 140 countries and territories.
- The number of applications for postgraduate study at Oxford now surpasses those for undergraduate study.
- The University received 19,419 applications for graduate study for entry in 2011-12.
- 72.5% of applications came from outside the UK.
- Overall, 61% of Oxford’s current graduate students come from outside the UK.
- £13 million is awarded to some 600 graduate students each year through over 50 central University scholarship schemes. In addition, there are over 400 full or partial scholarships available through colleges and departments.
- 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.
- Over a third of our total student body - over 8,400 students - are citizens of foreign countries, including 17% of undergraduates and 61% of graduate students.
- Students come to Oxford from over 140 countries and territories. The largest groups of international students come from the USA (1,516), China (865), Germany (806), Canada (401), India (336), Australia (312), Italy (264), Ireland (232), Singapore (229) and France (219).
- Oxford has more than a dozen centres and institutes specialising in the study of specific countries and regions.
- Oxford is the leading centre for the study of China in Europe and has one of the top five departments in the world in Japanese Studies.
- 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.
- Oxford boasts one of the most extensive global alumni networks in the world, with more than 160 groups outside the UK in some 80 countries.
- Oxford University Press, publisher of the famous dictionaries and a department of the University, is the world’s largest university press. It has offices in 50 countries and almost 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.
- The University has offices in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
- 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 2011-12, 40% (£409 million) 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 80 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
academic community includes 80 Fellows of the Royal Society and 100
Fellows of the British Academy.
2012, two Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Royal
2012, six Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the
Academy of Medical Sciences.
2012, seven Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of 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 Professor Peter Ratcliffe in 2009; the Gairdner Award for medical
research, awarded in 2010 to Professor Peter Ratcliffe and Professor Nick
White; and the International Balzan Prize, awarded to Professor Reinhard Strohm in 2012 and Professor Joe Silk
University has won eight Queen's Anniversary Prizes for
Higher Education, more than any other university. The prizes
were awarded to: 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 2012-2013. In the disciplinary tables, Oxford was ranked
first in the world in clinical, pre-clinical and health subjects; joint fourth
for social sciences; fourth for life sciences; sixth for the arts and
humanities; tenth for physical sciences; and eleventh for engineering and
is repeatedly ranked in the top ten of universities worldwide in the
annual tables compiled by Shanghai Jiaotong University.
June 2012, the annual Times Good University Guide named Oxford
Britain’s top university for the eleventh year running.
- Oxford is ranked second in the UK by The Guardian (2012) and The Sunday
Times (2012), and third in the UK by The Complete University Guide (2012).
- In 2011-12, total University income was £1,016.1m.
- The University’s largest source of income continues to be external research grants and contracts. In 2011-12, 40% (£409m) of total income was derived from external research sponsors.
- Of the remaining income, 20% came from grants from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Teaching and Development Agency; 17% from academic fees; and 23% 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 2011-12 was £971.8m.
- The University has endowment assets of £854.5m. Individual colleges have their own endowment assets, which amount to more than £2.8bn.
- The Oxford Thinking Campaign, one of the biggest university fundraising campaigns in the world, has so far raised more than £1.5bn for the collegiate university.
- There are 38 colleges and 6 permanent private halls at Oxford.
- The collegiate system is at the heart of the University’s success, giving students and academics the benefits of belonging to both a large, internationally renowned institution and to a small, interdisciplinary academic community.
- Colleges bring together leading academics and students across subjects and year groups, and from different cultures and countries.
- The relatively small number of students at each college allows for close and supportive personal attention to be given to the induction, academic development and welfare of individual students.
- Colleges invest heavily in facilities including extensive library and IT provision, accommodation and welfare support, and sports and social facilities.
- Thirty colleges and five halls admit students for both graduate and undergraduate degrees. Green Templeton, Linacre, Nuffield, St Antony’s, St Cross and Wolfson Colleges admit only graduate students, as does Kellogg College, which supports the lifelong learning work of the University for adult, part-time, and professional development students. All Souls is unique among Oxford colleges because it has no junior members: all are Fellows (except the Warden).
- All colleges accept both men and women.
- The University’s oldest colleges are University College, Balliol College, and Merton College, all of which were established by the 13th century.
- Green Templeton College, which came into existence in October 2008 following the merger of Green College and Templeton College, is the University’s newest college.
- St Catherine’s College, which takes both undergraduate and graduate students, currently has the largest number of students (799), while some of the permanent private halls have fewer than a hundred student members.
Museums, collections and libraries
- The Bodleian Libraries form the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. The combined library collections number more than 11 million printed items, in addition to 50,000 e-journals and other materials in different formats.
- The Bodleian Library, the University’s main research library, dates from 1602 and is globally acknowledged to be one of the greatest libraries in the world. Its priceless collections include the papers of seven British Prime Ministers; a Gutenberg Bible; the earliest surviving book written wholly in English; a quarter of the world’s original copies of the Magna Carta; and almost 10,000 western medieval and renaissance manuscripts.
- Over 40% of users of the Bodleian Libraries are people from outside the University.
- Over 2 million people visit the University’s six museums and collections every year, including over 110,000 children on school visits and almost 35,000 adults taking part in adult education activities.
- The Ashmolean Museum, established in 1683, is the oldest museum in the UK and one of the oldest in the world. It houses the University’s extensive collections of art and antiquities, ranging back over four millennia.
- The Museum of the History of Science is housed in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. It contains the world’s finest collection of historic scientific instruments.
- The University Museum of Natural History houses the University's collections of zoological, entomological, palaeontological and mineral specimens. With 4.5 million specimens it is the largest collection of its type outside of the national collections.
- The Pitt Rivers Museum holds one of the world’s finest collections of anthropology and archaeology, with objects from every continent and from throughout human history.
- The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain, and forms the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world.
- The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments celebrates the history and development of the musical instruments of the Western Classical tradition, from the medieval period to present day.
- Christ Church Picture Gallery houses an important collection of 300 Old Master paintings and almost 2,000 drawings in a purpose-built gallery of considerable architectural interest.