A researcher in the Jenner Institute
Credit: John Cairns
Oxford at a glance
- There are more than 26,000 students at Oxford, including 12,683 undergraduates and 13,324 postgraduates.
- Oxford has one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK: figures published for 2019/20 academic year of entry by the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that only 0.9% of Oxford students dropped out, compared with a UK average of 5.3%.
- Over 91% of Oxford leavers are employed or in further study six months after graduating.
- Every year more than 15,000 students enrol on courses at the Department for Continuing Education, making Oxford University one of the largest providers of continuing education in the UK.
- The University of Oxford contributes around £15.7 billion to the UK economy, and supports more than 28,000 full time jobs. £611 million is generated by the University’s contribution to tourism, and £6 billion from the impact generated by the spending of the University and its colleges (2018/19). Find out more here.
Undergraduate admissions and access
- Entry to undergraduate courses at Oxford continues to be very competitive: there are usually only around 3,300 places, and over 23,000 people applied to start in 2022.
- That means Oxford receives, on average, over seven applications for each available place.
- The majority of Oxford’s UK undergraduates come from state schools. Over 68% of UK students admitted in 2022 were from the state sector.
- The University conducts over 20,000 interviews with around 10,000 applicants over the two-week interview period in December.
- Oxford, through its outreach work, reaches more than 75% of UK schools with post-16 provision - that's almost every school that fields candidates capable of making a competitive application to Oxford.
- Every year, more than 1,000 year-12 state school students from across the UK participate in Oxford’s free online programme UNIQ, aimed at helping students underrepresented at Oxford find out what it’s like to study here and make competitive applications to the University. Many participants will also attend a residential in Oxford.
- Since its launch in 2010, UNIQ has supported over 14,500 participants and during the last five years (2018-2022) UNIQ participants, from disadvantaged backgrounds and state schools, were more likely to receive an offer to study at Oxford (30% all UNIQ applicants versus 20% all other UK applicants).
- In 2023, 35 UK state school students who have experienced severe personal disadvantage or disruption during their education received offers for the first Astrophoria Foundation Year – a fully funded, supportive and academically challenging one-year course with the opportunity to progress onto their chosen undergraduate degree at Oxford without the need to reapply.
- Our bridging programme Opportunity Oxford supports around 200 talented UK offer-holders every year from the least advantaged socio-economic backgrounds who will benefit from additional academic support to transition successfully from school to Oxford. Several hundred more offer holders are invited to participate in the online component.
Financial support for undergraduates
- Oxford offers one of the most generous financial support packages for UK undergraduates from the lowest-income backgrounds.
- Oxford offers non-repayable bursaries of up to £5,800 p.a. to eligible UK resident students as part of its Crankstart Scholarship programme.
- For students who are not eligible for, or do not take up, a Crankstart Scholarship, Oxford Bursaries of between £4,000 and £1,000 p.a. are provided to eligible undergraduates from the lowest income families every year.
- Eligible UK students who are care-experienced or estranged (studying without family support) can also apply for an additional non-repayable annual bursary of up to £3,000.
- Oxford centrally spends more than £8.5 million on financial support to undergraduates from lower-income households annually.
Postgraduate admissions and support
- Graduate students make up around 50% of the total student body at Oxford.
- 450 postgraduate courses received applications for year of entry 2022/23 (including part-time variants).
- For 2022/23 entry, over 37,500 applications were received for some 6,056 postgraduate places.
- More than 34,000 applications were for full-time courses and 3,683 for part-time study.
- For the 2023/24 academic year, the University expects to be able to offer around 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships for new students.
- International students make up 46% of our total student body - more than 12,000 students - including 23% of undergraduates and 65% of graduate students.
- Students come to Oxford from more than 160 countries and territories. The largest groups of international students come from the USA, China, Germany, Canada, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, France, and Netherlands.
Above data correct as of 1 December 2022.
- Oxford University Press (OUP) is the largest and most successful university press in the world. It has offices in more than 50 countries and publishes works in some 100 languages.
- Every year millions of students use OUP's English Language Teaching materials to learn English.
- The Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions. When the UK Funding Bodies published the outcomes of REF 2021 in May 2022, results showed Oxford’s submission had the highest volume of world-leading research¹. Highlights of the submission can be found on the Oxford REF 2021 webpages.
- Oxford's research activity involves more than 2,000 academic staff, more than 5,900 research, teaching and research support staff, and more than 7,000 graduate research students (figures as at 31 July 2022).
- At postgraduate level, 54% of students at Oxford are reading for degrees by research.
- Oxford’s total research income is consistently the highest of any UK university. In 2021/22 the University earned £711.4 million in external research funding. When the block grant for research from Research England is added, the University’s research income totals £865.7 million.
- Oxford University through Oxford University Innovation (OUI) is the UK leader in generating spinout companies, creating ten for the academic year 2021-2022, plus five more startups and social ventures. Overall, OUI has created over 300 companies, more than any other UK institution.
- OUI is also the most prolific university filer of patents in the UK, with close to 5,000 under management, and receives more income from intellectual property than UK peers.
- During the academic year ending July 2022, OUI completed 1,157 commercial deals, signed 531 academic consultancy deals, and returned £13.2 million to researchers and the University.
- Oxfordshire is one of Europe’s leading centres of enterprise and innovation, with particular strengths in biosciences and new technologies, and many of the region’s high-tech companies have links with the University.
(¹Largest volume of world-leading research is calculated from the sum of (overall %4* x submitted FTE) across all submissions.)
Oxford awards and rankings
- Oxford’s academic community includes more than 90 Fellows of the Royal Society and around 100 Fellows of the British Academy.
- In 2023, eight academics from the University of Oxford were elected to the Fellowship of Royal Society, including the Vice-Chancellor Professor Irene Tracey.
- Oxford was ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
- In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by subject for 2023, Oxford was, for the 12th year running, ranked first in the world for Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health subjects. It was also ranked first in the world for Computer Science for the sixth year in a row.
- Oxford University is ranked number two university in the UK in the Complete University Guide, University League Tables 2024.
- Oxford mathematician Professor James Maynard was named as one of four recipients of the 2022 Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics for those under 40.
- Oxford University is ranked number two in The Best UK Universities 2024 league table in The Guardian.
- Professors Dame Sarah Gilbert, Teresa Lambe, Sir Andrew Pollard and Fiona Powrie were recognised in 2021 for their outstanding contributions to immunology with Honorary Lifetime Membership of the British Society for Immunology.
- Her Majesty The Queen approved the award of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes to 21 higher and further education institutions in 2021, including Oxford University for 'Life-saving rapid response to COVID-19'. The University has now won 12 Queen's Anniversary Prizes.
- The Faculty of Public Health awarded its prestigious Alwyn Smith Prize to Professor Sir Peter Horby for 2020/2021 in recognition of his longstanding contribution to improving the treatment and control of epidemic infections and his more recent contribution to improving the treatment of COVID-19 through the RECOVERY trial.
- The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was jointly awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for their work on black holes. Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, and emeritus fellow of Wadham College, Oxford.