Facts and figures - full version | University of Oxford
Stained glass window, Wadham College
Stained glass window, Wadham College
Credit: PS:unlimited. This image comes from Oxford University Images

Facts and figures - full version

Oxford at a glance

  • There are nearly 24,000 students at Oxford, including 11,747 undergraduates and 11,687 postgraduates.
  • In the 2016 National Student Survey, 90% of Oxford students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course, compared to a national average of 81%.
  • Oxford has one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK: figures published in 2017 by the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that only 1.3% of Oxford students dropped out, compared with the national average of 7.4%.
  • Over 91% of Oxford leavers are employed or in further study six months after graduating.
  • Every year more than 14,000 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, including the colleges and Oxford University Press, is the largest employer in Oxfordshire, supporting around more than 30,000 jobs in the county and injecting more than £2.3bn annually into the regional economy.

Undergraduate admissions and access

  • Oxford is very competitive: nearly 20,000 people applied for around 3,200 undergraduate places for entry in 2017. 
  • That means that Oxford receives, on average, over 6 applications for each available place.
  • The majority of Oxford’s UK undergraduates come from state schools. The latest figures show that, of places offered to UK applicants, over 58% of undergraduate places went to students from the state sector.
  • The University conducts more than 24,000 interviews for around 10,000 applicants over the two-week interview period in December.
  • Oxford spends more than £6 million each year on outreach activities, in addition to the £10 million it spends on financial support.
  • Oxford, through its outreach work, reaches more than 70% 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 more than 3,000 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. Since its launch in 2010, nearly 5,500 state school students have taken part, and more than 1,100 have gone on to be offered a place at Oxford. 
  • 34.6%* of UNIQ students who apply to Oxford are offered a place, compared to an average 20% for all candidates.

* this figure refers to UNIQ 2017 summer school participants.

Financial support for undergraduates

  • Oxford has one of the most generous no-strings attached financial support for UK and EU undergraduates from the lowest income households.
  • Students from the lowest income families receive at least £3,700 every year.
  • Oxford centrally spends around £9 million annually on financial support for undergraduates.

Postgraduate admissions and support

  • Graduate students make up almost 49% of the total student body at Oxford.
  • Oxford offers more than 350 different graduate degree programmes.
  • The University received over 26,500 applications for around 5,500 places for graduate study for entry in 2017-18.
  • 63% of Oxford’s current graduate students come from outside the UK.
  • Over 1,100 fully funded scholarships are available for new master’s and doctoral students in 2017-18.

Oxford international

  • 41% of our academic staff are citizens of foreign countries. 
  • Our academic staff come from almost 100 different countries and territories.
  • International students make up 43% of our total student body - almost 10,000 students - including 20% of undergraduates and 64% of graduate students.
  • Students come to Oxford from over 150 countries and territories. The largest groups of international students come from the USA, China, Germany, Italy, Canada, India, France, Australia, Singapore and Ireland.
  • 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 (OUP) is the world’s largest university press. It has offices in 50 countries and publishes works in almost 100 languages.
  • More than 33 million students use OUP’s English Language Teaching resources to learn English every year.

Oxford research

  • According to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the official UK-wide assessment of all university research, Oxford has the largest volume of world-leading research in the country. The University is also rated top in the REF power rankings published by Research Fortnight.
  • Oxford's research activity involves more than 70 departments, the colleges, more than 1,800 academic staff, more than 5,500 research and research support staff, and more than 6,100 graduate research students. 
  • At graduate level, over 50% 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 2016-17, 40% (£537.4m) of income came from external research sponsors.
  • Oxford consistently has the highest research income from external sponsors of any UK university.
  • Oxford University has pioneered the commercial exploitation of academic research and invention through Oxford University Innovation. The wholly owned technology transfer company has spun off 150 businesses and files more patents than any other UK university.
  • 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 over 80 Fellows of the Royal Society and over 170 Fellows of the British Academy.
  • In 2018, six Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society.
  • In 2018, two Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences.
  • In 2018, seven Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
  • In 2017, eight Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the British Academy.
  • In 2017, four Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
  • Oxford University has won ten Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher Education, more than any other university. The most recent prize was awarded to the Institute of Biomedical Engineering in 2015.
  • Oxford was ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2017 and 2018.
  • In the THE subject rankings for 2018, Oxford is, for the seventh year running, ranked first in the world for Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health subjects. It is also ranked first in the world for Social Sciences; third in the world and first in the UK for Computer Science, for Engineering and Technology, for Education, and for Business and Economics; third in the world and second in the UK for Life Sciences; fourth in the world and first in the UK for Arts and Humanities; and sixth in the world and second in the UK for Law.
  • Oxford is ranked first in the world in Arts and Humanities in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017. It ranks third for Life Sciences and Social Sciences, fifth for Natural Sciences, and ninth for Engineering and Technology. 
  • Oxford is ranked sixth in the world in the QS World Rankings (2017) and seventh in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by Shanghai Jiaotong University (2017).
  • Oxford is ranked second in the UK by The Sunday Times (2017), The Guardian (2017) and The Complete University Guide (2017). 
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