Stained glass window, Wadham College
Credit: PS:unlimited. This image comes from Oxford University Images
Oxford at a glance
- There are more than 24,000 students at Oxford, including 11,955 undergraduates and 12,010 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 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, including the colleges and Oxford University Press, is the largest employer in Oxfordshire, supporting around 33,700 jobs in the county and injecting more than £2.3bn annually into the regional economy.
Undergraduate admissions and access
- Oxford is very competitive: for entry in 2019, around 23,000 people applied for around 3,300 undergraduate places.
- That means Oxford receives, on average, over 7 applications for each available place.
- The majority of Oxford’s UK undergraduates come from state schools. For 2020 entry, over 69% of UK offers went to students from the state sector.
- The University conducts around 20,000 interviews with around 10,000 applicants over the two-week interview period in December.
- Oxford spends more than £7 million each year on outreach activities, in addition to the £8 million it spends on financial support.
- 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.
- 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 8,000 state school students have taken part, and more than 2,000 have gone on to be offered a place at Oxford.
- 36% of UNIQ students who apply to Oxford are offered a place, compared to an average 22% for all candidates.
Financial support for undergraduates
- Oxford offers one of the most generous financial support packages available for UK students.
- Oxford Bursaries of between £3,200 and £500 are provided to eligible undergraduates from the lowest income families every year.
- Oxford offers non-repayable bursaries of up to £5,000 p.a. to eligible UK students as part of its Crankstart Scholarship programme.
- Non-repayable bursaries of up to £7,200 p.a. will be available to support eligible UK students who are care leavers or estranged (studying without family support).
- The Oxford-Arlan Hamilton and Earline Butler Sims Scholarship is a full scholarship of fees and living costs for a UK resident of Black African or Black Caribbean heritage from a disadvantaged background.
- Oxford centrally spends around £8 million annually on financial support for undergraduates.
Postgraduate admissions and support
- Graduate students make up more than 50% of the total student body at Oxford.
- Oxford offers more than 250 different graduate degree programmes.
- The University received almost 31,000 applications for around 5,800 places for graduate study for entry in 2019.
- 64% of Oxford’s current graduate students come from outside the UK.
- More than 1,000 scholarships are available for new graduate students in 2020.
- International students make up 45% of our total student body - almost 11,000 students - including 23% of undergraduates and 64% of graduate students.
- Students come to Oxford from over 160 countries and territories. The largest groups of international students come from the USA, China, Germany, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, India, Italy, France, and Switzerland.
- Oxford University Press (OUP) is the world’s largest university press. 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.
- 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 1,900 academic staff, more than 5,800 research and research support staff, and more than 6,300 graduate research students.
- At graduate level, over 53% of students are studying for a higher degree by research.
- External research grants and contracts continue to be one of the University’s largest source of income. In 2018-19 the University earned £624.8m in external research funding. When the block grant for research from Research England is added, the University’s research income totals £770.7m.
- Oxford consistently has the highest research income from external sponsors of any UK university.
- Oxford University through Oxford University Innovation is the UK leader in generating spinout companies, creating 19 for the academic year 2018-19. Overall, it has created over 190 spinouts, more than any other UK
- OUI is also the most prolific university filer of patent in the UK and receives more income from intellectual property than UK peers. In the past financial year, OUI completed 1,002 commercial deals, deployed 338 academic consultants, and returned £9.2m 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.
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 2020, six Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society.
- 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.
- In 2020 ten Oxford academics from the Humanities and Social Sciences divisions were awarded British Academy fellowships.
- Professor Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, was conferred the award of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2020.
- In 2020, Professor Richard Stone, Professor of Engineering Science, was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
- In 2020, six Oxford professors were elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
- 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, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
- In the THE subject rankings for 2020, Oxford is, for the ninth year running, ranked first in the world for Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health subjects. It is also ranked first in the world for Computer Science and second in the world and first in the UK for Social Sciences; third in the world and first in the UK for Business and Economics; third in the world and second in the UK for Life Sciences; third in the world and second in the UK for Arts and Humanities and fourth in the world and second in the UK for Law. Also, first in the UK for Education and second in the UK for Physical Sciences and Engineering and Technology.
- Oxford is ranked first in the world in Arts and Humanities and second in the world in Life Sciences and Medicine in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. It ranks fourth for Social Sciences and Management, fifth for Natural Science, and sixth for Engineering and Technology.
- Oxford is ranked fifth in the world in the QS World Rankings (2021), the highest ranked university from the UK.
- For a second time, Oxford University received the University of the Year award from The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
- Oxford University topped The Best UK Universities 2021 league table in The Guardian and was ranked second overall in the Complete University Guide, University League Tables 2021.