As one would expect given their proximity and rich shared history, the links between Oxford and its European neighbours are extensive, deep and multi-disciplinary.

Oxford’s international scholarly links could be said to have begun in 1190, when the first known overseas student, Emo of Friesland (in the north of the Netherlands), arrived to study at the then-emerging University. Studies of Europe have been pursued at Oxford for more than 800 years, and remain a strong focus today. Academics at Oxford also collaborate on a wealth of research projects with European partner institutions and colleagues across the full range of disciplines.

Examples of Oxford's contemporary European links include the Oxford–Berlin Research Partnership and the Maison Française d’Oxford.  Notably, Oxford is a major participant in research projects funded under the European Commission’s ‘framework programmes’, which are the main way the EU funds research and development activities. Many of these projects involve collaboration with institutions across Europe.