View of Oxford's Radcliffe Camera building
A view on the Radcliffe Camera building and All Souls College.
(Image credit: Shutterstock).

Oxford's international profile

You may have heard about Oxford's history as the first university in the English-speaking world. You may be familiar with our strengths in the humanities, or our outstanding museums and libraries. You may know that Oxford has been producing leaders for 800 years, through a distinctive and personal method of teaching.

You may not know, however, about some of Oxford's other important features in the twenty-first century. Today, Oxford is a modern, research-driven university. Our prowess in the sciences is particularly noteworthy: we have been ranked number one in the world for medicine for five years running by the Times Higher Education Supplement (2011-16). Oxford is also ranked in the top six globally in engineering, life sciences, social sciences and the arts and humanities. These pages share some of the highlights of that story.

Globalisation is nothing new at Oxford: we welcomed our first international student - Emo of Friesland - in 1190. The pace of globalisation has accelerated in recent decades, and Oxford now has a strong international character and a presence around the world unlike that of any other university. 

  • Today 41 percent of our students and 48 percent of our academic staff hail from countries outside the United Kingdom.
  • Oxford is at the forefront in studying topics of worldwide interest, from the dawn of the universe to the challenges of globalisation.
  • Oxford academics have built untold numbers of research collaborations with international partners.
  • Our Tropical Medicine laboratories are probably the most substantial overseas research presence of any university, employing some 1,500 staff in Asia and Africa to increase our understanding of how to treat tropical infectious diseases.
  • Oxford has defined the English language for many people around the world through the dictionaries and other books of Oxford University Press (OUP). OUP is the world’s largest university press, with a presence in 50 countries.
  • Our alumni are more than 275,000 strong and are spread across almost every country on earth.
  • Today’s Oxford students, whether British or international, also enjoy access to a range of international experiences while studying here, including internships around the world, courses with study abroad components, and substantial support from the collegiate university for independent research abroad.    

Oxford aims to deliver an exceptional education, to carry out world-leading research, and to make significant contributions to society – locally, nationally and internationally. This includes supporting mobility across our staff and student body through Erasmus and other means, and supporting international research collaborations on the basis of academic interest and need. Our extensive and ever-expanding global links have been developed to serve these principles.

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