Reputation and quality | University of Oxford
Radcliffe Camera
The Radcliffe Camera
(Image Credit: Kadambari Prasad / Graduate Photography Competition)

Reputation and quality

The University of Oxford has an outstanding worldwide reputation for its teaching, research and contributions to society. Oxford is almost unique globally in its ability to combine the benefits of its great history and tradition with the innovative and forward-thinking approach of a modern University. 

The 2017 QS subject rankings placed us first in the world for in four individual subject areas and in the humanities and arts, while Times Higher Education has ranked our medical and health teaching and research as the best in the world for six years running and the University of Oxford as the best university in the world. Oxford came top of all UK universities for our research quality in the 2014 REF, and we attract the highest research income from external sponsors of any university in the UK (£537.4 million in 2015-16). 

Academic staff

Our academic staff are globally renowned with 80 Fellows of the Royal Society and 100 Fellows of the British Academy. Our staff are truly international, originating from almost 100 different countries and territories. The 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. More than 50 Nobel Laureates have been linked to Oxford, three of our mathematicians have been Fields Medal Winners, and a further two have been awarded the Abel Prize.

Leadership and personal development

Our achievements are not purely cerebral. 283 Oxford students have taken part in the Olympic Games, winning 167 medals – 84 of which were gold. We are also proud of our reputation for fostering leadership among our students, both directly through the subject they study and through the opportunities we are able to give our students, thanks to the huge variety of endeavour the University is involved in. 

Innovation and shaping the future

Our eyes are firmly fixed on the future. Oxford University Innovation has created more spin-out companies than any other UK Institution (more than 160) and has been named the best in the world by the Global University Venturing awards. We are one of the UK’s most successful organisations for commercialising research through technology licensing – accounting for £1 for every £10 earned by UK higher education.

Our work has a wider impact on society, generating £7.1 billion for the global economy every year, and supporting more than 50,000 jobs across the UK. Our medical sciences research alone is worth £1.8 billion in the value of lives saved, qualify of life improvements and in support for the local life sciences cluster. 

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