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Discover Oxford

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

It is thought that it began in the 12th century and by the middle of the 13th century, there was an established University in Oxford. At this time, most students stayed with their masters in private houses. The first college was Merton in 1264. Today there are more than 35 colleges, which are responsible for the admission of students, their welfare and education. Many of the colleges are open to the public.

Oxford has educated 27 British Prime Ministers, including Theresa May, and the former US President, Bill Clinton. Other famous people who studied at Oxford include actors Hugh Grant and Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean), scientist Stephen Hawking and writers Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote Lord of the Rings, and Lewis Carroll, who is famous for Alice in Wonderland.

Fans of Harry Potter will love Oxford, as two of its colleges – Christ Church College and New College – and the famous Bodleian Library were used as locations in the films.

Oxford University and Cambridge University have a long history of competition with each other, both academically and in sport. At the river, you may see students practising their rowing in preparation for the famous Boat Race in London that takes place every spring.

Please note: this video shows Oxford and also the local area.

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