Oxford 2016

The oldest university in Britain.

Oxford is a city that is known throughtout the world for its university. The university itself is split into multiple colleges, with education beginning in the year 1096, just 30 years after the Norman invasion. In 1167, the English king banned English students from attending the University of Paris, so Oxford took in the English students, and grew accordingly. (In 1209, after a townswoman was accidentaly killed by a faculty member, the townspeople executed some of the faculty members, causing others to flee and set up Cambridge University.) In 1248, it was given a royal charter, formally establishing it as the univerity that it had already been for over 150 years.

In terms of start date, Oxford was far from the earliest academy, with Plato's academy being the earliest known, starting in 387 BC. However, it is the second longest operating university in the World, surpassed only by the University of Bologna, by just 8 years. It is claimed to be the Oldest University in the English Speaking World - a pretty meaningless title, especially since when it was established, modern English did not exist, and until 1960, the university still required students to be educated - at least partially - in Latin. Before that, it also required Ancient Greek. Oxford University does, however, produce the difinitive record of current British English.

Oxford university still holds on to its many (oh so many) quirky traditions. Crazy, esoteric traditions, with their meanings almost lost in time. Beating the rocks at the boundary of their land. Wearing university gowns to dinner. Using the local longitudinal time instead of the British timezone (5 minutes different - at least you are less likely to be late to class). Saying a colege-specific grace in Latin. Singing the story of a wild boar's demise before a feast.

Still, it remains one of the most prestigious universities in the World, and one of the greatest education establishments. Beside that, it is difficult to remember that Oxford is actually a city with a life and history of its own, so you will have to excuse me if this gallery concentrates a little too much on the university, and a little too little on everything else.