#UniShorts: Why Choose the University of Oxford?
Why choose the University of Oxford? People all across the world associate this institution with academic excellence. It routinely ranks at the top of global league tables for factors like international reputation and research output quality.
The University of Oxford was founded nearly a thousand years ago and is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It has produced a wide and eclectic variety of notable alumni, from Bill Clinton and Indira Gandhi to Oscar Wilde, Vera Britten, and Vikram Seth.
Here’s a rundown of 5 excellent reasons why you should choose the University of Oxford as one of your UCAS picks.
Excellent Employment Prospects
Whenever you’re choosing which university to attend, it’s useful to look at the most recent graduate employment statistics of the institution in question. Oxford has incredibly impressive figures, with over 91% of final-year students getting a job or continuing on in higher education six months after graduating.
Put simply, when you graduate with a degree from a place like the University of Oxford, future employers will sit up and take notice of your CV. You’ll also find that you can get a foot in the door at one of the many networking events that the university will hold, whether it’s a dinner with a consulting firm’s employees or drinks with lawyers.
Employers know that an Oxford education means you are not just bright, but you are capable of thriving in a fast-paced and academically challenging environment.
Quality of Education
Tim Berners-Lee, J R R Tolkien, and Margaret Thatcher. What do they have in common? All three attended Oxford University.
Arguably, Oxford has the most impressive list of alumni of any university in the world. There is a reason it has produced so many notable figures – its quality of education.
One of the hallmarks of an Oxford education is the tutorial system. This is where you, and possibly one or two other students, spend at least an hour (often two or three) a week with a tutor discussing a set topic.
These tutors are world experts in their fields and you, as an undergraduate, get to spend time each week getting to grips with this subject area. You’ll find these tutorials challenging yet stimulating, stretching you to your intellectual limits. Students will often cite tutorials as the most rewarding academic experience at university, where you’re rewarded for asking questions, coming up with original ideas, and putting the groundwork in every week.
Facilities and Resources
As a prospective candidate, you might not think that the number of campus libraries or laboratories is particularly exciting or important when deciding which university to attend.
However, many graduates will say it was one of the most important things in their student experience. Oxford has an impressive quality and quantity of resources and facilities. For instance, it has the largest library system in the UK, with over 100 libraries that house Japanese texts, medical reference journals, social science works, and everything in between. These libraries are also great places to study or read when you want to get out of your room.
The Bodleian is the second largest library in Britain, so arts and humanities students won’t have to scramble to get one or two copies of a key text for their course at the last minute.
The Medical Sciences Division at Oxford has outstanding facilities, with a total research income sum of £355 million.
It’s also worth noting that each individual college has facilities and resources to offer as well. Many colleges offer travel and book grants to their students.
As the oldest university in England, it is unsurprising that Oxford is steeped in tradition. Many of the buildings you will live and study in are several hundred years old.
When you first join, you’ll participate in the matriculation ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre, following in the footsteps of millions of students over hundreds of years.
You’ll get to wear a formal uniform called a sub-fusc during the matriculation and graduation ceremonies: this is a traditional “academic dress” that you’ll wear alongside your classmates and college friends.
Many of the traditions at Oxford are completely optional, but engaging in them can be a lot of fun. For instance, Formal Halls are an opportunity to dress up and have a fancy (but cheap) dinner with your friends. Prices vary across the university, but at some colleges, you can get a tasty three-course dinner for just over £7.00.
The College System
Oxford is a collegiate university, with over thirty residential colleges and six permanent private halls (PPHs). Colleges and PPHs are like mini-campuses dotted around the city of Oxford.
If you are a student at Oxford University, you are also a member of a college or PPH. These mini-communities are often your social hubs whilst at Oxford. You eat in the halls of your college or educational residence together, you share a library with your friends and roommates, you drink or take part in quiz nights at your college’s bar.
When you’re part of this smaller, tight-knit community you can find your place at Oxford really quickly. You are one of a couple of hundred in a college, rather than one of tens of thousands in the university.
Generally speaking, you apply to a specific college when filling out your admission materials for Oxford, but you can also send in an open application if you have no particular preference.
Why choose the University of Oxford? These are just five reasons why you should consider applying to this institution, but there are plenty more factors to consider. If you have the chance, visit during an Open Day, or reach out to a professor at your chosen college and see if they’ll chat with you.
If you want to learn more about how to apply to Oxford with a strong personal statement and an impressive resumé of extracurricular activities, head to A&J Education and get in touch to set up a free consultation with one of our experts.