The University of Oxford is the oldest British university. The date of its foundation is not known precisely . The oldest traces of an educational activity Oxford date from about 1116 with the arrival of the schoolmaster Thibaud d’Etampes . The university has really started to develop from 1167, when Henry II banned English students attend classes at the University of Paris . It is among the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom and the world.
It hosts nearly 22,000 students, which are divided into 38 colleges and 6 Permanent Private Halls ( religious foundations).
Most of them are located in beautiful old buildings in the heart of the old town of Oxford ( see : Christ Church, Merton College , Magdalen College , University College , New College) . This is especially the Gothic style that dominates and which gave the university city the nickname ” City of Dreaming Spires “, while Christ Church Cathedral ( XII – XV century) and the church of St. Peter in the East ( XII century ) belong largely to the Norman Romanesque . The facade of Queen ‘s College shows classicism and there are examples of modernist architecture (eg , St. Catherine ‘s College ) .