The university is made up of thirty-nine semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford consists of lectures, small-group tutorials at the colleges and halls, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further tutorials provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.
Oxford operates the world's oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the university had a total income of £2.45 billion, of which £624.8 million was from research grants and contracts.
The position of Boden Professor of Sanskrit was established in 1832 with money bequeathed to the university by Joseph Boden, a retired soldier who had worked for the East India Company. He wanted a Sanskrit professor to assist in converting British India to Christianity. The first two professors were elected by Oxford graduates; the 1860 election, in particular, was hotly contested. Reforms of Oxford implemented in 1882 removed all mention of Boden's original purpose, removed the power to elect the professor from graduates, and gave the holder of the professorship a fellowship at Balliol College(pictured). To date, Sir Monier Monier-Williams (professor 1860–99) has held the chair for the longest, although a deputy carried out his teaching duties for the last 11 years of his life. The current holder (as of 2014), Christopher Minkowski, was appointed in 2005 and is the eighth Boden professor. It is the only remaining Sanskrit professorship in the United Kingdom. (Full article...)
Lionel Palairet (1870–1933) was an English amateurcricketer who played for Somerset and Oxford University. A graceful right-handed batsman, he was selected to play Test cricket for England twice in 1902; an unwillingness to tour during the English winter limited his Test appearances. For Somerset, he frequently opened the batting with Herbie Hewett. In 1892, they shared a partnership of 346 for the first wicket, an opening stand that set a record for the County Championship and remains Somerset's highest first-wicket partnership. In that season, Palairet was named as one of the "Five Batsmen of the Year" by Wisden. Over the following decade, he was one of the leading amateur batsmen in England. He passed 1,000 first-class runs in a season on seven occasions, and struck two double centuries. After 1904, he appeared infrequently for Somerset, though he played a full season in 1907 when he was chosen to captain the county. He retired from first-class cricket in 1909, having scored over 15,000 runs. Contemporaries judged Palairet to have one of the most attractive batting styles of the period, and his obituary in The Times described him as "the most beautiful batsman of all time". (Full article...)
Hertford College can trace its history back to 1282 as "Hart Hall", one of the university's academic halls which was linked to Exeter College for many years, but it does not have a continuous history. During the 18th century, the institution suffered a severe decline leading to its dissolution, and the site and buildings were taken over by Magdalen Hall (founded 1448), another academic hall associated with Magdalen College. Hertford was established as an independent foundation in 1874 by Act of Parliament, with the help of a benefaction from the banker Thomas Baring. Some of the buildings date from the 17th century, but others (including the "Bridge of Sighs" across New College Lane) were built by the architect Thomas Graham Jackson in the late 19th century. The college is in Catte Street, opposite the Bodleian Library. It has about 600 students (undergraduates and postgraduates), and the Principal is the historian John Landers. It was one of the first of the men's colleges to admit women. Fellows of the college include the historian Roy Foster and the philosopher Peter Millican, and alumni of the college or its predecessor institutions include the Prime Minister Henry Pelham, the newsreader Fiona Bruce, the archeologist Bernard Ashmole and the American judge Byron White. (Full article...)
The King, observing with judicious eyes
The state of both his universities,
To Oxford sent a troop of horse, and why?
That learned body wanted loyalty;
To Cambridge books, as very well discerning
How much that loyal body wanted learning.
— Joseph Trapp, lines written on George I's donation of the Bishop of Ely's Library to the University of Cambridge