As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a unique and historic institution. There is no clear date of foundation, but teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.
Students at Oxford enjoy studying at an internationally renowned university with a centuries-old reputation for innovation and outstanding academic achievement.
For the intensity, breadth, quality and impact of its research, Oxford has few peers in the world. Research activity extends from the study of the formation of the Universe and the development of early civilizations, to making governments work better around the world, to high performance computing and the latest breakthroughs in medical science. Oxford’s outstanding academic researchers are today developing new ways of working together, across traditional disciplinary boundaries and across continents, to meet the key challenges of a modern, globalized world.
In November 2016, Oxford University announced its first “massive open online course” – or so-called Mooc – in a partnership with a US online university network. These free online courses have grown in popularity with hundreds of universities and millions of students. Oxford finally jumped on the bandwagon in 2016.
Oxford first offered an economics course partnered with online platform edX, set up by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The emergence of Mooc courses in recent years has been a major phenomenon in higher education, particularly in the United States.
Supporters of MOOC’s argued that putting courses online would make them more accessible and affordable – while sceptics doubted that teaching and the exchange of ideas in seminars could be replicated on the internet. They also warned of the high drop-out rate from MOOCs and that students were unlikely to get a full degree.