What Is the Oldest University in Britain?


The University of Oxford is the oldest university in Britain. While there is no precise date for its founding, the university has existed in some form since 1096.

The University of Oxford grew out of a tradition of famous teachers travelling to the area to give lectures. Students would travel to Oxford to hear the lectures and meet with other students. The University received a boost in 1167 after King Henry II banned his subjects from studying overseas in France. All students were required to return home and many ended up in Oxford. The first Chancellor, Robert Grosseteste, was appointed in 1214.