University of Oxford is the oldest high-level education institution in the Anglophone world. Beginnings of the university aren’t very clear. The teaching at Oxford started in about 1096. Rapid development started in year 1167, when Henry II banned English scholars from attending the University of Paris. Students started to associate together into two nations – students from north, including Scots and southern students, including Welsh and Irish. In the 13th century a quarrel between town and gown (students and townspeople) took place in Oxford. Students demanded the establishment of residence facilities. This halls were later maintained by religious orders which settled in Oxford in mid-13th century. The University College was established in year 1249. At this period of time private benefactors started to establish colleges. Parents of John Balliol, King of Scotland found the Balliol college which bears their name, in year 1263. Less than a century later, University of Oxford had better status than any other edu-cational organization in Britain. But Oxford also became a center for lively controversy. Many scholars became involved in religious and political debates and disputes. For example, John Wyclif fought for a Bible in vernacular (colloquial speech, that would be familiar to common people), against the wishes of papacy. Renaissance had a great influence on learning at Oxford. Along with Reformation, binds with Catholic Church started to break. Learning methods were transformed from me-dieval Scholastic, mostly influenced by Catholic Church, into Renaissance form of education. The break from Church had some unpleasant consequences because some of the institutions suffered from the loss of land and income. During the Civil War (1642–1649) the University itself supported king Charles I and the Royalist party, while the Town of Oxford was on the side of Parliamentary forces. Oliver Cromwell, who was the chancellor of the university from 1650 to 1657, pre-vented both University of Cambridge and Oxford to be closed down by Puritan party, which found university education dangerous for religious beliefs.
In the 18th century Edmund Halley, Professor of Geometry, predicted a return of comet, which bears his name. University started to grant tolerance for religious dissent. Three colleges for women were established between years 1878 and 1893. Later two more were es-tablished.
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University of Oxford
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