Satisfactory Essays
There is a romantic whisper that University College was really founded in 872 by King Alfred. However historians with their irritating insistence on concrete facts have dismissed this, estimating the real date of foundation at 1249. Nevertheless there are legitimate, if debatable claims, that even at this date it is the oldest college in Oxford. (Be prepared for this to be challenged by the good people of Merton and Balliol.) King Alfred is believed to have erected a hall in Oxford for students around 872 and generously provided pensions for them. However the Norman Conquest (1066) would have stripped away the financial support when it brutally reorganised English society completely replacing the Saxon ruling classes with Normans. Modern and progressive medium sized college University is a relaxed, medium sized college with approachable tutors and supportive porters. It is positioned in the heart of Oxford on the south side of the High Street, opposite All Souls and Queen’s and is close to just about everything. It has three main quadrangles and educates around 221 postgraduates and 372 undergraduates (12% more men than women). Univ has a modern progressive outlook but chooses to uphold some of the more enjoyable ancient traditions, such as Formal Hall: an optional three course candle lit dinner, held six nights a week that boasts one of the cheapest price tags in Oxford. The ‘laidback’ approach is somewhat deceptive as Univ is regarded as academically strong and expects its students to be disciplined and able to attain their potential. There is a general library and a specialist law library that offer a choice of well over 60,000 books 24 hours a day. Women were first admitted in 1979. All first and second years are housed ... ... middle of paper ... ...91-1978), former master and first American scholar to hold such a post in Oxford. The notorious poet Percy Bysshe Shelly was expelled from University in 1811 for writing the provocative ‘The Necessity of Atheism’, at a time when all Oxbridge students had to be sworn believers. However in more liberal times he was honoured with a specially constructed Victorian Memorial that houses his statue (by Edward Onslow Ford) depicting him lying dead on the seashore. So who else has studied at University? Culled from a very long list of the good and the great are the following: Clement Attlee, British prime minister, Bob Hawke, Australian prime minister, Bill Clinton, president of USA, along with Prof Stephen Hawkins who constructed a theory of Just About Everything. From the alternative Shelly side of the list is the assassin of Rasputin, a certain Prince Felix Yusupov.
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