As the oldest in the English-speaking world, the University 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.
Over the centuries, the University strengthened its traditional role as an international forum for intellectual debate and learning, and added a major research capacity in the natural and applied sciences to become a place for scientific discovery.
The University is associated with 16 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, 11 in Chemistry, and 6 in Physics. Notable Oxford thinkers and scientists include Tim Berners-Lee, Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins. Actors Hugh Grant and Rosamund Pike also studied at Oxford, as did writers Oscar Wilde, Graham Greene and Vikram Seth.