Studying at the world’s renowned university is every student’s dream. If you simply search terms like “the best university in the world” on Google, Oxford University appears pretty high up in the results.
Oxford University is known for offering its students the best education and world-class learning resources. This has attracted students from all over the world to pursue their studies in the United Kingdom. It is safe to say that the University of Oxford has created a quality standard for higher education around the world.
Nobody knows when Oxford University was exactly established. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university.
The university received more attention after Henry II banned students from attending the University of Paris due to political conflicts. Since then, history marked the University of Oxford as one of the most prestigious universities in the UK.
Many famous people graduated from Oxford University, from the ones you see on television to authors of the books that you read, you’d be surprised that they are actually Oxford alumni.
Here are 10 famous people who went to Oxford University.
1. Kate Beckinsale
English actress and model
This London-born actress is famous for her roles in Serendipity and Underworld. She studied at New College, Oxford and majored in French and Russian Literature. She also participated in the Oxford University Dramatic Society. Her third year was spent abroad in Paris as a part of her course requirement. She then decided to quit university to concentrate on her acting career instead.
2. Rupert Murdoch
Australian-born American media magnate
Murdoch took over his father’s legacy and developed his interest in business since he was younger. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford.
3. Emma Watson
English actress, model and activist
Popularly known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter film series, Emma Watson started her acting career when she was just 11 years old. Although she was involved in the media industry early, she still insisted to pursue her studies. She attended Worcester College for an academic year as a “visiting” student, later she graduated from Brown University with a degree in English literature.
4. Oscar Wilde
Irish poet and playwright
Known for his notable work The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde is one of the popular novelists in London. His brilliance brought him a royal scholarship for Trinity College in Dublin and he was later encouraged to enter a “demyship” competition at Magdalen College in Oxford. He specialised in Classical Moderations and Literae Humaniores (Greats) and graduated with a double first.
5. Indira Gandhi
Former Prime Minister of India
Indira Gandhi travelled all the way to the UK from India to attend to her ailing mother. While she was living there, she made a decision to continue her tertiary education at Oxford University. She took her entrance exam twice, as she didn’t pass her first attempt due to her lack of proficiency in Latin. She was an active student and partook in a lot of university activities, including Oxford Majlis Asian Society. She held the title of India’s first female prime minister and the third one in the country.
6. Hugh Grant
English actor and film producer
Loved by many for his outstanding acting skills, Hugh Grant has appeared in some popular films such as Notting Hill and Love, Actually. Grant won a scholarship to attend New College, Oxford. That is when he debuted in his first film, Privileged, produced by the Oxford University Film Foundation. He graduated with upper second-class honours in English.
7. Benazir Bhutto
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan
Benazir Bhutto was the first female prime minister of Pakistan. She had her first degree in arts from Harvard University and pursued a second degree in Literae Humaniores at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. She stayed another year in Oxford for postgraduate studies at St. Catherine’s College. She was also the first Asian woman who got elected as the President of Oxford Union debating society.
8. David Cameron
Former British Prime Minister
David Cameron served as prime minister of the UK from 2010 to 2016. He passed the entrance exam for Oxford University but he was offered to study at Brasenose College. He pursued his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics while actively involved as Bullingdon Club, dining society member. He graduated with first-class honours.
9. Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister
The first female prime minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher studied Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford. She started her journey as a student at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with second-class honours with a degree in chemistry. By then, she was already thinking and developed her interests in law and politics.
10. Dr. Seuss
Popularly known by his pseudonym, Dr. Seuss or Theodore Seuss Geisel attended Dartmouth College. He became the editor in chief of the college’s humour magazine called Jack-O-Lantern. As he was inspired by writing, he registered as a student at Lincoln College, Oxford with the plan to earn a PhD in English literature. Unfortunately, he dropped out of university and went back to America.
The list doesn’t stop here. There are many other famous personalities who have attended Oxford. From politicians, great scholars, skilled scientists, activists and more, you name it.
Want to be a part of the star-studded alumni of Oxford University? Head over to Bucksmore Education website to find out more!