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Founded Since 1850
As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford 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 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.
The 39 colleges though independent and self-governing, form a core element of the University, to which they are related in a federal system. Each college is granted a charter approved by the Privy Council, under which it is governed by a Head of House and a Governing Body comprising of a number of Fellows, most of whom also hold University posts. There are also six Permanent Private Halls, which were founded by different Christian denominations, and still, retain their religious character today.