Essential IELTS: Expanding IELTS Vocabulary Through Reading

Oxford Considers Future Roles

OXFORD—What is Oxford University’s role in the age of the Internet?

Like an examination question, the dilemma of combining the best of the old and the new is occupying Oxfords top brains.

Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.

“I think we’ve only recaptured a more outward-looking role in the second half of this century.” North, who is in charge of day-to-day running of the university, said in an interview.

“It is more like the 13th century in a way than the 18th because Europe was (then) a conti­nent in which scholars moved around quite remarkably. Oxford went to sleep in the 18th century till the middle of the 19th century.”

The university’s 15,000 students today make up more than 10 percent of the city’s popula­tion. A third are doing post-graduate courses, and half of those come from abroad, which North believes is intellectually and politically important.

Oxford, he says, learns from foreign students, as well as gaining their money in fees, while the understanding they acquire of Britain is vital in trade-political terms.

The next task is to prepare for a future marked by “exploding changes in information tech­nology.” he says.

“Will we actually have people in one continent teaching courses in another? Will we have satellite campuses linked by satellite?” he mused.

Rapid expansion of British higher education in recent years has been attacked for compro­mising quality.

But Oxford chose moderate growth and North insists that it should keep its traditional strengths and not try to be the same as other universities, despite criticism that it is elitist.

So far the university has deckled to maintain a structure based on colleges, which are the focus of student life and work, rather than the campus, based systems of most universities.

Colleges, not the university, are where the power lies.

North also expects the costly, labour-intensive tutorial system of teaching in small groups to retain a key role, despite the pressures on all universities to cut costs.

“If we said OK, pack all the kids in, abandon tutorials, can’t have people doing research because we need them to teach, it simply wouldn’t be in the national interest.” he says.

The city of “dreaming spires” now has two universities—North’s centuries-old one, which helped to educate Lawrence of Arabia and Oscar Wilde, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher— and Oxford Brookes University, the former local polytechnic.

North regularly meets his counterpart at Brookes but says the two institutions are comple­mentary, with little overlap.

“We don’t attempt to do accountancy”, hotel entering or tourist management degrees, “All of them are very important for the economy. They don’t try to do high energy physics.” he says.

Oxford attracts a lot of research and other outside money and is less dependent on govern­ment finance than many universities, an advantage when public funds get higher each year. It is also relatively tight, a legacy of its long past.

Words and Expressions for IELTS Speaking & Writing 

  1. role (n): the function or position that somebody has or is expected to have in an organization, in society or in a relationship ⇒ “OXFORD—What is Oxford University’s role in the age of the Internet?”
  2. Internet (n): an international computer network connecting other networks and computers from companies, universities,… ⇒ “OXFORD—What is Oxford University’s role in the age of the Internet?”
  3. dilemma (n): a situation which makes problems, often one in which you have to make a very difficult choice between things of equal importance ⇒ “Like an examination question, the dilemma of combining the best of the old and the new is occupying Oxfords top brains.”
  4. brains (n): in head ⇒ “Like an examination question, the dilemma of combining the best of the old and the new is occupying Oxfords top brains.”
  5. found (v): to start something, such as an organization or an institution, especially by providing money ⇒ “Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.”
  6. conduct (v): to organize and/or do a particular activity ⇒ “Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.”
  7. inquiry (n): an official process to find out the cause of something or to find out information about something ⇒ “Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.”
  8. chancellor (n): the head of government in Germany or Australia ⇒ “Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.”
  9. vital (adj): necessary or essential in order for something to succeed or exist ⇒ “Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.”
  10. maintain (v): to make something continue at the same level, standard,… ⇒ “Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.”
  11. relevance (n): closely connected with the subject you are discussing or the situation you are thinking about ⇒ “Founded in the 13th century, the university is conducting the first major inquiry into its future for 30 years and Vice-Chancellor Peter North sees international connections as vital in maintaining its relevance.”
  12. recapture (v): the act of winning back a place, position,… that was previously taken from you by an enemy or a rival ⇒ “I think we’ve only recaptured a more outward-looking role in the second half of this century.”
  13. outward looking (adj): connected with the way people or things seem to be rather than with what is actually true ⇒ “I think we’ve only recaptured a more outward-looking role in the second half of this century.”
  14. in charge of: replace someone in a position ⇒ “North, who is in charge of day-to-day running of the university, said in an interview.”
  15. day-to-day: continuous days ⇒ “North, who is in charge of day-to-day running of the university, said in an interview.”
  16. run (v): an action that follows something ⇒ “North, who is in charge of day-to-day running of the university, said in an interview.”
  17. in a way: a method, style or manner of doing something ⇒ “It is more like the 13th century in a way than the 18th because Europe was (then) a conti­nent in which scholars moved around quite remarkably. Oxford went to sleep in the 18th century till the middle of the 19th century.”
  18. move around (v): an action that a person has to go around ⇒ “It is more like the 13th century in a way than the 18th because Europe was (then) a conti­nent in which scholars moved around quite remarkably. Oxford went to sleep in the 18th century till the middle of the 19th century.”
  19. remarkably (adv): in a way that is unusual or surprising and causes people to take notice ⇒ “It is more like the 13th century in a way than the 18th because Europe was (then) a conti­nent in which scholars moved around quite remarkably. Oxford went to sleep in the 18th century till the middle of the 19th century.”
  20. make up (v): substances used especially by women to make their faces look more attractive, or used by actors to change their appearance ⇒ “The university’s 15,000 students today make up more than 10 percent of the city’s popula­tion.”
  21. post-graduate (adj): a person who already holds a first degree and who is doing advanced study or research; a graduate student ⇒ “A third are doing post-graduate courses, and half of those come from abroad, which North believes is intellectually and politically important.”
  22. intellectually (adv): in a way that is connected with or using a person’s ability to think in a logical way and understand things ⇒ “A third are doing post-graduate courses, and half of those come from abroad, which North believes is intellectually and politically important.”
  23. fee (n): an amount of money that you pay for professional advice or services ⇒ “Oxford, he says, learns from foreign students, as well as gaining their money in fees, while the understanding they acquire of Britain is vital in trade-political terms.”
  24. acquire (v): to gain something by your own efforts, ability or behavior ⇒ “Oxford, he says, learns from foreign students, as well as gaining their money in fees, while the understanding they acquire of Britain is vital in trade-political terms.”
  25. … terms: a period of time ⇒ “Oxford, he says, learns from foreign students, as well as gaining their money in fees, while the understanding they acquire of Britain is vital in trade-political terms.”
  26. mark (v): to write or draw a symbol, line,… on something in order to give information about it ⇒ “The next task is to prepare for a future marked by “exploding changes in information tech­nology.” he says.”
  27. exploding (adj): to burst or make something burst loudly and violently, causing damage ⇒ “The next task is to prepare for a future marked by “exploding changes in information tech­nology.” he says.”
  28. campus (n): the buildings of a university or college and the land around them ⇒ “Will we actually have people in one continent teaching courses in another? Will we have satellite campuses linked by satellite?” he mused
  29. muse (v): a person or spirit that gives a writer, painter,… ideas and the desire to create things ⇒ “Will we actually have people in one continent teaching courses in another? Will we have satellite campuses linked by satellite?” he mused
  30. expansion (n): an act of increasing or making something increase in size, amount or importance ⇒ “Rapid expansion of British higher education in recent years has been attacked for compro­mising quality.”
  31. attack (v): an act of using violence to try to hurt or kill somebody ⇒ “Rapid expansion of British higher education in recent years has been attacked for compro­mising quality.”
  32. compromise (v): an agreement made between two people or groups in which each side gives up some of the things they want so that both sides are happy at the end ⇒ “Rapid expansion of British higher education in recent years has been attacked for compro­mising quality.”
  33. moderate (adj): something that is neither very good, large, hot,…. nor very bad, small, cold,… ⇒ “But Oxford chose moderate growth and North insists that it should keep its traditional strengths and not try to be the same as other universities, despite criticism that it is elitist.”
  34. elitist (adj): organizing a system, society,… so that only a few people (= an elite) have power or influence ⇒ “But Oxford chose moderate growth and North insists that it should keep its traditional strengths and not try to be the same as other universities, despite criticism that it is elitist.”
  35. focus (n): to give attention, effort,… to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another ⇒ “So far the university has deckled to maintain a structure based on colleges, which are the focus of student life and work, rather than the campus, based systems of most universities.”
  36. labor-intensive (adj): an employees’ expansion ⇒ “North also expects the costly, labour-intensive tutorial system of teaching in small groups to retain a key role, despite the pressures on all universities to cut costs.”
  37. tutorial system (n): how to train people in a right way ⇒ “North also expects the costly, labour-intensive tutorial system of teaching in small groups to retain a key role, despite the pressures on all universities to cut costs.”
  38. retain (v): to keep something or to continue to have something ⇒ “North also expects the costly, labour-intensive tutorial system of teaching in small groups to retain a key role, despite the pressures on all universities to cut costs.”
  39. pressure (n): the force or weight with which something presses against something else ⇒ “North also expects the costly, labour-intensive tutorial system of teaching in small groups to retain a key role, despite the pressures on all universities to cut costs.”
  40. pack (v): to put clothes,… into a bag in preparation for a trip away from home ⇒ “If we said OK, pack all the kids in, abandon tutorials, can’t have people doing research because we need them to teach, it simply wouldn’t be in the national interest.” he says.
  41. abandon (v): to leave somebody, especially somebody you are responsible for, with no intention of returning ⇒ “If we said OK, pack all the kids in, abandon tutorials, can’t have people doing research because we need them to teach, it simply wouldn’t be in the national interest.” he says.
  42. tutorial (n): a period of teaching in a university that involves discussion between an individual student or a small group of students and a tutor ⇒ “If we said OK, pack all the kids in, abandon tutorials, can’t have people doing research because we need them to teach, it simply wouldn’t be in the national interest.” he says.
  43. spire (n): a tall pointed structure on the top of a building, especially a church ⇒ “The city of “dreaming spires” now has two universities—North’s centuries-old one, which helped to educate Lawrence of Arabia and Oscar Wilde, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher— and Oxford Brookes University, the former local polytechnic.”
  44. former (adj): something that existed in earlier times ⇒ “The city of “dreaming spires” now has two universities—North’s centuries-old one, which helped to educate Lawrence of Arabia and Oscar Wilde, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher— and Oxford Brookes University, the former local polytechnic.”
  45. local (adj): belonging to or connected with the particular place or area that you are talking about or with the place where you live ⇒ “The city of “dreaming spires” now has two universities—North’s centuries-old one, which helped to educate Lawrence of Arabia and Oscar Wilde, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher— and Oxford Brookes University, the former local polytechnic.”
  46. polytechnic (n): (in Britain in the past) a college for higher education, especially in scientific and technical subjects ⇒ “The city of “dreaming spires” now has two universities—North’s centuries-old one, which helped to educate Lawrence of Arabia and Oscar Wilde, Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher— and Oxford Brookes University, the former local polytechnic.”
  47. counterpart (n): a person or thing that has the same position or function as somebody or something else in a different place or situation ⇒ “North regularly meets his counterpart at Brookes but says the two institutions are comple­mentary, with little overlap.”
  48. institution (n): a large important organization that has a particular purpose, for example, a university or bank ⇒ “North regularly meets his counterpart at Brookes but says the two institutions are comple­mentary, with little overlap.”
  49. complementary (adj): two people or things that are complementary are different but together form a useful or attractive combination of skills, qualities or physical features ⇒ “North regularly meets his counterpart at Brookes but says the two institutions are comple­mentary, with little overlap.”
  50. overlap (n): if one thing overlaps another, or the two things overlap, part of one thing covers part of the other ⇒ “North regularly meets his counterpart at Brookes but says the two institutions are comple­mentary, with little overlap.”
  51. attempt (v): an act of trying to do something, especially something difficult, often with no success ⇒ “We don’t attempt to do accountancy”
  52. accountancy (n): the work or profession of an accountant ⇒ “We don’t attempt to do accountancy
  53. entering (n): the work of providing food and drinks for meetings or social events ⇒ “Hotel entering or tourist management degrees.”
  54. high energy (n): an energy that is very powerful ⇒ “They don’t try to do high energy physics.”
  55. attract (v): be focused on something ⇒ “Oxford attracts a lot of research and other outside money and is less dependent on govern­ment finance than many universities, an advantage when public funds get higher each year.”
  56. be dependent on: relate to something ⇒ “Oxford attracts a lot of research and other outside money and is less dependent on govern­ment finance than many universities, an advantage when public funds get higher each year.”
  57. finance (n): money used to run a business, an activity or a project ⇒ “Oxford attracts a lot of research and other outside money and is less dependent on govern­ment finance than many universities, an advantage when public funds get higher each year.”
  58. advantage (n): a thing that helps you to be better or more successful than other people ⇒ “Oxford attracts a lot of research and other outside money and is less dependent on govern­ment finance than many universities, an advantage when public funds get higher each year.”
  59. fund (n): an amount of money that has been saved or has been made available for a particular purpose ⇒ “Oxford attracts a lot of research and other outside money and is less dependent on govern­ment finance than many universities, an advantage when public funds get higher each year.”
  60. tight (adj): fitting closely to your body and sometimes uncomfortable ⇒ “It is also relatively tight, a legacy of its long past.”
  61. relatively (adv): to a fairly large degree, especially in comparison to something else ⇒ “It is also relatively tight, a legacy of its long past.”
  62. legacy (n): a situation that exists now because of events, actions,… that took place in the past ⇒ “It is also relatively tight, a legacy of its long past.”

Exercises

Fill in each blank with the appropriate word, making changes where necessary

dilemma, moderate, retain, conduct, inquiry, remarkable, acquire, relevance, capture, com­promise

  1. The ……………. the doctor faced was whether he should tell the patient the truth.
  2. China has begun to …………… business with some European countries.
  3. …………… of the operator will get you the right telephone number.
  4. What you say has no …………… to what we’re talking about.
  5. The magazine has ……………. a new market.
  6. This painting is of ……………… quality.
  7. One can …………… a good knowledge of English by careful study.
  8. The rumor will …………….. his reputation as a professor.
  9. He is a man of …………… views.
  10. She ………….. a clear memory of her school days.

 

Essential IELTS: Expanding IELTS Vocabulary Through Reading
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