- Common traits:
The University increases the science output of the city, besides providing the first Scientist specialist slots for your empire. The University is even more effective if the city is near jungle tiles - they receive +2 Science output each! Players that have lots of jungle should research Education as soon as possible and build Universities in the respective cities first, then assign citizens to work them. Improve those tiles with Trading Posts (or Brazilwood Camps, if playing as Brazil) for additional Gold output. Trading Posts could also yield additional Science later on if you adopt the Rationalism Social policies. Players are also advised not to improve any sources of Bananas near a city with a University - they grow in jungles and yield a food benefit even without being improved with a Plantation, so if the native jungle tile is preserved, it can yield not only food but also science.
You need a University in every city in order to build Oxford University.
A university is an institute of research and higher education, serving children from the ages of 18 to about 24 (adults also attend universities, but the majority of the students are in the age range stated above). Formally, a university is a state-accredited institution which grants academic degrees in any number of subjects. The oldest continuously-operating university in the world is the University of Al-Karaouine, in Fes, Morocco, which was founded in 859 AD.