The Centre for Islamic Studies’ dome and minaret rises out of the morning mist.

Marston Road is silent, except for the odd cyclist. Standing on the Centre’s wide roof terrace, I could see nothing of the surrounding fields.

Inside, its walls are decorated with exquisite red and blue Iznik tiles from Turkey; carved wooden panels from Malaysia and polished white marble in the mosque itself.

Fusing the traditions of an historic Oxford College with those of Islam, the building is based around a quadrangle, with a dining hall, place of worship (the mosque) and a magnificent library.

In the centre of the quadrangle is an intricately designed mosaic fountain. The grounds will include an Islamic garden, designed by Prince Charles – the Centre’s Patron.

Walking through the library, with its – as yet – empty shelves of gleaming American Walnut, I could imagine it as busy as say, the Said Business School’s near the station, in a year’s time. The Centre hopes to open in October 2015, in time for the new academic year.

Back by the Said, seeing all those students bashing the books as you stroll past – early in the morning, or late in the evening is a reminder of the high financial stakes in committing to a higher education course nowadays.

To mitigate the financial costs, and to attract the most able students worldwide, the Centre will sponsor a generous clutch of scholarships. The buildings alone have cost almost £80 million, donated by a large number of Islamic countries including Kuwait, Saudia Arabia, UAE, Oman, Brunei and Malaysia.

The Centre will have accommodation for 40 students, and its soaring auditorium, its meeting rooms and its reception areas will, doubtless, host many glittering occasions, drawing international researchers, students and speakers to contribute to the study of Islamic culture, religion and society.

In this way, the Centre will benefit from both Muslim, and non-Muslim expertise: a Muslim foundation open to all – men and women scholars. This is similar to the situation elsewhere in the University. Many of Oxford’s Colleges are Christian foundations, yet academic merit remains paramount and many faiths are represented.

When the mosque opens for prayers in the next year, its young Imam impressed on me the mosque’s welcome to all. Like a College Chapel, worship is inclusive of both Centre staff and students, and visitors from outside.

‘It’s a fundamental tenet of Islam. Our doors are always open’, the Imam said.

The mosque is of traditional design and layout. Women and men are separated – the women occupying an upper room overlooking male worshippers below.

I look forward to visiting when the fountain is playing, and the gardens are laid out, a reflexion of heavenly beauty. Then, its library full of scholars, its meeting rooms and auditorium a fulcrum of ideas and scholarship, it will take its place as a glory of Oxford.