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University of Cambridge: 800 Years

More than 30 colleges

The Oxford-Cambridge rivalry

One of the best universities in the world

dimarts, 29 de setembre de 2009
Located some 80 kilometres north of London, the city of Cambridge is home to one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Founded in 1209, exactly 800 years ago, it is also one of the world's oldest universities.

Strangely enough, the University of Cambridge was founded by a group of professors and students from Oxford, site of another great English university, with which Cambridge has an intense rivalry.

The university's reputation began to be consolidated at the beginning of the 16th century, when it became a centre for disseminating ideas that emerged during the Renaissance.

Cambridge is known for its excellence, particularly in the field of science, and is associated with names that have changed the vision of the world and of humanity, such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. What's more, Cambridge has produced over 80 Nobel Prize winners: more than any other university.

More than 30 colleges

+ King's College Chapel.
The University of Cambridge comprises 31 colleges: independent institutions, each with its own property and source of funding. Students live at the colleges and are taught in small groups (one of the main factors in educational excellence). Many of the colleges are Medieval or Renaissance buildings of great architectural value. One of the most important is King's College Chapel, a magnificent example of the late Gothic style.

The Oxford-Cambridge rivalry

+ The Boat Race is held every year.
Oxford and Cambridge are England's oldest and most famous universities and, between them, they have produced a great number of eminent scientists, writers and politicians. The rivalry between them is even played out in the sporting arena: the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race, a rowing race on the River Thames in the English capital London, is held every year. Cambridge has won the race 79 times, four more than the reigning champions Oxford.

One of the best universities in the world

+ The arms of the University of Cambridge.
Cambridge, like Oxford, is one of the world's top universities. The latest Academic Ranking of World Universities, drawn up by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, lists Cambridge in fourth place and Oxford in tenth place. They are the only two European universities in the top ten. Harvard University, the oldest in the United States, came top of the list.



  • Harvard University in the United States, which is today considered to be the best in the world, is named after the philanthropist John Harvard, who studied at Cambridge.
  • When referring to both Cambridge and Oxford universities, the abbreviation 'Oxbridge' is used.
  • Of the 31 Cambridge colleges, three admit women only: Murray Edwards, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish.


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