The University of Cambridge in Cambridge, United Kingdom, is an elite higher educational institution that consistently ranks as one of the top five colleges in the world. A group of scholars who left Oxford started Cambridge in 1209, and it officially received a charter as a university from King Henry III in 1231.

As the third oldest university in the world, the University of Cambridge, also referred to as Cambridge University, maintains an endowment of roughly £4.3 billion to support the functions and research projects in a variety of subjects like mathematics and science.

Cambridge has developed into one of the premier academic institutions in the world with notable alumni such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Zadie Smith.

The University of Cambridge operates on a college system, which separates the students into 32 established institutions scattered throughout the city of Cambridge. The six main schools of study represented by each include Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Technology.

Cambridge – An Expansive Education

The colleges offer a wide variety of specific degrees to study within each discipline, but some of the 32 institutions cater to individual subjects. For example, King’s College fosters education in the medical studies. Graduate students apply to a specific college like undergraduates, but can take classes in different faculties of other colleges to accommodate their research.

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Each college at Cambridge operates on an individual endowment and maintains its own housing, food services, classes, and social activities. Some of the sports and club activities include rowing, cricket, and rugby. Groups including the Flute Choir Society and the Jugglers’ Association also support the cultural and artistic interests of the students.

Cambridge – 800 Years of Architecture

The University of Cambridge colleges have buildings with architectural differences that span 800 years, depending on the establishment date of each. Queens’ College, founded in 1448, uses some of the oldest forms of patterned brickwork in the world. Girton College, founded officially in 1948, uses more modern architectural structures. The oldest colleges surround the center of the campus, while those built later push out past the River Cam.

Interesting Facts about Cambridge

  • It is believed the apple that fell on Isaac Newton’s head, prompting him to discover the Universal Law of Gravitation, was from a tree in the University of Cambridge.
  • The University Library has 29 million books. To continue the tradition of owning every book published, Cambridge University’s library, the British Library, and Oxford University’s library agreed to share their collections thus conserving dwindling space.
  • The University boasts the highest number of Nobel Laureates since 1904 with 89 alumni having received the honor.
  • Boathouses can only place a clock on the building if the members have won 10 of the river races during a period of 10 consecutive years.
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States was named after Cambridge, United Kingdom.

University Colleges Contact & Location

The Old Schools Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1TN
Tel: +44 1223 337733

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