University of Cambridge | Wikipedia audio article

University of Cambridge | Wikipedia audio article

August 26, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


The University of Cambridge (formally The
Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge) is a collegiate public research
university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King
Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and
the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association
of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The
two medieval universities share many common features and are often referred to jointly
as ‘Oxbridge’. The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one
of the most prestigious universities in the world.Cambridge is formed from a variety of
institutions which include 31 constituent Colleges and over 100 academic departments
organised into six schools. Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is
the world’s oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world.
The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam
Museum, as well as a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries hold a total of around 15 million
books, eight million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library.
In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2017, the university had a total income of £1.71 billion,
of which £458 million was from research grants and contracts. This is the largest annual
income of any university in the UK. The central university and colleges have combined net
assets of around £11.8 billion, also the largest of any university in the UK. The university
is closely linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon
Fen”. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the “golden triangle” of
leading English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health
science centre. As of September 2017, Cambridge is ranked
the world’s second best university by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings,
and is ranked 3rd worldwide by Academic Ranking of World Universities, 6th by QS, and 7th
by US News. According to the Times Higher Education ranking, no other institution in
the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects. The university has educated many
notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, scientists, politicians, lawyers, philosophers,
writers, actors and foreign Heads of State. As of October 2018, 118 Nobel Laureates, 11
Fields Medalists, 6 Turing Award winners and 15 British Prime Ministers have been affiliated
with Cambridge as students, alumni, faculty or research staff.==History==By the late 12th century, the Cambridge region
already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation, due to monks from the nearby bishopric
church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have formed
the establishment of the university: two Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities
for the death of a woman, without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities, who would
normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case, but were at that time in conflict
with King John. The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, and most scholars
moved to cities such as Paris, Reading, and Cambridge. After the University of Oxford
reformed several years later, enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus
of the new university. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding
to the 1231 charter from King Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members
(ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes (Oxford would not receive a similar
enhancement until 1248).A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge
the right to teach “everywhere in Christendom”. After Cambridge was described as a studium
generale in a letter by Pope Nicholas IV in 1290, and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope
John XXII in 1318, it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities
to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.===Foundation of the colleges===The colleges at the University of Cambridge
were originally an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university
itself. The colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars. There were also institutions
without endowments, called hostels. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over
the centuries, but they have left some indications of their existence, such as the name of Garret
Hostel Lane.Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse, Cambridge’s first college, in
1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries, but colleges continued
to be established until modern times, although there was a gap of 204 years between the founding
of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800. The most recently established college
is Robinson, built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university
college status in March 2010, making it the newest full college (it was previously an
“Approved Society” affiliated with the university). In medieval times, many colleges were founded
so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders, and were often associated
with chapels or abbeys. A change in the colleges’ focus occurred in 1536 with the Dissolution
of the Monasteries. King Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon
Law and to stop teaching “scholastic philosophy”. In response, colleges changed their curricula
away from canon law, and towards the classics, the Bible, and mathematics.
Nearly a century later, the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism. Many
nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as being
too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the
rightful powers of the counties. East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan
movement. At Cambridge, it was particularly strong at Emmanuel, St Catharine’s Hall, Sidney
Sussex and Christ’s College. They produced many “non-conformist” graduates who greatly
influenced, by social position or pulpit, the approximately 20,000 Puritans who left
for New England and especially the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the Great Migration decade
of the 1630s. Oliver Cromwell, Parliamentary commander during the English Civil War and
head of the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), attended Sidney Sussex.===Mathematics and mathematical physics===Examination in mathematics was once compulsory
for all undergraduates studying for the Bachelor of Arts degree, the main first degree at Cambridge
in both arts and sciences. From the time of Isaac Newton in the later 17th century until
the mid-19th century, the university maintained an especially strong emphasis on applied mathematics,
particularly mathematical physics. The exam is known as a Tripos. Students awarded first-class
honours after completing the mathematics Tripos are termed wranglers, and the top student
among them is the Senior Wrangler. The Cambridge Mathematical Tripos is competitive and has
helped produce some of the most famous names in British science, including James Clerk
Maxwell, Lord Kelvin and Lord Rayleigh. However, some famous students, such as G. H. Hardy,
disliked the system, feeling that people were too interested in accumulating marks in exams
and not interested in the subject itself. Pure mathematics at Cambridge in the 19th
century had great achievements but also missed out on substantial developments in French
and German mathematics. Pure mathematical research at Cambridge finally reached the
highest international standard in the early 20th century, thanks above all to G. H. Hardy,
his collaborator J. E. Littlewood and Srinivasa Ramanujan. In geometry, W. V. D. Hodge brought
Cambridge into the international mainstream in the 1930s.
Although diversified in its research and teaching interests, Cambridge today maintains its strength
in mathematics. Cambridge alumni have won six Fields Medals and one Abel Prize for mathematics,
while individuals representing Cambridge have won four Fields Medals.===Modern period===After the Cambridge University Act formalised
the organizational structure of the university, the study of many new subjects was introduced,
such as theology, history and modern languages. Resources necessary for new courses in the
arts, architecture and archaeology were donated by Viscount Fitzwilliam, of Trinity College,
who also founded the Fitzwilliam Museum. Between 1896 and 1902, Downing College sold part of
its land to build the Downing Site, comprising new scientific laboratories for anatomy, genetics
and Earth sciences. During the same period, the New Museums Site was erected, including
the Cavendish Laboratory, which has since moved to the West Cambridge Site, and other
departments for chemistry and medicine.The University of Cambridge began to award PhD
degrees in the first third of the 20th century. The first Cambridge PhD in mathematics was
awarded in 1924.In the First World War, 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470
were killed. Teaching, and the fees it earned, came almost to a stop and severe financial
difficulties followed. As a consequence the university first received systematic state
support in 1919, and a Royal Commission appointed in 1920 recommended that the university (but
not the colleges) should receive an annual grant. Following the Second World War, the
university saw a rapid expansion of student numbers and available places; this was partly
due to the success and popularity gained by many Cambridge scientists.====Parliamentary representation====The university was one of only two universities
to hold parliamentary seats in the Parliament of England and was later one of eight represented
in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The constituency was created by a Royal Charter
of 1603 and returned two members of parliament until 1950, when it was abolished by the Representation
of the People Act 1948. The constituency was not a geographical area.
Its electorate consisted of the graduates of the university. Before 1918 the franchise
was restricted to male graduates with a doctorate or MA degree.===Women’s education===For many years only male students were enrolled
into the university. The first colleges for women were Girton College (founded by Emily
Davies) in 1869 and Newnham College in 1872 (founded by Anne Clough and Henry Sidgwick),
followed by Hughes Hall in 1885 (founded by Elizabeth Phillips Hughes as the Cambridge
Teaching College for Women), Murray Edwards College (founded by Rosemary Murray as New
Hall) in 1954, and Lucy Cavendish College in 1965. The first women students were examined
in 1882 but attempts to make women full members of the university did not succeed until 1948.
Women were allowed to study courses, sit examinations, and have their results recorded from 1881;
for a brief period after the turn of the twentieth century, this allowed the “steamboat ladies”
to receive ad eundem degrees from the University of Dublin.From 1921 women were awarded diplomas
which “conferred the Title of the Degree of Bachelor of Arts”. As they were not “admitted
to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts” they were excluded from the governing of the university.
Since students must belong to a college, and since established colleges remained closed
to women, women found admissions restricted to colleges established only for women. Darwin
College, the first wholly graduate college of the university, matriculated both men and
women students from its inception in 1964 – and elected a mixed fellowship. Of the
undergraduate colleges, starting with Churchill, Clare and King’s Colleges, the former men’s
colleges began to admit women between 1972 and 1988. One of the female-only colleges,
Girton, also began to admit male students from 1979, but the other female-only colleges
did not do likewise. As a result of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, ending its ban on male students
in 2008, Cambridge is now the only remaining United Kingdom university with female-only
colleges (Newnham, Murray Edwards and Lucy Cavendish). In the academic year 2004–5,
the university’s student sex ratio, including post-graduates, was male 52%: female 48%.===Myths, legends and traditions===As an institution with such a long history,
the university has developed a large number of myths and legends. The vast majority of
these are untrue, but have been propagated nonetheless by generations of students and
tour guides. A discontinued tradition is that of the wooden
spoon, the ‘prize’ awarded to the student with the lowest passing honours grade in the
final examinations of the Mathematical Tripos. The last of these spoons was awarded in 1909
to Cuthbert Lempriere Holthouse, an oarsman of the Lady Margaret Boat Club of St John’s
College. It was over one metre in length and had an oar blade for a handle. It can now
be seen outside the Senior Combination Room of St John’s. Since 1908, examination results
have been published alphabetically within class rather than in strict order of merit.
This made it harder to ascertain who was “entitled” to the spoon (unless there was only one person
in the third class), and so the practice was abandoned.
Each Christmas Eve, BBC radio and television broadcasts The Festival of Nine Lessons and
Carols sung by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. The radio broadcast has been a
national Christmas tradition since it was first transmitted in 1928 (though the festival
has existed since 1918). The radio broadcast is carried worldwide by the BBC World Service
and is also syndicated to hundreds of radio stations in the US. The first television broadcast
of the festival was in 1954.==Locations and buildings=====
Buildings===The university occupies a central location
within the city of Cambridge, with the students taking up a significant proportion (nearly
20%) of the town’s population and heavily affecting the age structure. Most of the older
colleges are situated nearby the city centre and river Cam, along which it is traditional
to punt to appreciate the buildings and surroundings.Examples of notable buildings include King’s College
Chapel, the history faculty building designed by James Stirling; and the Cripps Building
at St John’s College. The brickwork of several of the colleges is also notable: Queens’ College
contains “some of the earliest patterned brickwork in the country” and the brick walls of St
John’s College provide examples of English bond, Flemish bond and Running bond.===Sites===
The university is divided into several sites where the different departments are placed.
The main ones are: The university’s School of Clinical Medicine
is based in Addenbrooke’s Hospital where students in medicine undergo their three-year clinical
placement period after obtaining their BA degree, while the West Cambridge site is undergoing
a major expansion and will host a new sports development. In addition, the Judge Business
School, situated on Trumpington Street, provides management education courses since 1990 and
is consistently ranked within the top 20 business schools globally by the Financial Times.Given
that the sites are in relative close proximity to each other and the area around Cambridge
is reasonably flat, one of the favourite modes of transport for students is the bicycle:
a fifth of the journeys in the city are made by bike, a figure enhanced by the fact that
students are not permitted to hold car park permits, except under special circumstances.===’Town and gown’===The relationship between the university and
the city has not always been positive. The phrase town and gown is employed to differentiate
inhabitants of Cambridge from students at the university, who historically wore academical
dress. There are many stories of ferocious rivalry between the two categories: in 1381,
strong clashes brought about attacks and looting of university properties while locals contested
the privileges granted by the government to the academic staff. Following these events,
the Chancellor was given special powers allowing him to prosecute the criminals and re-establish
order in the city. Attempts to reconcile the two groups followed over time, and in the
16th century agreements were signed to improve the quality of streets and student accommodation
around the city. However, this was followed by new confrontations when the plague hit
Cambridge in 1630 and colleges refused to help those affected by the disease by locking
their sites.Nowadays, these conflicts have somewhat subsided and the university has become
an opportunity for employment among the population, providing an increased level of wealth in
the area. The enormous growth in the number of high-tech, biotech, providers of services
and related firms situated near Cambridge has been termed the Cambridge Phenomenon:
the addition of 1,500 new, registered companies and as many as 40,000 jobs between 1960 and
2010 has been directly related to the presence and importance of the university.==Organisation and administration==Cambridge is a collegiate university, meaning
that it is made up of self-governing and independent colleges, each with its own property and income.
Most colleges bring together academics and students from a broad range of disciplines,
and within each faculty, school or department within the university, academics from many
different colleges will be found. The faculties are responsible for ensuring
that lectures are given, arranging seminars, performing research and determining the syllabi
for teaching, overseen by the General Board. Together with the central administration headed
by the Vice-Chancellor, they make up the entire Cambridge University. Facilities such as libraries
are provided on all these levels: by the university (the Cambridge University Library), by the
Faculties (Faculty libraries such as the Squire Law Library), and by the individual colleges
(all of which maintain a multi-discipline library, generally aimed mainly at their undergraduates).===Colleges===The colleges are self-governing institutions
with their own endowments and property, founded as integral parts of the university. All students
and most academics are attached to a college. Their importance lies in the housing, welfare,
social functions, and undergraduate teaching they provide. All faculties, departments,
research centres, and laboratories belong to the university, which arranges lectures
and awards degrees, but undergraduates receive their supervisions—small-group teaching
sessions, often with just one student—within the colleges (though in many cases students
go to other colleges for supervision if the teaching fellows at their college do not specialise
in the areas concerned). Each college appoints its own teaching staff and fellows, who are
also members of a university department. The colleges also decide which undergraduates
to admit to the university, in accordance with university regulations.
Cambridge has 31 colleges, of which three, Murray Edwards, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish,
admit women only. The other colleges are mixed, though most were originally all-male. Darwin
was the first college to admit both men and women, while Churchill, Clare, and King’s
were the first previously all-male colleges to admit female undergraduates, in 1972. Magdalene
became the last all-male college to accept women, in 1988. Clare Hall and Darwin admit
only postgraduates, and Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund’s and Wolfson admit only
mature (i.e. 21 years or older on date of matriculation) students, encompassing both
undergraduate and graduate students. All other colleges admit both undergraduate and postgraduate
students with no age restrictions. Colleges are not required to admit students
in all subjects, with some colleges choosing not to offer subjects such as architecture,
history of art or theology, but most offer close to the complete range. Some colleges
maintain a bias towards certain subjects, for example with Churchill leaning towards
the sciences and engineering, while others such as St Catharine’s aim for a balanced
intake. Others maintain much more informal reputations, such as for the students of King’s
to hold left-wing political views, or Robinson’s and Churchill’s attempts to minimise their
environmental impact.Costs to students (accommodation and food prices) vary considerably from college
to college. Similarly, college expenditure on student education also varies widely between
individual colleges.There are also several theological colleges in Cambridge, separate
from Cambridge University, including Westcott House, Westminster College and Ridley Hall
Theological College, that are, to a lesser degree, affiliated to the university and are
members of the Cambridge Theological Federation.The 31 colleges are:===Schools, faculties and departments===In addition to the 31 colleges, the university
is made up of over 150 departments, faculties, schools, syndicates and other institutions.
Members of these are usually also members of one of the colleges and responsibility
for running the entire academic programme of the university is divided amongst them.
The university also houses the Institute of Continuing Education, a centre for part-time
study. A “School” in the University of Cambridge
is a broad administrative grouping of related faculties and other units. Each has an elected
supervisory body—the “Council” of the school—comprising representatives of the constituent bodies.
There are six schools: Teaching and research in Cambridge is organised
by faculties. The faculties have different organisational sub-structures which partly
reflect their history and partly their operational needs, which may include a number of departments
and other institutions. In addition, a small number of bodies called ‘Syndicates’ have
responsibilities for teaching and research, e.g. Cambridge Assessment, the University
Press, and the University Library.===Central administration=======Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor====The office of Chancellor of the university,
for which there are no term limits, is mainly ceremonial and is held by David Sainsbury,
Baron Sainsbury of Turville, following the retirement of the Duke of Edinburgh on his
90th birthday in June 2011. Lord Sainsbury was nominated by the official Nomination Board
to succeed him, and Abdul Arain, owner of a local grocery store, Brian Blessed and Michael
Mansfield were also nominated. The election took place on 14 and 15 October 2011. David
Sainsbury won the election taking 2,893 of the 5,888 votes cast, winning on the first
count. The current Vice-Chancellor is Stephen Toope.
While the Chancellor’s office is ceremonial, the Vice-Chancellor is the de facto principal
administrative officer of the university. The university’s internal governance is carried
out almost entirely by its own members, with very little external representation on its
governing body, the Regent House (though there is external representation on the Audit Committee,
and there are four external members on the University’s Council, who are the only external
members of the Regent House).====Senate and the Regent House====The Senate consists of all holders of the
MA degree or higher degrees. It elects the Chancellor and the High Steward, and elected
two members of the House of Commons until the Cambridge University constituency was
abolished in 1950. Prior to 1926, it was the university’s governing body, fulfilling the
functions that the Regent House fulfils today. The Regent House is the university’s governing
body, a direct democracy comprising all resident senior members of the University and the Colleges,
together with the Chancellor, the High Steward, the Deputy High Steward, and the Commissary.
The public representatives of the Regent House are the two Proctors, elected to serve for
one year, on the nomination of the Colleges.====Council and the General Board====
Although the University Council is the principal executive and policy-making body of the university,
it must report and be accountable to the Regent House through a variety of checks and balances.
It has the right of reporting to the university, and is obliged to advise the Regent House
on matters of general concern to the university. It does both of these by causing notices to
be published by authority in the Cambridge University Reporter, the official journal
of the university. Since January 2005, the membership of the Council has included two
external members, and the Regent House voted for an increase from two to four in the number
of external members in March 2008, and this was approved by Her Majesty the Queen in July
2008. The General Board of the Faculties is responsible
for the academic and educational policy of the university, and is accountable to the
Council for its management of these affairs. Faculty Boards are responsible to the General
Board; other Boards and Syndicates are responsible either to the General Board (if primarily
for academic purposes) or to the Council. In this way, the various arms of the university
are kept under the supervision of the central administration, and thus the Regent House.===Finances===
In 2006–7, it was reported that approximately one third of Cambridge’s income comes from
UK government funding for teaching and research, with another third coming from other research
grants. Endowment income contributes around £130 million. The university also receives
a significant income in annual transfers from the Cambridge University Press.====Benefactions and fundraising====
In 2000, Bill Gates of Microsoft donated US$210 million through the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation to endow the Gates Scholarships for students from outside the UK seeking postgraduate
study at Cambridge.In the year ended 31 July 2013 the university had a total income of
£1.44 billion, of which £332 million was from research grants and contracts.====Bonds====
The University of Cambridge borrowed 350 million pounds by issuing a 40-year security bond
in October 2012. Its interest rate is about 0.6 percent higher than a British government
40-year bond. Vice chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz hailed the success of the issue. In a 2010
report, the Russell Group of 20 leading universities made a conclusion that higher education could
be financed by issuing bonds.===Affiliations and memberships===
Cambridge is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the
G5, the League of European Research Universities, and the International Alliance of Research
Universities, and forms part of the “golden triangle” of highly research intensive and
elite southern English universities. It is also closely linked with the development of
the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fen”, and as part of the Cambridge University
Health Partners, an academic health science centre.==Academic profile=====Admissions=======Procedure====
Undergraduate applications to Cambridge must be made through UCAS in time for the early
deadline, currently mid-October in the year before starting. Until the 1980s candidates
for all subjects were required to sit special entrance examinations, since replaced by additional
tests for some subjects, such as the Thinking Skills Assessment and the Cambridge Law Test.
The university is considering reintroducing an admissions exam for all subjects with effect
from 2016. The university gives offers of admission to 33.5% of its applicants, the
2nd lowest amongst the Russell Group. The acceptance rate for students in the 2014–2015
cycle was 21.0%.Most applicants who are called for interview will have been predicted at
least three A-grade A-level qualifications relevant to their chosen undergraduate course,
or the equivalent in other qualifications, such as getting at least 7,7,6 for higher-level
subjects at IB. The A* A-level grade (introduced in 2010) now plays a part in the acceptance
of applications, with the university’s standard offer for most courses being set at A*AA,
with A*A*A for sciences courses. Due to a very high proportion of applicants receiving
the highest school grades, the interview process is crucial for distinguishing between the
most able candidates. The interview is performed by College Fellows, who evaluate candidates
on unexamined factors such as potential for original thinking and creativity. For exceptional
candidates, a Matriculation Offer is sometimes offered, requiring only two A-levels at grade
E or above. In 2006, 5,228 students who were rejected went on to get 3 A levels or more
at grade A, representing about 63% of all applicants rejected.Strong applicants who
are not successful at their chosen college may be placed in the Winter Pool, where they
can be offered places by other colleges. This is in order to maintain consistency throughout
the colleges, some of which receive more applicants than others.
Graduate admission is first decided by the faculty or department relating to the applicant’s
subject. When an offer is made, this effectively guarantees admission to a college—though
not necessarily the applicant’s preferred choice.====Access====Public debate in the United Kingdom continues
over whether admissions processes at Oxford and Cambridge are entirely merit based and
fair; whether enough students from state schools are encouraged to apply to Cambridge; and
whether these students succeed in gaining entry. In 2007–08, 57% of all successful
applicants were from state schools (roughly 93 percent of all students in the UK attend
state schools). Critics have argued that the lack of state school applicants with the required
grades applying to Cambridge and Oxford has had a negative impact on Oxbridge’s reputation
for many years, and the university has encouraged pupils from state schools to apply for Cambridge
to help redress the imbalance. Others counter that government pressure to increase state
school admissions constitutes inappropriate social engineering. The proportion of undergraduates
drawn from independent schools has dropped over the years, and such applicants now form
a (very large) minority (43%) of the intake. In 2005, 32% of the 3599 applicants from independent
schools were admitted to Cambridge, as opposed to 24% of the 6674 applications from state
schools. In 2008 the University of Cambridge received a gift of £4m to improve its accessibility
to candidates from maintained schools. Cambridge, together with Oxford and Durham, is among
those universities that have adopted formulae that gives a rating to the GCSE performance
of every school in the country to “weight” the scores of university applicants.With the
release of admissions figures, a 2013 article in The Guardian reported that ethnic minority
candidates had lower success rates in individual subjects even when they had the same grades
as white applicants. The university was hence criticised for what was seen as institutional
discrimination against ethnic minority applicants in favour of white applicants. The university
denied the claims of institutional discrimination by stating the figures did not take into account
“other variables”. A following article stated that in the years 2010–2012 ethnic minority
applicants to medicine with 3 A* grades or higher were 20% less likely to gain admission
than white applicants with similar grades. The University refused to provide figures
for a wider range of subjects claiming it would be too costly.There are a number of
educational consultancies that offer support with the applications process. Some make claims
of improved chances of admission but these claims are not independently verified. None
of these companies are affiliated to or endorsed by the University of Cambridge. The university
informs applicants that all important information regarding the application process is public
knowledge and none of these services is providing any inside information. Cambridge University
has been criticised because many colleges admit a low proportion of black students though
many apply. Of the 31 colleges at Cambridge 6 admitted fewer than 10 black or mixed race
students from 2012 to 2016.===Teaching===The academic year is divided into three academic
terms, determined by the Statutes of the University. Michaelmas term lasts from October to December;
Lent term from January to March; and Easter term from April to June.
Within these terms undergraduate teaching takes place within eight-week periods called
Full Terms. According to the university statutes, it is a requirement that during this period
all students should live within 3 miles of the Church of St Mary the Great; this is defined
as Keeping term. Students can graduate only if they fulfill this condition for nine terms
(three years) when obtaining a Bachelor of Arts or twelve terms (four years) when studying
for a Master of Science, Engineering or Mathematics.These terms are shorter than those of many other
British universities. Undergraduates are also expected to prepare heavily in the three holidays
(known as the Christmas, Easter and Long Vacations). Triposes involve a mixture of lectures (organised
by the university departments), and supervisions (organised by the colleges). Science subjects
also involve laboratory sessions, organised by the departments. The relative importance
of these methods of teaching varies according to the needs of the subject. Supervisions
are typically weekly hour-long sessions in which small groups of students (usually between
one and three) meet with a member of the teaching staff or with a doctoral student. Students
are normally required to complete an assignment in advance of the supervision, which they
will discuss with the supervisor during the session, along with any concerns or difficulties
they have had with the material presented in that week’s lectures. The assignment is
often an essay on a subject set by the supervisor, or a problem sheet set by the lecturer. Depending
on the subject and college, students might receive between one and four supervisions
per week. This pedagogical system is often cited as being unique to Oxford (where “supervisions”
are known as “tutorials”) and Cambridge. A tutor named William Farish developed the
concept of grading students’ work quantitatively at the University of Cambridge in 1792.===Research===The University of Cambridge has research departments
and teaching faculties in most academic disciplines. All research and lectures are conducted by
university departments. The colleges are in charge of giving or arranging most supervisions,
student accommodation, and funding most extracurricular activities. During the 1990s Cambridge added
a substantial number of new specialist research laboratories on several sites around the city,
and major expansion continues on a number of sites.Cambridge also has a research partnership
with MIT in the United States: the Cambridge–MIT Institute.===Graduation===Unlike in most universities, the Cambridge
Master of Arts is not awarded by merit of study, but by right, four years after being
awarded the BA. At the University of Cambridge, each graduation
is a separate act of the university’s governing body, the Regent House, and must be voted
on as with any other act. A formal meeting of the Regent House, known as a Congregation,
is held for this purpose. This is the common last act at which all the
different university procedures (for: undergraduate and graduate students; and the different degrees)
land. After degrees are approved, to have them conferred candidates must ask to their
Colleges to be presented during a Congregation. This happened until the 2006, when, for the
first time, a Graduate Student (Dr Luca Epis) refused the degree approved by the Board of
Graduate Studies, creating a “leading case” on the matter. Graduates receiving an undergraduate degree
wear the academic dress that they were entitled to before graduating: for example, most students
becoming Bachelors of Arts wear undergraduate gowns and not BA gowns. Graduates receiving
a postgraduate degree (e.g. PhD or Master’s) wear the academic dress that they were entitled
to before graduating, only if their first degree was also from the University of Cambridge;
if their first degree is from another university, they wear the academic dress of the degree
that they are about to receive, the BA gown without the strings if they are under 24 years
of age, or the MA gown without strings if they are 24 and over. Graduates are presented
in the Senate House college by college, in order of foundation or recognition by the
university, except for the royal colleges. During the congregation, graduands are brought
forth by the Praelector of their college, who takes them by the right hand, and presents
them to the vice-chancellor for the degree they are about to take. The Praelector presents
graduands with the following Latin statement (the following forms were used when the vice-chancellor
was female), substituting “____” with the name of the degree: “Dignissima domina, Domina Procancellaria
et tota Academia praesento vobis hunc virum quem scio tam moribus quam doctrina esse idoneum
ad gradum assequendum _____; idque tibi fide mea praesto totique Academiae.
(Most worthy Vice-Chancellor and the whole University, I present to you this man whom
I know to be suitable as much by character as by learning to proceed to the degree of
____; for which I pledge my faith to you and to the whole University.)”
and female graduands with the following: “Dignissima domina, Domina Procancellaria
et tota Academia praesento vobis hanc mulierem quam scio tam moribus quam doctrina esse idoneam
ad gradum assequendum ____; idque tibi fide mea praesto totique Academiae.
(Most worthy Vice-Chancellor and the whole University, I present to you this woman whom
I know to be suitable as much by character as by learning to proceed to the degree of
____; for which I pledge my faith to you and to the whole University.)”
After presentation, the graduand is called by name and kneels before the vice-chancellor
and proffers their hands to the vice-chancellor, who clasps them and then confers the degree
through the following Latin statement—the Trinitarian formula (in nomine Patris…)
may be omitted at the request of the graduand: “Auctoritate mihi commissa admitto te ad gradum
____, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
(By the authority committed to me, I admit you to the degree of ____, in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.)” The now-graduate then rises, bows and leaves
the Senate House through the Doctor’s door, where he or she receives his or her certificate,
into Senate House Passage.===Libraries and museums===The university has 114 libraries. The Cambridge
University Library is the central research library, which holds over 8 million volumes.
It is a legal deposit library, therefore it is entitled to request a free copy of every
book published in the UK and Ireland. In addition to the University Library and its dependents,
almost every faculty or department has a specialised library; for example, the History Faculty’s
Seeley Historical Library possesses more than 100,000 books. Furthermore, every college
has a library as well, partially for the purposes of undergraduate teaching, and the older colleges
often possess many early books and manuscripts in a separate library. For example, Trinity
College’s Wren Library has more than 200,000 books printed before 1800, while Corpus Christi
College’s Parker Library possesses one of the greatest collections of medieval manuscripts
in the world, with over 600 manuscripts. Cambridge University operates eight arts,
cultural, and scientific museums, and a botanic garden. The Fitzwilliam Museum, is the art
and antiquities museum, the Kettle’s Yard is a contemporary art gallery, the Museum
of Archaeology and Anthropology houses the university’s collections of local antiquities,
together with archaeological and ethnographic artefacts from around the world, the Cambridge
University Museum of Zoology houses a wide range of zoological specimens from around
the world and is known for its iconic finback whale skeleton that hangs outside. This Museum
also has specimens collected by Charles Darwin. Other museums include, the Museum of Classical
Archaeology, the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
which is the geology museum of the university, the Polar Museum, part of the Scott Polar
Research Institute which is dedicated to Captain Scott and his men, and focuses on the exploration
of the Polar Regions. The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is
the botanic garden of the university, created in 1831.===Publishing and assessments===
The university’s publishing arm, the Cambridge University Press, is the oldest printer and
publisher in the world, and it is the second largest university press in the world.The
university set up its Local Examination Syndicate in 1858. Today, the syndicate, which is known
as Cambridge Assessment, is Europe’s largest assessment agency and it plays a leading role
in researching, developing and delivering assessments across the globe.===Reputation and rankings===
Times Higher Education (THE) has recognised Cambridge as one of the world’s “six super
brands” on its World Reputation Rankings, along with Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Oxford
and Stanford. As of September 2017, Cambridge is recognised by THE as the world’s second
best university.According to the 2016 Complete University Guide, the University of Cambridge
is ranked first amongst the UK’s universities; this ranking is based on a broad raft of criteria
from entry standards and student satisfaction to quality of teaching in specific subjects
and job prospects for graduates. The University is ranked as the 2nd best university in the
UK for the quality of graduates according to recruiters from the UK’s major companies.In
2014–15, according to University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP), Cambridge
is ranked second in UK (coming second to Oxford) and ranked fifth in the world.In the 2001
and 2008 Government Research Assessment Exercises, Cambridge was ranked first in the country.
In 2005, it was reported that Cambridge produces more PhDs per year than any other British
university (over 30% more than second placed Oxford). In 2006, a Thomson Scientific study
showed that Cambridge has the highest research paper output of any British university, and
is also the top research producer (as assessed by total paper citation count) in 10 out of
21 major British research fields analysed. Another study published the same year by Evidence
showed that Cambridge won a larger proportion (6.6%) of total British research grants and
contracts than any other university (coming first in three out of four broad discipline
fields). The university is also closely linked with
the development of the high-tech business cluster in and around Cambridge, which forms
the area known as Silicon Fen or sometimes the “Cambridge Phenomenon”. In 2004, it was
reported that Silicon Fen was the second largest venture capital market in the world, after
Silicon Valley. Estimates reported in February 2006 suggest that there were about 250 active
startup companies directly linked with the university, worth around US$6 billion.Cambridge
has been highly ranked by most international and UK league tables. In particular, it had
topped the QS World University Rankings from 2010/11 to 2011/12. A 2006 Newsweek overall
ranking, which combined elements of the THES-QS and ARWU rankings with other factors that
purportedly evaluated an institution’s global “openness and diversity”, suggested Cambridge
was sixth around the globe. In The Guardian newspaper’s 2012 rankings, Cambridge had overtaken
Oxford in philosophy, law, politics, theology, maths, classics, anthropology and modern languages.
In the 2009 Times Good University Guide Subject Rankings, it was ranked top (or joint top)
in 34 out of the 42 subjects which it offers. But Cambridge has been ranked only 30th in
the world and 3rd in the UK by the Mines ParisTech: Professional Ranking of World Universities
based on the number of alumni holding CEO position in Fortune Global 500 companies.==Student life=====Student Unions===There are two Student Unions in Cambridge:
CUSU (the Cambridge University Students Union) and the GU (the Graduate Union). CUSU represents
all University students, and the GU solely represents graduate students. All students
are automatically members of either CUSU or both CUSU and GU, depending on their course
of study. CUSU was founded in 1964 as the Students’ Representative Council (SRC); the
six most important positions in the Union are occupied by Sabbatical officers. However,
turnout in recent elections has been low, with the 2014/15 president elected with votes
in favour from only 7.5% of the whole student body.===Sport===Rowing is a particularly popular sport at
Cambridge, and there are competitions between colleges, notably the bumps races, and against
Oxford, the Boat Race. There are also Varsity matches against Oxford in many other sports,
ranging from cricket and rugby, to chess and tiddlywinks. Athletes representing the university
in certain sports are entitled to apply for a Cambridge Blue at the discretion of the
Blues Committee, consisting of the captains of the thirteen most prestigious sports. There
is also the self-described “unashamedly elite” Hawks’ Club, which is for men only, whose
membership is usually restricted to Cambridge Full Blues and Half Blues. The Ospreys are
the equivalent female club. The University of Cambridge Sports Centre
opened in August 2013. Phase 1 included a 37x34m Sports Hall, a Fitness Suite, a Strength
and Conditioning Room, a Multi-Purpose Room and Eton and Rugby Fives courts. Phase 1b
included 5 glass backed squash courts and a Team Training Room. Future phases include
indoor and outdoor tennis courts and a swimming pool.The university also has an Athletics
Track at Wilberforce Road, an Indoor Cricket School and Fenner’s Cricket Ground.===Societies===Numerous student-run societies exist in order
to encourage people who share a common passion or interest to periodically meet or discuss.
As of 2010, there were 751 registered societies. In addition to these, individual colleges
often promote their own societies and sports teams.
Although technically independent from the university, The Cambridge Union serves as
a focus for debating and public speaking, as the oldest free speech society in the world,
and the largest in Cambridge. Drama societies notably include the Amateur Dramatic Club
(ADC) and the comedy club Footlights, which are known for producing well-known show-business
personalities. The Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra explores a range of programmes,
from popular symphonies to lesser known works; membership of the orchestra is composed of
students of the university.===Newspapers and radio===The largest, and only independent, student
newspaper is Varsity (Cambridge). Established in 1947, notable figures to have edited the
paper include Jeremy Paxman, BBC media editor Amol Rajan, and Vogue international editor
Suzy Menkes. It has also featured the early writings of Zadie Smith (who appeared in Varsity’s
literary anthology offshoot, The Mays), Robert Webb, Tristram Hunt, and Tony Wilson.
With a print run of 9,000, Varsity is the only student paper to go to print on a weekly
basis. News stories from the paper have recently appeared in The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday
Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and The i.
Other student publications include The Cambridge Student, which is funded by Cambridge University
Students’ Union and goes to print on a fortnightly basis, and The Tab. Founded by two Cambridge
students in 2009, The Tab is online-only (apart from one print edition in Freshers’ Week),
and mostly features light-hearted features content.
The Mays is a literary anthology made up of student prose, poetry, and visual art from
both Cambridge and Oxford. Founded in 1992 by three Cambridge students, the anthology
goes to print on an annual basis. It is overseen by Varsity Publications Ltd, the same body
that is responsible for Varsity, the newspaper. There are many other journals, magazines,
and zines. Another literary journal, Notes, is published roughly two times per term. Many
colleges also have their own publications run by students.
The student radio station, Cam FM, is run together with students from Anglia Ruskin
university. One of few student radio stations to have an FM licence (frequency 97.2 MHz),
the station hosts a mixture of music, talk, and sports shows.===JCR and MCR===In addition to university-wide representation,
students can benefit from their own college student unions, which are known as JCR (Junior
Combination Room) for undergraduates and MCR (Middle Combination Room) for postgraduates.
These serve as a link between college staff and members and consists of officers elected
annually between the fellow students; individual JCR and MCRs also report to CUSU, which offers
training courses for some of the most delicate positions within the body.===Formal Halls and May Balls===One privilege of student life at Cambridge
is the opportunity to attend formal dinners at college. These are called Formal Hall and
occur regularly during term time. Students sit down for a meal in their gowns, while
Fellows eat separately at High Table: the beginning and end of the function is usually
marked with a grace. Special Formal Halls are organised for events such as Christmas
and the Commemoration of Benefactors.After the exam period, May Week is held and it is
customary to celebrate by attending May Balls. These are all-night long lavish parties held
in the colleges where food and drinks are served and entertainment is provided. Time
magazine argues that some of the larger May Balls are among the best private parties in
the world. Suicide Sunday, the first day of May Week, is a popular date for organising
garden parties.==Notable alumni and academics==Over the course of its history, a sizeable
number of Cambridge University academics and alumni have become notable in their fields,
both academic and in the wider world. Depending on criteria, affiliates of the University
of Cambridge have won 118 Nobel prizes. Former undergraduates of the university have won
a grand total of 61 Nobel prizes, 13 more than the undergraduates of any other university.
Cambridge academics have also won 8 Fields Medals and 2 Abel Prizes, since the Abel award
was first distributed in 2003.===Mathematics and sciences===Perhaps most of all, the university is renowned
for a long and distinguished tradition in mathematics and the sciences.
Among the most famous of Cambridge natural philosophers is Sir Isaac Newton, who spent
the majority of his life at the university and conducted many of his now famous experiments
within the grounds of Trinity College. Sir Francis Bacon, responsible for the development
of the scientific method, entered the university when he was just twelve, and pioneering mathematicians
John Dee and Brook Taylor soon followed. Other ground-breaking mathematicians to have
studied at the university include Srinivasa Ramanujan, G. H. Hardy, John Edensor Littlewood
and Augustus De Morgan, four of the most renowned pure mathematicians in modern history; Sir
Michael Atiyah, one of the most important mathematicians of the last half-century; Anil
Kumar Gain, founder of Vidyasagar University and a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society;
William Oughtred, the inventor of the logarithmic scale; John Wallis, first to state the law
of acceleration; Srinivasa Ramanujan, the self-taught genius who made incomparable contributions
to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions; and, perhaps
most importantly of all, James Clerk Maxwell, who is considered to have brought about the
second great unification of physics (the first being accredited to Newton) with his classical
electromagnetic theory. Mathematician Philippa Fawcett gained worldwide media coverage in
1890 as the person with the highest score in the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos exams,
but as a woman, was unable to take the title of ‘Senior Wrangler’.
In biology, Charles Darwin, famous for developing the theory of natural selection, was an alumnus
of Christ’s College, though his education at the university was intended to allow him
to become a clergyman. Subsequent Cambridge biologists include Francis Crick and James
Watson, who worked out a model for the three-dimensional structure of DNA whilst working at the university’s
Cavendish Laboratory; fellow Cambridge graduates Maurice Wilkins and especially Rosalind Franklin
produced key X-ray crystallography data, which was shared with Watson by Wilkins. Wilkins
went on to help verify the proposed structure and win the Nobel Prize with Watson and Crick.
Despite Cambridge’s delay in admitting women to full degrees, Cambridge women were at the
heart of scientific research throughout the 20th century. Pioneering biochemist Marjory
Stephenson studied at Cambridge, as did plant physiologist Gabrielle Howard, social anthropologist
Audrey Richards. Psycho-analyst Alix Strachey, who with her husband translated the works
of Sigmund Freud, studied at Newnham College. Kavli Prize-winner Brenda Milner, co-discovery
of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition, was also a graduate of Newnham
College. Veterinary epidemiologist Sarah Cleaveland has worked to eliminate rabies in the Serengeti.More
recently, Sir Ian Wilmut, the man who was responsible for the first cloning of a mammal
with Dolly the Sheep in 1996, was a graduate student at Darwin College. Famous naturalist
and broadcaster David Attenborough graduated from the university, while the ethologist
Jane Goodall, the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees did a PhD in Ethology at Darwin
College. Anthropologist Dame Alison Richard, former vice-chancellor of the university,
is also a Newnham College graduate. The university can be considered the birthplace
of the computer, with mathematician Charles Babbage having designed the world’s first
computing system as early as the mid-1800s. Alan Turing went on to devise what is essentially
the basis for modern computing and Maurice Wilkes later created the first programmable
computer. The webcam was also invented at Cambridge University, as a means for scientists
to avoid interrupting their research and going all the way down to the laboratory dining
room only to be disappointed by an empty coffee pot.
Ernest Rutherford, generally regarded as the father of nuclear physics, spent much of his
life at the university, where he worked closely with the likes of E. J. Williams and Niels
Bohr, a major contributor to the understanding of the structure and function of the atom,
J. J. Thomson, discoverer of the electron, Sir James Chadwick, discoverer of the neutron,
and Sir John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, the partnership responsible for first splitting
the atom. J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic
bomb, also studied at Cambridge under Rutherford and Thomson. Joan Curran devised the ‘chaff’
technique during the Second World War to disrupt radar on enemy planes. Astronomers Sir John Herschel and Sir Arthur
Eddington both spent much of their careers at Cambridge, as did Paul Dirac, the discoverer
of antimatter and one of the pioneers of Quantum Mechanics; Stephen Hawking, the founding father
of the study of singularities and the university’s long-serving Lucasian Professor of Mathematics
until 2009; and Lord Martin Rees, the current Astronomer Royal and former Master of Trinity
College. John Polkinghorne, also a Cambridge mathematician prior to his entrance into the
Anglican ministry, was knighted and received the Templeton Prize for his work reconciling
science and religion. Other significant Cambridge scientists include
Henry Cavendish, the discoverer of hydrogen; Frank Whittle, co-inventor of the jet engine;
Lord Kelvin, who formulated the original Laws of Thermodynamics; William Fox Talbot, who
invented the camera, Alfred North Whitehead, Einstein’s major opponent; Sir Jagadish Chandra
Bose, the man dubbed “the father of radio science”; Lord Rayleigh, one of the most pre-eminent
physicists of the 20th century; Georges Lemaître, who first proposed a Big Bang Theory; and
Frederick Sanger, the last man to win two Nobel prizes.===Humanities, music and art===
In the humanities, Greek studies were inaugurated at Cambridge in the early sixteenth century
by Desiderius Erasmus during the few years he held a professorship there; seminal contributions
to the field were made by Richard Bentley and Richard Porson. John Chadwick was associated
with Michael Ventris in the decipherment of Linear B. The eminent Latinist A. E. Housman
taught at Cambridge but is more widely known as a poet. Simon Ockley made a significant
contribution to Arabic Studies. Distinguished Cambridge academics in other
fields include economists such as John Maynard Keynes, Thomas Malthus, Alfred Marshall, Milton
Friedman, Joan Robinson, Piero Sraffa, Ha-Joon Chang and Amartya Sen, a former Master of
Trinity College. Philosophers Sir Francis Bacon, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Leo Strauss, George Santayana, G. E. M. Anscombe, Sir Karl Popper, Sir Bernard Williams, Sir
Allama Muhammad Iqbal and G. E. Moore were all Cambridge scholars, as were historians
such as Thomas Babington Macaulay, Frederic William Maitland, Lord Acton, Joseph Needham,
E. H. Carr, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Rhoda Dorsey, E. P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, Niall Ferguson
and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, and famous lawyers such as Glanville Williams, Sir James
Fitzjames Stephen, and Sir Edward Coke. Religious figures at the university have included
Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and many of his predecessors; William Tyndale,
the pioneer biblical translator; Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, and Nicholas Ridley, all Cambridge
men, known as the “Oxford martyrs” from the place of their execution; Benjamin Whichcote
and the Cambridge Platonists; William Paley, the Christian philosopher known primarily
for formulating the teleological argument for the existence of God; William Wilberforce
and Thomas Clarkson, largely responsible for the abolition of the slave trade; leading
Evangelical churchman Charles Simeon; John William Colenso, the bishop of Natal who developed
views on the interpretation of Scripture and relations with native peoples that seemed
dangerously radical at the time; John Bainbridge Webster and David F. Ford, theologians of
significant repute; and six winners of the Templeton Prize, the highest accolade for
the study of religion since its foundation in 1972. Composers Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Charles
Villiers Stanford, William Sterndale Bennett, Orlando Gibbons and, more recently, Alexander
Goehr, Thomas Adès, John Rutter, Julian Anderson and Judith Weir were all at Cambridge. The
university has also produced some of today’s leading instrumentalists and conductors, including
Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Roger Norrington, Trevor Pinnock, Andrew Manze, Richard Egarr,
Mark Elder, Richard Hickox, Christopher Hogwood, Andrew Marriner, David Munrow, Simon Standage,
Endellion Quartet and Fitzwilliam Quartet. Although known primarily for its choral music,
the university has also produced members of contemporary bands such as Radiohead, Hot
Chip, Procol Harum, Clean Bandit, songwriter and entertainer Jonathan King, Henry Cow,
and the singer-songwriter Nick Drake. Artists Quentin Blake, Roger Fry and Julian
Trevelyan also attended as undergraduates, as did sculptors Antony Gormley, Marc Quinn
and Sir Anthony Caro, and photographers Antony Armstrong-Jones, Sir Cecil Beaton and Mick
Rock.===Literature===Important writers to have studied at the university
include the prominent Elizabethan dramatist Christopher Marlowe at Corpus Christi College,
his fellow University Wits Thomas Nashe and Robert Greene, arguably the first professional
authors in England, and John Fletcher, who collaborated with Shakespeare on The Two Noble
Kinsmen, Henry VIII and the lost Cardenio and succeeded him as house playwright of The
King’s Men. Samuel Pepys matriculated in 1650, ten years before he began his diary, the original
manuscripts of which are now housed in the Pepys Library at Magdalene College. Lawrence
Sterne, whose novel Tristram Shandy is judged to have inspired many modern narrative devices
and styles, was admitted in 1733. In the following century, the novelists W. M. Thackeray, best
known for Vanity Fair, Charles Kingsley, author of Westward Ho! and Water Babies, and Samuel
Butler, remembered for The Way of All Flesh and Erewhon, were all at Cambridge.
Ghost story writer M. R. James served as provost of King’s College from 1905 to 1918. Novelist
Amy Levy was the first Jewish woman to attend the university. Modernist writers to have
attended the university include E. M. Forster, Rosamond Lehmann, Vladimir Nabokov, Christopher
Isherwood and Malcolm Lowry. Although not a student, Virginia Woolf wrote her essay
A Room of One’s Own while in residence at Newnham College. Playwright J. B. Priestley,
physicist and novelist C. P. Snow and children’s writer A. A. Milne were also among those who
passed through the university in the early 20th century. They were followed by the postmodernists
Patrick White, J. G. Ballard, and the early postcolonial writer E. R. Braithwaite. More
recently, the university has educated the comedy writers Douglas Adams, Tom Sharpe and
Howard Jacobson, the popular novelists A. S. Byatt, Sir Salman Rushdie, Nick Hornby,
Zadie Smith, Robert Harris and Sebastian Faulks, the successful action writers Michael Crichton,
David Gibbins and Jin Yong, and contemporary playwrights and screenwriters such as Julian
Fellowes, Stephen Poliakoff, Michael Frayn and Sir Peter Shaffer. Cambridge poets include Edmund Spenser, author
of The Faerie Queene, the Metaphysical poets John Donne, George Herbert and Andrew Marvell,
John Milton, renowned for his late epic Paradise Lost, the leading Restoration poet and playwright
John Dryden, the pre-romantic Thomas Gray, best known his Elegy Written in a Country
Churchyard, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose joint work Lyrical
Ballads is often seen to mark the beginning of the Romantic movement, later Romantics
such as Lord Byron and the postromantic Alfred, Lord Tennyson, classical scholar and lyric
poet A. E. Housman, war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke, modernist T. E. Hulme,
confessional poets Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and John Berryman, and, more recently, Cecil
Day-Lewis, Joseph Brodsky, Kathleen Raine and Geoffrey Hill. In all, at least nine of
the Poets Laureate graduated from Cambridge. The university has also made a notable contribution
to Literary Criticism, having produced, among others, F. R. Leavis, I. A. Richards, C. K.
Ogden and William Empson, often collectively known as the Cambridge Critics, the important
Marxists Raymond Williams, sometimes regarded as the founding father of Cultural Studies,
and Terry Eagleton, author of Literary Theory: An Introduction, the most successful academic
book ever published, the Aesthetician Harold Bloom, the New Historicist Stephen Greenblatt,
and an extensive group of distinguished biographical writers such as Lytton Strachey, a central
figure in the largely Cantabridgian Bloomsbury Group, Peter Ackroyd and Claire Tomalin. Actors and directors such as Sir Ian McKellen,
Eleanor Bron, Miriam Margolyes, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Michael Redgrave, James Mason,
Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Graeme
Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie, Simon Russell Beale, Tilda Swinton, Thandie Newton,
Georgie Henley, Rachel Weisz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tom Hiddleston, Sara Mohr-Pietsch,
Eddie Redmayne, Dan Stevens, Jamie Bamber, Lily Cole, David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Mel
Giedroyc and Sue Perkins all studied at the university, as did recently acclaimed directors
such as Mike Newell, Sam Mendes, Stephen Frears, Paul Greengrass, Chris Weitz and John Madden.===Sports===
Athletes who are university graduates include more than 123 Olympic medalists; they won
a total of 170 medals, including 80 gold. The legendary Chinese six-time world table
tennis champion Deng Yaping; the sprinter and athletics hero Harold Abrahams; the inventors
of the modern game of football, Winton and Thring; and George Mallory, the famed mountaineer
all attended Cambridge. Steve Palmer, who graduated from Christ’s College with a software
engineering degree, was a professional Premier League football player who played for Ipswich,
Watford, QPR and MK Dons.===Education===
Notable educationalists to have attended the university include the founders and early
professors of Harvard University, including John Harvard himself; Emily Davies, founder
of Girton College, the first residential higher education institution for women, and John
Haden Badley, founder of the first mixed-sex school in England; and Anil Kumar Gain, prominent
20th century mathematician and founder of the Vidyasagar University in Bengal.===Politics===
Cambridge also has a strong reputation in the fields of politics and governance, having
educated: 15 British Prime Ministers, including Robert
Walpole, considered to be the first Prime Minister of Great Britain.
At least 30 foreign Heads of State/Government, including Presidents of India, Ireland, Zambia,
South Korea, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago; along with Prime Ministers of India, Burma,
Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Poland, Australia, France, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malta,
Thailand, Malaysia, and Jordan. At least 9 monarchs, including Edward VII,
George VI, King Peter II of Yugoslavia, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Sofía of
Spain. The university has also educated Charles, Prince of Wales and a large number of other
royals. 3 Signatories of the United States Declaration
of Independence. Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England
(1653–58).==In
literature and popular culture==Throughout its history, the university has
featured heavily in literature and artistic works by various authors.==Gallery====See also==Cambridge University Constabulary
Cambridge University primates List of medieval universities
List of organisations and institutions associated with the University of Cambridge
List of organisations with a British royal charter
List of professorships at the University of Cambridge==Notes====References====Bibliography==
Anonymous (2009) [1790]. A Concise and Accurate Description of the University, Town and County
of Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-00065-9.
Brooke, Christopher N. L. (1988–2004). A History of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge
University Press, 4 vols., ISBN 0-521-32882-9, ISBN 0-521-35059-X, ISBN 0-521-35060-3, ISBN
0-521-34350-X Deacon, Richard (1985). The Cambridge Apostles:
A History of Cambridge University’s Elite Intellectual Secret Society. Cassell. ISBN
978-0-947728-13-7. Garrett, Martin (2004). Cambridge: A Cultural
and Literary History, Signal Books. ISBN 1-902669-79-7 Koyama, Noboru; Ruxton, Ian, transl. “Japanese
Students at Cambridge University in the Meiji Era, 1868–1912: Pioneers for the Modernization
of Japan”. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009.,A
Translation from a Japanese Original. Lulu Press. 2004. ISBN 1-4116-1256-6. This book
includes information about the wooden spoon and the university in the 19th century as
well as the Japanese students. Leader, Damien (1988–2004). A History of
the University of Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-32882-1.
Leedham-Green, Elisabeth (1996). A Concise History of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-43978-7. Rawle, Tim (2016). Adamson, John, ed. Cambridge.
Oxbridge Portfolio. ISBN 978-0-9572867-2-6. Smith, J.; Stray, C. (2001). Teaching and
Learning in 19th-Century Cambridge. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-85115-783-2.
Stubbings, Frank (1995). Bedders, Bulldogs and Bedells: A Cambridge Glossary. Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-47978-3. Taylor, Kevin (1994). Central Cambridge: A
Guide to the University and Colleges. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-45913-6.
Webb, Grayden (2005). The History of the University of Cambridge and Education in England. Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 0-521-32882-9. Willis, Robert (1988). Clark, John Willis,
ed. The Architectural History of the University of Cambridge and of the Colleges of Cambridge
and Eton. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-35851-4.==External links==
Official website Cambridge University Students’ Union
Cambridge University Graduate Union Interactive map—a zoomable map linking to
all the University departments and colleges