The University of Cambridge (informally known as "Cambridge University" or simply "Cambridge"; abbreviated as "Cantab" in post-nominals) is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's third-oldest surviving university[ It grew out of an association formed by scholars leaving the University of Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk; the two "ancient universities" have many common features and are often jointly referred to as "Oxbridge".
Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent colleges and over 100 academic departments organized into six Schools. The university occupies buildings throughout the town, many of which are of historical importance. The colleges are self-governing institutions founded as integral parts of the university. In the year ended 31 July 2014, the university had a total income of £1.51 billion, of which £371 million was from research grants and contracts. The central university and colleges have a combined endowment of around £4.9 billion, the largest of any university outside the United States. Cambridge is a member of many associations, and forms part of the "golden triangle" of English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science center. The university is closely linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as "Silicon Fen".
Students' learning involves lectures and laboratory sessions organised by departments, and supervisions provided by the colleges. The university operates eight arts, cultural, and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum and a botanic garden. Cambridge's libraries hold a total of around 15 million books, 8 million of which are in Cambridge University Library which is a legal deposit library. Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the world's oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world. Cambridge is regularly placed among the world's best universities in different university rankings. Beside academic studies, student life is centered on the colleges and numerous pan-university artistic activities, sports clubs and societies.
Moto in English :
Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts
Non-literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge
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 indicators of their time, 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 fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but colleges continued to be established throughout the centuries to modern times, although there was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and 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.
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 archeology were generously donated by Richard Fitzwilliam of Trinity College. 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.
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
Location and building
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 distorting the age structure. Most of the older colleges are situated nearby the city center 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.
The university is divided into several sites where the different departments are placed. The main ones are:
• Downing Site
• New Museums Site
• Old Addenbroke's • Old Schools
• Silver Street/Mill Lane
• Sidgwick Site
• West Cambridge
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.
In the last two British Government Research Assessment Exercise in 2001 and 2008 respectively,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
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.
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. The acceptance rate for students in the 2012-2013 cycle was 21.9%
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).
The Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) serves to represent all the students within the University which automatically become members upon arrival. It was founded in 1964 as the Students' Representative Council (SRC); the six most important positions in the Union are occupied by Sabbatical officers.
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 entitle them 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
Newspaper and radio
Student newspapers include the long-established Varsity, its younger rival The Cambridge Student, and news and culture magazine the Cambridge Globalist. But the publication with by far the highest readership is The Tab, Cambridge's student tabloid. Together with colleagues from Anglia Ruskin University, students run a radio station, Cam FM, which provides members with an opportunity to produce and host weekly radio shows and promotes broadcast journalism, sports coverage, comedy and drama.