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Encyclopedia > Oxbridge rivalry

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, collectively known as Oxbridge, are the two oldest and most famous universities in Britain. Both were founded more than 750 years ago, and between them have produced a large number of Britain's most prominent scientists and politicians, as well as noted figures in many other fields. The competition between Oxford and Cambridge also has a long history, dating back to the days when Cambridge was founded by dissident scholars from Oxford. The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ... The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... Oxbridge is a name used to refer to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the two oldest in the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world. ... Map of medieval European universities This is a list of the oldest extant universities in the world. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ...

Contents

Oxbridge image and stereotypes

The chapel of King's College, Cambridge: the most famous symbol of both the city and the university
The chapel of King's College, Cambridge: the most famous symbol of both the city and the university
The Radcliffe Camera: one of the best known buildings in Oxford, and part of the university's Bodleian Library
The Radcliffe Camera: one of the best known buildings in Oxford, and part of the university's Bodleian Library

Oxford and Cambridge are very well-known inside the UK, and are generally familiar to people in other countries. Their fame stems from a variety of factors, including an association with a long line of distinguished historical figures, as well as knowledge of them spread through the influence of the British Empire and the worldwide prominence of the English language. For a number of years, Oxford and Cambridge have been a magnet for scholars from the United States and elsewhere under the Rhodes, Marshall and now Gates scholarship programs. Oxbridge is often compared to the Ivy League of American universities, but this comparison can be misleading: for example, both Oxford and Cambridge are public universities where a significant proportion of undergraduate fees are funded by the government, whereas all of the Ivy League institutions are private (however, some of the colleges at Cornell University are state-supported statutory colleges). Download high resolution version (1025x768, 217 KB)The west end of Kings College Chapel seen from The Backs. ... Download high resolution version (1025x768, 217 KB)The west end of Kings College Chapel seen from The Backs. ... A chapel is a private church, usually small and often attached to a larger institution such as a college, a hospital, a palace, or a prison. ... Full name The King’s College of Our Lady and St Nicholas in Cambridge Motto Veritas et Utilitas Truth and usefulness Named after Henry VI Previous names - Established 1441 Sister College(s) New College, Oxford Provost Prof. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3137x4605, 4210 KB) [edit] Summary [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): England Oxford Radcliffe Camera Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates Oxbridge rivalry James Gibbs Wikipedia:Featured... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3137x4605, 4210 KB) [edit] Summary [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): England Oxford Radcliffe Camera Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates Oxbridge rivalry James Gibbs Wikipedia:Featured... The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, England, was built by James Gibbs between 1737 and 1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. ... Entrance to the Library, with the coats-of-arms of several Oxford colleges The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in England is second in size only to the British Library. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Rhodes House in Oxford, designed by Sir Herbert Baker. ... The official logo of the Marshall Scholarship is a blended image of the US and UK flags. ... The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established the Gates Cambridge Scholarships with a $210 million endowment in 2000 to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge. ... For the record label, see Ivy League Records. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... For the record label, see Ivy League Records. ... Cornell University is a university located in Ithaca, New York, USA. Its two medical campuses are in New York City and Education City, Qatar. ... In American higher education, particular to the state of New York, a statutory college or contract college is a college or school that is a component of an independent, private university that has been designated by the state legislature to receive significant public funding from the state. ...


Oxford and Cambridge have been careful to preserve many parts of their history, retaining a number of traditions that can seem archaic and bizarre to outsiders, and even to insiders. Oxbridge students and academics have variously been stereotyped as very intelligent, resourceful, and ambitious, as well as pretentious, arrogant, and inward-looking. The institutions themselves are often seen as quaint and charming, but also slow to change. There are sometimes accusations in Britain that students from less affluent backgrounds are at a disadvantage when applying to Oxbridge, and that the two universities have kept their traditional reputation of being socially exclusive and elitist. This is strongly denied by both universities. For the opening number of Fiddler on the Roof, see Tradition (song). ... The word student is etymologically derived through Middle English from the Latin second-type conjugation verb stŭdērĕ, meaning to direct ones zeal at; hence a student is one who directs zeal at a subject. ... Academia is a collective term for the scientific and cultural community engaged in higher education and research, taken as a whole. ...


One significant change Oxbridge has made in the last century to broaden its intake is the increase in the number of women students. Until the late 19th century, only men were allowed to be students at the two universities and women were not allowed to attain degrees until the 20th century. At the undergraduate level, the male:female ratio at both Oxford and Cambridge is now roughly equal. Despite this, there are generally fewer women holding higher positions, although the current Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, Alison Richard, is an exception. In some educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a Bachelors degree. ... A Vice-Chancellor (commonly called the VC) of a university in the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries, and some universities in Hong Kong, is the de facto head of the university. ... Professor¹ Alison Fettes Richard (born in Kent, United Kingdom) is the current Vice_Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. ...


Similarities between Oxford and Cambridge

Institutions and facilities

Oxford and Cambridge both have well-regarded printing houses (Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press), botanical gardens (University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Cambridge University Botanic Garden), museums (the Ashmolean and the Fitzwilliam), legal deposit libraries (the Bodleian and the Cambridge University Library), and debating societies (the Oxford Union and the Cambridge Union). For other articles which might have the same name, see Print (disambiguation). ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... The headquarters of the Cambridge University Press, in Trumpington Street, Cambridge. ... Inside the United States Botanic Garden Inside the Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden (Brazil), 1890 Botanical gardens (in Latin, hortus botanicus) grow a wide variety of plants primarily categorized and documented for scientific purposes, but also for the enjoyment and education of visitors, a consideration that has become essential to... University of Oxford Botanic Garden, the oldest botanic garden in Great Britain, and the third oldest scientific garden in the world, was founded in 1621 as a physic garden growing plants for medicinal research. ... Photo of the fountain and the glasshouses behind The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a botanical garden located in Cambridge, England. ... The Louvre Museum in Paris, one of the largest and most famous museums in the world. ... The Ashmolean Museum (in full the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology) in Oxford, England is the worlds first university museum. ... The main entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum, facing Trumpington Sreet. ... A national library is a library specifically established by the government of a country to serve as the preeminent repository of information for that country. ... Entrance to the Library, with the coats-of-arms of several Oxford colleges The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in England is second in size only to the British Library. ... Cambridge University Library The Cambridge University Library is the centrally-administered library of the University of Cambridge in England. ... Debate (North American English) or debating (British English) is a formal method of interactive and position representational argument. ... The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a private debating society in the city of Oxford, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford. ... The Cambridge Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Cambridge Union, is one of the largest student societies at the University of Cambridge and one of the oldest in the world. ...


Collegiate structure

Oxford and Cambridge also share a common collegiate structure: each university is composed of more than 30 autonomous colleges (see Colleges of the University of Cambridge, Colleges of the University of Oxford), which provide the environments in which groups of students live, work and sleep. Applicants must choose a specific college when applying to Oxford or Cambridge, or allow the university to select one for them, as all undergraduate students must be a member of one of the university colleges. All Oxbridge colleges are part of the greater university, and students reading (studying) the same subject are given lectures together, irrespective of which college they attend. In the United Kingdom, a collegiate university is a university whose functions are divided between the central departments of the university and a number of colleges. ... This is a list of the colleges within the University of Cambridge. ... The University of Oxford comprises 39 Colleges and 7 religious Permanent Private Halls (PPHs), which are autonomous self-governing corporations within the university. ... A lecture on linear algebra at the Helsinki University of Technology A lecture is an oral presentation intended to teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. ...


Colleges within each university regularly compete with each other in a variety of tournaments (e.g. rugby, rowing, athletics and chess), but will happily pool their talent to form university teams for competitions against the greater "enemy" (Oxford, or Cambridge as the case may be). This attitude is reflected in the fact that both Oxford and Cambridge refer to each other as "the other place". In both places students enjoy punting, although the punter stands at the opposite end of the boat in the two cities. A rugby union scrum. ... A coxless pair which is a sweep-oar boat. ... A womens 400m hurdles race on a typical outdoor red rubber track. ... Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. ... Punting while dressed for Cambridge graduation This article concentrates on the history and development of punts and punting in England, for other usages see the disambiguation pages at punt and punter. ...


Several colleges at Oxford and Cambridge have the same name. These are: Corpus Christi College (Cambridge | Oxford); Jesus College (Cambridge | Oxford); Pembroke College (Cambridge | Oxford); St John's College (Cambridge | Oxford); Trinity College (Cambridge | Oxford); and Wolfson College (Cambridge | Oxford). Colleges with very similar names at Cambridge and Oxford include: Magdalene College, Cambridge and Magdalen College, Oxford; New Hall, Cambridge and New College, Oxford; Queens' College, Cambridge and The Queen's College, Oxford; St Catharine's College, Cambridge and St Catherine's College, Oxford; and St Edmund's College, Cambridge and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... College name Corpus Christi College Named after Corpus Christi, Body of Christ Established 1517 Sister College Corpus Christi College President Sir Tim Lankester JCR President Binyamin Even Undergraduates 239 Graduates 126 Homepage Corpus Christi College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. ... College name The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and the glorious Virgin Saint Radegund, near Cambridge Named after The Virgin Mary Saint John the Evangelist Saint Radegund Jesus Lane and Jesus Parish Established 1496 Location Jesus Lane Admittance Men and women Master Prof. ... and of the Jesus College College name Jesus College in the University of Oxford of Queen Elizabeths Foundation Named after Jesus Christ Established 1571 Sister college Jesus College, Cambridge Principal The Lord Krebs JCR President Paolo Wyatt Undergraduates 340 MCR President Jahan Zahid Graduates 160 Location Turl Street, Oxford... Full name Pembroke College Motto - Named after Countess of Pembroke, Mary de St Pol Previous names Marie Valence Hall (1347), Pembroke Hall (?), Pembroke College (1856) Established 1347 Sister College(s) Queens College Master Sir Richard Dearlove Location Trumpington Street Undergraduates ~420 Postgraduates ~240 Homepage Boatclub Pembroke College is a... College name Pembroke College Collegium Pembrochianum Named after The Earl of Pembroke Established 1624 Sister College Queens College Master Giles Henderson JCR President Dawn Rennie Undergraduates 408 MCR President Ross Nicolson Graduates 119 College Homepage Boat Club The lodge and the entrance to Pembroke College in Pembroke Square. ... College name The College of Saint John the Evangelist of the University of Cambridge Motto Souvent me Souvient (Latin: I often remember) Named after The Hospital of Saint John the Evangelist Established 1511 Location St. ... College name St Johns College Collegium Divi Joannis Baptistae Named after Saint John the Baptist Established 1555 Sister College Sidney Sussex College President Sir Michael Scholar KCB JCR President Rhys Jones Undergraduates 381 Graduates 184 Homepage Boatclub St Johns College is one of the constituent colleges of the... Full name The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity Motto Virtus vera nobilitas Virtue is true Nobility Named after The Holy Trinity Previous names King’s Hall and Michaelhouse (until merged in 1546) Established 1546 Sister College(s) Christ Church Master The Lord Rees of Ludlow Location Trinity Street... College name The College of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity and Sir Thomas Pope (Knight) Named after The Holy Trinity Established 1555 Sister College Churchill College President Sir Ivor Roberts KCMG MA JCR President Richard Appleton Undergraduates 298 MCR President Andrew Ng Graduates 105 Homepage Boatclub See also Trinity... Full name Wolfson College Motto Ring True Named after The Wolfson Foundation Previous names University College, Wolfson College (1972) Established 1965 Sister College Linacre College President Dr Gordon Johnson Location Barton Road Undergraduates 90 Graduates 510 Homepage Boatclub Wolfson College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of... College name Wolfson College Named after Sir Isaac Wolfson, Bt. ... Full name The College of Saint Mary Magdalene Motto Garde ta Foy Keep your Faith Named after Mary Magdalene Previous names Buckingham College Established 1428 Sister College(s) Magdalen College Master Duncan Robinson Location Magdalene Street Undergraduates 335 Postgraduates 169 Homepage Boatclub Magdalene College (pronounced ) was founded in 1428 as... College name Magdalen College Latin name Collegium Beatae Mariae Magdalenae Named after Mary Magdalene Established 1458 Sister college Magdalene College, Cambridge President Professor David Clary FRS JCR President Jessica Jones Undergraduates 395 MCR President Eloise Scotford Graduates 230 Location of Magdalen College within central Oxford , Homepage Boatclub Magdalen College (pronounced... Full name New Hall Motto - Named after - Previous names - Established 1954 Sister College(s) St Annes College, Oxford President Anne Lonsdale Location Huntingdon Road Undergraduates 377 Postgraduates 74 Homepage Boatclub New Hall is a women-only college in the University of Cambridge. ... and of the New College College name New College of St Mary Latin name Collegium Novum Oxoniensis/Collegium Sanctae Mariae Wintoniae Named after Mary, mother of Jesus Established 1379 Sister college Kings College, Cambridge Warden Prof. ... Full name The Queens College of Saint Margaret and Saint Bernard in the University of Cambridge Motto Floreat Domus May this House Flourish Named after - Previous names - Established 1448 Sister College(s) Pembroke College President Lord Eatwell Location Silver Street Undergraduates 490 Postgraduates 270 Homepage Boatclub The Gatehouse, as... College name The Queens College Collegii Reginae Named after Queen Philippa of Hainault Established 1341 Sister College Pembroke College Provost Sir Alan Budd JCR President Vishal Mashru Undergraduates 350 MCR President Matthias Range Graduates 133 Homepage Boatclub High Street entrance to Queens College from the main quad. ... Full name Collegium sive aula D. Catharinæ in Universitate Cantabrigiensi Motto   For the wheel! (unofficial) Named after St Catharine of Alexandria Previous names Katharine Hall (1473-1860) Established 1473 Sister College(s) Worcester College Master Prof. ... Full name St Catherines College Motto Nova et Vetera The New and the Old Named after Previous names St. ... Full name Saint Edmunds College Motto per revelationem et rationem through revelation and reason Named after St Edmund of Abingdon Previous names St. ... College name St Edmund Hall Aula Sancti Edmundi Named after St Edmund of Abingdon Established 13th century, (c. ...


Teaching method

The principal method of teaching at Oxbridge colleges is the 'supervision' or 'tutorial' (terms used at Cambridge and Oxford respectively, though the meaning is the same). These are typically weekly hour-long sessions in which small groups of students - usually between one and three - meet with a member of the university's teaching staff or a doctoral student. Students are normally required to complete an essay or assignment in advance of the supervision/tutorial, which they will discuss with the supervisor/tutor during the session, along with any concerns or difficulties they have had with the material presented in that week's lectures. Lectures at Oxbridge are often described as being almost a mere 'bolt-on' to these supervisions/tutorials. Students typically receive two or three supervisions per week. // Academia In British academic parlance, a tutorial is a small class of one, or only a few, students, in which the tutor (a professor or other academic staff member) gives individual attention to the students. ... A lecture on linear algebra at the Helsinki University of Technology A lecture is an oral presentation intended to teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. ...


Although this method of teaching is not unique to Oxbridge, few other universities (e.g. The University of Buckingham) have the resources to support such a system on this scale, and so typically teach larger groups of students (often termed 'tutorials' or 'seminars') and rely more heavily on lectures as an important method of teaching. A seminar is, generally, a form of academic instruction, either at a university or offered by a commercial or professional organization. ...


However, at Oxford, there have been recent attempts to reduce the number of tutorials offered to students; cuts to the number of tutorials given to students of English Literature began in the 2005-06 academic year[1]. No such cuts have been planned at Cambridge.


The surrounding cities

The cities of Oxford and Cambridge contain campuses of other large universities: Oxford Brookes University and Anglia Ruskin University respectively. There are also a number of English language schools for non-native speakers based in the two cities. These institutions are generally popular with students, who, for honest reasons and otherwise, like to claim that they have studied at either Oxford or Cambridge. Oxford Brookes University is a public university in Oxford, England. ... Anglia Ruskin University, formerly Anglia Polytechnic, is a university in England, with campuses in Cambridge and Chelmsford. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Differences between Oxford and Cambridge

The city of Oxford is slightly larger, busier and more industrial than Cambridge. Oxford is associated with the motor industry (BMW currently produce the MINI in Oxford), whereas the area surrounding Cambridge is known as Silicon Fen and has more high technology manufacturers. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Geography Status City (1951) Region East of England Admin. ... BMW, or Bavarian Motor Works, is an independent German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. ... The BMW or New MINI is a car produced by BMW since 2001. ... Silicon Fen (sometimes the Cambridge Cluster) is the name given to the region around Cambridge, England, which is home to a large cluster of high-tech businesses, especially those related to software, electronics, and biotechnology. ... High tech refers to high technology, technology that is at the cutting-edge and the most advanced currently available. ...


Oxford is more often featured in the cinema; recent films with scenes shot in Oxford include the Harry Potter movies, Radcliffe Square was also used in the filming of His Dark Materials: Northern Lights. The architecture of the city has made it a popular location with film-makers and tourists, and the His Dark Materials trilogy was partly set in Oxford. Cambridge also has a number of major tourist attractions, including the King's College Chapel, one of the most famous buildings in England. This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ... Full name The King’s College of Our Lady and St Nicholas in Cambridge Motto Veritas et Utilitas Truth and usefulness Named after Henry VI Previous names - Established 1441 Sister College(s) New College, Oxford Provost Prof. ...


There are differences in the terminology used at the two universities. For example, the undergraduate student body is referred to as the "JCR" in both universities, but in Oxford this stands for "Junior Common Room", whereas in Cambridge it is "Junior Combination Room". At Oxford, the three terms of the academic year are called Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity, whereas at Cambridge they are Michaelmas, Lent and Easter. The large enclosed squares of grass found in most colleges are referred to as "courts" in Cambridge and "quadrangles" (or "quads") in Oxford. College cleaners in the two Universities go by different names: in Oxford they are 'scouts' and in Cambridge they are 'bedders'. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


There are more colleges at Oxford (39 colleges and seven permanent private halls) whereas Cambridge has 31 colleges. Choice of college at Oxford is more important than at Cambridge, since few Oxford colleges admit students in all the subjects available at the university (hence choice of college might be limited depending on which subject applicants wish to study), whereas most Cambridge colleges do give their students the option to study any subject offered by the university. Although both universities interview applicants in early or mid-December (or occasionally November), the admissions process is slightly different, with Oxford generally interviewing applicants at more than one college, and asking them to stay in the city for longer during interviews; the decision-making process is quicker, with applicants generally being notified of their acceptance/rejection before Christmas. Cambridge tends to have shorter interviews, normally only calling candidates back for interview at a second college if they have been rejected by their first-choice college; applicants are notified of their success or failure at the end of December or beginning of January. Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. ...


Cambridge students generally sit examinations at the end of every year, with each set of examinations being called a 'part' of the tripos. Oxford students generally only sit two sets of examinations, 'mods' or 'prelims' at some point in the first two years, and 'finals' at the end of their final year. The University of Cambridge, England, divides the different kinds of honours bachelors degree by Tripos, a word which has an obscure etymology, but which may be traced to the three-legged stool candidates once used to sit on when taking oral examinations. ...


Both universities feature a 'Bridge of Sighs'. Cambridge's, which was built in 1831, is situated over the River Cam. Oxford's, which was built in 1913/1914, is situated over New College Lane.


Traditions also vary between the two universities. For example, it is still compulsory at Oxford to wear formal academic dress (sub fusc) to all university examinations, although this is not the case at Cambridge. (The students of Oxford voted 81% in favour of keeping formal academic dress – sub fusc – in Hilary term 2006.) Cambridge has a rule called "keeping Term": all undergraduates must reside a certain number of nights each term within four miles of the University Church in the city centre unless they are granted special permission to do otherwise (this is given to students on exchange programmes or studying overseas as part of their degree). Oxford's version of this requirement has no set traditional name, but is occasionally referred to as the "Six Mile Rule", under which undergraduates must reside within six miles of the Carfax Tower unless they have received special dispensation. In practice, these residency requirements are no longer strictly enforced at Oxford or Cambridge. Traditions and the seriousness with which they are taken tend to vary widely amongst the different colleges in each university, more so than between the two universities as a whole. This page concerns the academic dress of Oxford University. ... In education, certification, counselling, and many other fields, a test or exam (short for examination) is a tool or technique intended to measure students expression of knowledge, skills and/or abilities. ... This page concerns the academic dress of Oxford University. ... A mile is a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, United States customary units and Norwegian/Swedish mil. ...


Indirect competition between the two universities

There has been much direct and indirect competition between the two universities for a number of years. Indirect competition can perhaps be measured by the success of the alumni of each university. Oxford has a greater political heritage: all but three of the British Prime Ministers since Winston Churchill's second term have been Oxford graduates (the exceptions are James Callaghan and John Major, neither of whom received university educations, and Gordon Brown, who graduated from the University of Edinburgh). Oxford has a high profile in the United States for its Rhodes Scholars program, which has included influential US figures such as Bill Clinton. Oxford is also famous for its dictionary, which is generally regarded as the definitive record of the English language. The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions. ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician, soldier in the British Army, orator, and strategist, and is studied as part of the modern British and world history. ... Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC (27 March 1912 – 26 March 2005), was Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979. ... Sir John Major, KG, CH (born 29 March 1943) is a former British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the British Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997. ... For the Scottish rugby player, see Gordon Brown (rugby player). ... The University of Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: ), founded in 1582,[4] is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... Rhodes House in Oxford Rhodes Scholarships were created by Cecil John Rhodes. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III[1] on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Cambridge's reputation is more impressive in the sciences and technology: it has been associated with the majority of Britain's most famous scientists, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking (though Hawking is an Oxford physics graduate) and James Clerk Maxwell. Science-related Nobel Prizes make up the bulk of the Cambridge's 81 (as of 2005) officially recognized list of Nobels won by affliates — more than any other university in the world and ~70% more than Oxford. Cambridge alumni have been involved with developing some of the most important scientific ideas of the last few hundred years, including the theory of gravity, the theory of evolution and the structure of DNA, as well as technological innovations, including the construction of the EDSAC (one of the world's first computers), and Frank Whittle's jet engine. While Cambridge is less well known than Oxford in the United States, Cambridge has a slightly higher profile in Asia, partly due to the perception that it is the stronger science & technology university. In 2000, the Gates Cambridge Scholarships were founded, partly inspired by the Rhodes Scholarships. Although its dictionaries are less famous than Oxford's, Cambridge is better known internationally for its EFL qualifications and for its examinations subsidiary, Cambridge Assessment. Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726][1] was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist. ... James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematician and theoretical physicist. ... Nobel Prize medal. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living organisms. ... EDSAC EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) was an early British computer (one of the first computers to be created). ... Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE FRS (1 June 1907–9 August 1996) was a Royal Air Force officer who invented the jet engine. ... A Pratt and Whitney turbofan engine for the F-15 Eagle is tested at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, USA. The tunnel behind the engine muffles noise and allows exhaust to escape. ... The Gates Cambridge Scholarships were established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, with a $210 million endowment. ... Rhodes House in Oxford, designed by Sir Herbert Baker. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... ESOL logo The University of Cambridge ESOL examinations are examinations in English language ability for non-native speakers of English. ... Cambridge Assessment (formerly known as UCLES) is one of the largest international assessment agencies recognised by governments around the world. ...


It is easy to stereotype the two institutions as having different strengths, and specifically associate (for example) Oxford with politics and Cambridge with science. However, Cambridge has also produced distinguished politicians like Prime Ministers Walpole, Baldwin and William Pitt, and Oxford graduates include noted scientists such as Edmond Halley and Robert Hooke (and more recently Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web). Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, KG, KB, PC (26 August 1676 – 18 March 1745) was a British statesman who is generally regarded as having been the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. ... Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC (3 August 1867 – 14 December 1947) was a British statesman and thrice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ... William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was a British politician of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. ... Portrait of Edmond Halley painted around 1687 by Thomas Murray (Royal Society, London) Portrait of Edmond Halley Bust of Edmond Halley in the Museum of the Royal Greenwich Observatory Edmond Halley FRS (sometimes Edmund, November 8, 1656 – January 14, 1742) was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist. ... Robert Hooke, FRS (July 18, 1635 – March 3, 1703) was an English polymath who played an important role in the scientific revolution, through both experimental and theoretical work. ... Sir Tim Berners-Lee Sir Tim (Timothy John) Berners-Lee, KBE (TimBL or TBL) (b. ...


There is of course no winner of the "alumni battle", as graduates from both universities have been successful in many different walks of life (not just politics and science, although these are two areas where Oxbridge graduates have traditionally dominated Britain). This is only to be expected from institutions so old, and many students have been associated with both Oxford and Cambridge in any case (such as Stephen Hawking, mentioned above).


Direct competition between the two universities

Many annual competitions are held between Oxford and Cambridge, most famous of which is The Boat Race. First contested in 1829, the race pits Cambridge University Boat Club against their Oxford counterparts over a four-mile stretch of the River Thames. The first Boat Race was won by Oxford, but Cambridge lead the overall series with 79 wins to Oxford's 73, with one dead heat in 1877. Recent races have been closely fought, with Oxford winning by the shortest ever margin of 1 foot in 2003 and Cambridge winning in 2004 despite Oxford claims of a foul. In 2007, fielding the heaviest boat in the history of the race, Cambridge achieved their first victory in three years. Boat Race Logo The Boat Race is a rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) is the rowing club of the University of Cambridge, England, located on the River Cam at Cambridge. ... The Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC) is the rowing club of the University of Oxford, England, located on the River Thames at Oxford. ... The Thames is a river flowing through southern England, and one of the major waterways in England. ... 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...


The other major Oxbridge competition is The Varsity Match, a rugby union game played annually at Twickenham stadium. Cambridge currently has 59 wins (including the most recent win in December 2006), Oxford has 52, and 14 games have ended in draws. The Rugby Football Union chose to advertise the 2006 match with a campaign promoting inter-university rivalry: their advertising agency Lowe London produced posters showing the number of Prime Ministers produced by the universities, with the tagline "It's time to get even". The Boat Race and the Varsity Match are notable in the UK in that they are the only university sports events that have any public profile outside the universities themselves. Both events are widely covered in the national media. The Varsity Match usually refers to the annual rugby union fixture played between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England. ... Twickenham Stadium (usually known as just Twickenham or Twickers[1]) is a stadium located in Twickenham, a suburb of south-west London (in the historic county of Middlesex). ... The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the rugby union governing body in England. ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ...


All other significant sports have their own varsity match at some point during the year; some of these, such as the Ice Hockey Varsity Match have attracted significant attention in the past. The vast majority of varsity matches (in particular those of minor sports) are played on the same weekend in mid-February, under the title of 'The Varsity Games'.[citation needed] The results of all the varsity matches in The Varsity Games are aggregated and each year one university wins the Varsity Games title. Recently however, 'The Varsity Games' has had problems raising necessary funds. Sportsmen who have competed at a Varsity Match in the prestigious Full Blue sports are eligible for an Oxford Blue or Cambridge Blue respectively. A varsity match refers to a sporting fixture between two university rivals. ... The Ice Hockey Varsity Match is a longstanding competition between the Cambridge and Oxford University Ice Hockey Clubs. ... A University Sporting Blue is earned by sportsmen at Cambridge University and Oxford University and some other universities in a designated sports (e. ... A Blue is earned by sportsmen at Cambridge University in one of thirteen designated sports (e. ...


League tables

Over the last few years, British universities have been subjected to the increasing popularity of national university league tables, which rank universities based on the inspected quality of their research, as well as other criteria, such as spending on facilities and dropout rates. Oxford and Cambridge have been a constant presence at the top end of the tables, never appearing outside the overall top five and rarely not holding the first and second places, but their dominance in individual subjects is often challenged by other institutions. Most British universities can be classified into 5 main categories, Ancient universities - universities founded before the 19th century Red Brick universities - universities founded in the 19th and early 20th centuries. ... League Tables of British Universities, which rank the performances of universities in the United Kingdom on a number of criteria, have been published every year by The Times newspaper since the early 1990s. ...


Cambridge topped more league tables than Oxford when they were first published in the early 1990s, although Oxford has nudged Cambridge into second place in recent years, notably in the league tables of The Times newspaper, where it has been first for the last four years. The accuracy and reliability of many of these tables is disputed, however: some rely on research assessments that are several years old; others have rankings which fluctuate because of differences in the way they are calculated each year. Other assessments, however, place Cambridge number one for the previous three years. Cambridge tends to benefit from its greater emphasis on science, whilst Oxford tends to benefit from its more centralised funding system. The Times is a national newspaper published daily in the United Kingdom since 1785, and under its current name since 1788. ...


International league tables of universities have also favoured Oxbridge. There are two such publicised surveys - Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2005 ranked Cambridge as 2nd in the world, and Oxford as 10th [2]; while in 2006, the THES - QS World University Rankings ranked Oxford 3rd and Cambridge 2nd overall in the world. The year before, Oxford had been 5th and Cambridge 6th.[3] Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; abbreviated Jiao Da (交大) or SJTU), is one of the oldest and most influential universities in China. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with The Times Higher Education Supplement. ...


Oxbridge cooperation

Despite the impassioned rivalry between the two universities, there is also much cooperation when the need arises. Most Oxford colleges have a sister college in Cambridge (but because Oxford has more colleges than Cambridge, not all Oxford colleges have a "sister"). Some Oxford and Cambridge colleges with the same name are 'sisters': for example, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. However, namesakes are not always paired up: for example, Trinity College, Oxford is the sister college of Churchill College, Cambridge, while Trinity College, Cambridge is the sister college of Christ Church, Oxford. Most of the colleges of the University of Cambridge have sister colleges in the University of Oxford (and vice versa). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... College name Corpus Christi College Named after Corpus Christi, Body of Christ Established 1517 Sister College Corpus Christi College President Sir Tim Lankester JCR President Binyamin Even Undergraduates 239 Graduates 126 Homepage Corpus Christi College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. ... College name The College of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity and Sir Thomas Pope (Knight) Named after The Holy Trinity Established 1555 Sister College Churchill College President Sir Ivor Roberts KCMG MA JCR President Richard Appleton Undergraduates 298 MCR President Andrew Ng Graduates 105 Homepage Boatclub See also Trinity... Full name Churchill College Motto Forward Named after Sir Winston Churchill Previous names - Established 1960 Sister College(s) Trinity College Master Sir John Boyd Location Storeys Way Undergraduates 440 Postgraduates 210 Homepage Boatclub Churchill College Main Entrance Churchill College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of... Full name The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity Motto Virtus vera nobilitas Virtue is true Nobility Named after The Holy Trinity Previous names King’s Hall and Michaelhouse (until merged in 1546) Established 1546 Sister College(s) Christ Church Master The Lord Rees of Ludlow Location Trinity Street... College name Christ Church Named after Jesus Christ Established 1546 Sister College Trinity College Dean The Very Revd Christopher Andrew Lewis JCR President William Dorsey Undergraduates 426 MCR or GCR President {{{MCR President}}} Graduates 154 Home page Boat Club Christ Church (Latin: Ædes Christi, the temple or house of Christ...


An old Oxbridge myth about the individual colleges' wealth has it that it was once possible to walk from Oxford to Cambridge without leaving land owned by either Trinity College, Oxford or Trinity College, Cambridge (some versions of the myth use the two St John's colleges). Both versions are certainly untrue.


Concerns are often raised that Oxford and Cambridge admit a disproportionate number of students from wealthy backgrounds, usually on the basis of the relative numbers of state-school and private-school students at the universities. The two universities have made combined efforts in recent years to project a socially-inclusive image to potential applicants, with the aim of increasing the number of state school applicants. Further information regarding this cooperative Oxbridge access project can be found at: State school is an expression used in the United Kingdom and other countries apart from the United States to distinguish schools provided by the government from public schools which are in fact private institutions. ...


Oxbridge Student Conferences


See also

Pairs of schools, especially when they are close to each other either geographically or in their areas of specialization, establish a school rivalry with each other over the years. ... The Russell Group of universities is a self-selected group of large research-led British universities; 18 of its 19 members are in the top 20 in terms of research funding. ...

External links

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • The Boat Race
  • The Varsity Match

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Every year the rivalry between England's two most famous universities is enacted on the waters of the River Thames.
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