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Sunday, May 1, 2011

University of Cambridge, Cambridge University

(England Twitter)-University of Cambridge (informally Cambridge University, or simply Cambridge) is a public research university in Cambridge, England. It is the second-oldest university in both England and the English-speaking world, and the seventh-oldest globally. In post-nominals the university's name is abbreviated as Cantab, a shortened form of Cantabrigiensis (an adjective derived from Cantabrigia, the Latinised form of Cambridge).
The university grew out of an association of scholars in the city of Cambridge that was formed in 1209, early records suggest, by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. The two "ancient universities" have many common features and are often jointly referred to as Oxbridge. In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, they have a long history of rivalry with each other.
Academically Cambridge ranks as one of the top universities in the world: first in the world in both the 2010 and 2011QS World University Rankings, sixth in the world in the 2010–2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and fifth in the world (and first in Europe) in the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities. Cambridge regularly contends with Oxford for first place in UK league tables.Graduates of the University have won a total of 61 Nobel Prizes, the most of any university in the world. Affiliates of the University have won a total of 88 Nobel Prizes as of 4 October 2010, the second most of any academic institution (after Columbia University) – the most recent one being Robert G. Edwards for the prize in physiology or medicine. Academic staff of the University won a total of 52 Nobel Prizes, second most of any academic institution (after Columbia University). In 2009, the marketing consultancy World Brand Lab rated Cambridge University as the 50th most influential brand in the world, and the 4th most influential university brand, behind only Harvard, MIT and Stanford University, while in 2011, the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings ranked Cambridge as the 3rd most reputable university in the world, after Harvard and MIT.
Cambridge is a member of the Coimbra Group, the G5, the International Alliance of Research Universities, the League of European Research Universities and the Russell Group of research-led British universities. It forms part of the 'Golden Triangle' of British universities.

Cambridge's status was enhanced by a charter in 1231 from King Henry III of England which awarded the ius non trahi extra (a right to discipline its own members) plus some exemption from taxes, and a bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX that gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach everywhere in Christendom.
Foundation of the colleges
Cambridge's colleges 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 in 1284, Cambridge's first college. 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).
From the time of Isaac Newton in the later 17th century until the mid-19th century, the university maintained a strong emphasis on applied mathematics, particularly mathematical physics. Study of this subject was compulsory for graduation, and students were required to take an exam for the Bachelor of Arts degree, the main first degree at Cambridge in both arts and science subjects. This exam is known as a Tripos. Students awarded first-class honours after completing the mathematics Tripos were named wranglers. The Cambridge Mathematical Tripos was competitive and 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.
Women's education
Initially, 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), New Hall (later renamed Murray Edwards College) in 1954, and Lucy Cavendish College. The first women students were examined in 1882 but attempts to make women full members of the university did not succeed until 1947. Although Cambridge did not give degrees to women until 1921, women were in fact 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.
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 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 1909, results were published alphabetically within class rather than score order. This made it harder to ascertain who the winner of the spoon was (unless there was only one person in the third class), and so the practice was abandoned.

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 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. 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.
The principal method of teaching at Cambridge colleges is the supervision. 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, 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. Lectures at Cambridge are often described as being almost a mere 'bolt-on' to these supervisions. Typically, students receive between one and four supervisions per week. However the number of supervisions varies according to subject and college, and it can often be the case that a student may receive more supervisions in one college than a student reading the same subject in another college. This pedagogical system is often cited as being unique to Cambridge and Oxford (where "supervisions" are known as "tutorials")
The concept of grading students' work quantitatively was developed by a tutor named William Farish at the University of Cambridge in 1792.
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 or more of the colleges and responsibility for running the entire academic programme of the university is divided amongst them.

The entrance to the administrative centre of the university, the Old Schools.
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:
Arts and Humanities
Biological Sciences
Clinical Medicine
Humanities and Social Sciences
Physical Sciences
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 entitled 'Syndicates' have responsibilities for teaching and research, e.g. Cambridge Assessment, the University Press, and the University Library.
Academic year
The academic year is divided into three 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.
Central administration
Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor
The current Chancellor of the University is the Duke of Edinburgh who is due to resign from the post in 2011 on his 90th birthday. A new Chancellor will be elected by the Regent House in 2011. The current Vice-Chancellor is Leszek Borysiewicz. The office of Chancellor, for which there are no term limits, is mainly ceremonial, while the Vice-Chancellor is de facto the principal academic and administrative officer. 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).
Council and the General Board
Although the University Council is the principal executive and policy-making body of the University, therefore, 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.
In late 2006, the total financial endowment of the university and the colleges was estimated at £4.1 billion (US$8.2 billion): £1.2 billion tied directly to the university, £2.9 billion to the colleges. Oxford (including its colleges) is possibly ranked second, having reported an endowment valued at £3.9bn in mid-2006.The university's operating budget is £600 million per year. Each college is an independent charitable institution with its own endowment, separate from that of the central university endowment.
If ranked on a US university endowment table using figures reported in 2006, Cambridge would rank sixth or seventh (depending on whether one includes the University of Texas System – which incorporates nine full scale universities and six health institutions), or fourth in a ranking compared with only the eight Ivy League institutions.
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. The University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, which taught the world's first computing course in 1953, is housed in a building partly funded by Gates and named after his father, William Gates.

Cambridge University 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 University sites around the city, and major expansion continues on a number of sites.
The application system to Cambridge and Oxford involves additional requirements, with candidates typically called to face-to-face interviews.
How applicants perform in the interview process is an important factor in determining which students are accepted. Most applicants are expected to be predicted at least three A-grade A-level qualifications relevant to their chosen undergraduate course, or equivalent overseas qualifications. The A* A-level grade (introduced in 2010) now plays a part in the acceptance of applications. 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. 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 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 – Christ's College is unusual in making this offer to about one-third of successful candidates, in order to relieve very able candidates of some pressure in their final year.
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). However, the average qualifications for successful applicants from state schools are slightly lower than the average qualification of successful applicants from private schools.

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).
The University's publishing arm, the Cambridge University Press, is the oldest printer and publisher in the world, and the biggest academic press.
Public examinations
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.

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.
Graduands are presented in the Senate House college by college, in order of foundation or recognition by the university — except for King's, Trinity, and St John's Colleges, which are presented first. 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 following Latin statement is then communicated to the vice-chancellor by the Praelector:
Cambridge maintains a long tradition of student participation in sport and recreation. 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.
Student organisations
The Cambridge University Student Union[108] is the overall Student Union organisation. However, the Cambridge Union serves as a focus for debating. Drama societies notably include the Amateur Dramatic Club (ADC) and the comedy club Footlights, which are known for producing well-known show-business personalities. Student newspapers include the long-established Varsity and its younger rival, The Cambridge Student. In the last year, both have been challenged by the emergence of The Tab, Cambridge's first student tabloid. The student-run radio station, CUR1350, promotes broadcast journalism.
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 and it has also attracted a variety of conductors and soloists, including Wayne Marshall, Jane Glover, and Nicholas Cleobury.
Over the course of its history, Cambridge University has built up a sizeable number of alumni who are notable in their fields, both academic, and in the wider world. Depending on criteria, affiliates of the University of Cambridge have won between 85 and 88 Nobel prizes, more than any other institution according to some counts. 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 award was first distributed in 2003).
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 polymaths 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 Hardy, Littlewood and De Morgan, three of the most renowned pure mathematicians in modern history; Sir Michael Atiyah, arguably the most important mathematician of the last half-century; William Oughtred, the inventor of the logarithmic scale; John Wallis, the inventor of modern calculus; Srinivasa Ramanujan, the self-taught genius who made incomparable contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions;

Charles Darwin
and, perhaps most importantly of all, James Clerk Maxwell, who is also considered to have brought about the second great unification of Physics (the first being accredited to Newton) with his classical electromagnetic theory.
Another Cambridge scholar responsible for major developments in scientific understanding was Charles Darwin, the biologist who first suggested the theory natural selection. Later Cambridge biologists include Francis Crick and James D. Watson, who developed a model for the three-dimensional structure of DNA whilst working at the university's Cavendish Laboratory along with Maurice Wilkins and leading female X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin. 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.
The university is also the essential 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 invent what is essentially the basis for the modern computer 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, the man generally regarded to be the father of nuclear physics spent much of his life at the university, where he worked closely with the likes of Niels Bohr, a major contributor to the understanding of the structure and function of the atom, J. J. Thompson, 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 and de facto inventor of the atomic bomb, also studied at Cambridge under Rutherford and Thompson.
Major astronomers 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; and Lord Martin Rees, the current Astronomer Royal and Master of Trinity College.

John Maynard Keynes
A number of 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 the Big Bang Theory; and Frederick Sanger, the last man to win two Nobel prizes.
Other Cambridge academics include major economists such as John Maynard Keynes, Thomas Malthus, Alfred Marshall, Milton Friedman, Piero Sraffa and Amartya Sen, another former Master of Trinity College. Significant Philosophers Desiderius Erasmus, Sir Francis Bacon, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Leo Strauss, George Santayana, Sir Karl Popper, Allama Iqbal and G. E. Moore were all Cambridge scholars, as were renowned historians such as Lord Acton, E. H. Carr, Hugh Trevor-Roper, E. P. Thompson, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr and the great lawyers Glanville Williams and Sir James Fitzjames Stephen.
Religious figures at the university have included Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury and many of his predecessors; William Tyndale; the early biblical translator; William Paley, the Christian philosopher known primarily for formulating the teleological argument for the existence of God; William Wilberforce, the man responsible for the abolition of the slave trade; John Bainbridge Webster, a theologian of significant repute; and six winners of the prestigious 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 and John Rutter were all at Cambridge. The university has also produced members of contemporary bands such as Radiohead, Hot Chip, 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.
Acclaimed writers such as E. M. Forster, Charles Kingsley, C. S. Lewis, Christopher Marlowe, Vladmir Nabokov, Christopher Isherwood, Samuel Butler, W. M. Thackeray, Lawrence Sterne, Sir Hugh Walpole, Jin Yong, Sir Kingsley Amis, C. P. Snow, J. G. Ballard, John Fletcher, E. R. Braithwaite, Iris Murdoch, J. B. Priestley, Patrick White, M. R. James and A. A. Milne were all at Cambridge.
More recently A. S. Byatt, Margaret Drabble, Douglas Adams, Sir Salman Rushdie, Nick Hornby, Zadie Smith, Howard Jacobson, Robert Harris, Michael Crichton, Sebastian Faulks, Stephen Poliakoff, Michael Frayn, Alan Bennett and Sir Peter Shaffer were all at the university.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Poets A. E. Housman, Robert Herrick, William Wordsworth, John Donne, Alfred Tennyson, Lord Byron, Rupert Brooke, John Dryden, Siegfried Sassoon, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, John Milton, George Herbert, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Gray, Edmund Spenser, Cecil Day-Lewis and Sir Muhammad Iqbal are all associated with Cambridge, as are renowned literary critics F. R. Leavis, Sir William Empson, Lytton Strachey, I. A. Richards, Harold Bloom, Terry Eagleton, Stephen Greenblatt and Peter Ackroyd. Furthermore, at least nine of the Poet Laureates graduated from Cambridge.
Actors and directors such as Lord Richard Attenborough, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Michael Redgrave, James Mason, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Simon Russell Beale, Tilda Swinton, Thandie Newton, Rachel Weisz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and David Mitchell all studied at the university, as did recently acclaimed directors such as Mike Newell, Sam Mendes, Stephen Frears, Paul Greengrass and John Madden.

King George VI
The University is also known for its prodigious sporting reputation and has produced many fine athletes, including more than 50 Olympic medalists (6 in 2008 alone); 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 and possibly the first man ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
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.

Oliver Cromwell
Cambridge also has a strong reputation in the fields of politics and governance, having educated:
15 British Prime Ministers, including Robert Walpole (First Prime Minister of Great Britain).
At least 25 foreign Heads of Government, including the current Prime Ministers of India, Singapore and Jordan, and the current Presidents of Zambia and Trinidad and Tobago.
At least 9 monarchs and a large number of other royals.
3 Signatories of the United States Declaration of Independence.
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1 comment:

  1. European Research Ranking is a new ranking based on funding and networking perfomance derived from data provided by the European Commission. calculates a performance score for selected European research institutions - this score is used to provide an annual ranking list of these institutions.