The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest and most famous universities in the world. Its ancient buildings and fascinating history attract scholars and visitors from all over the world. Visitors can also visit its amazing museums and browse the treasures and collections left by the world’s most renowned academics.
The University of Cambridge has a strong academic reputation, and this is why thousands of people wish to visit its buildings and attend its classes one day. In this article, TruOwl will trace back the history of this famous and unique university to its very early years.
The Beginning of Cambridge University:
It took years for the university to establish its status as one of the world’s most famous educational centers. It is not the oldest university in England; Oxford University had been founded a couple of centuries before Cambridge came into existence. Nevertheless, over the centuries the students and professors of Cambridge managed to put it on the world’s map.
During the reign of King Henry III, there were some scholars in the town of Cambridge who was struggling with finding decent accommodation and a place to study peacefully. In 1231, the King put the students under his protection and exempted them from some taxes. By 1318, it was common for European scholars to travel to Cambridge to study or give lectures.
Foundation of Colleges:
The first college in Cambridge was founded in 1284, and over the 14th and 15th centuries, a lot of other colleges were built. There were also institutions which were called hostels. Nowadays most of these hostels don’t exist anymore. But there are still some indicators that they once stood there. The number of colleges increased steadily over the years, with Girton, the first women’s only college built in 1869. The most recent college was established and built in the 1970s. Today there are 31 colleges operating in Cambridge. There are also more than 150 departments that teach the following subjects:
- Biological Sciences;
- Physical Sciences;
- Clinical Medicine;
- Arts and Humanities;
- Social Sciences;
There is a long list of scholars and scientists who spent several years studying in Cambridge. Here are some of them:
- Sir Isaac Newton;
- Sir Francis Bacon;
- Augustus De Morgan;
- Sir Michael Atiyah;
- Charles Darwin;
- Sir Ian Wilmut;
- Stephen Hawking;
- Dame Emma Thompson;
- Sam Mendes.
History and Traditions:
Due to its long history, the university developed a number of traditions. The stories and myths were so popular among students and professors. One of the most famous traditions is the broadcast of The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The choir of the university sings during the festival and the BBC radio and English television channels broadcast the event across the country.
The relationship between the university and the townspeople hasn’t always been good. In the early days, students were often fighting the landlords who charged them high for proper accommodation. There was a time when the townspeople attacked the university sites although there were several attempts to protect the sites and university properties.
Today the university attracts lots of tourists as well as new students from all over the world and has created several opportunities for employment.