Amongst the World's Oldest and Leading Universities
Founded in the year 1209, the University of Cambridge is one of the world's oldest universities and leading academic centres, as well as a self-governed community of scholars.
The academic standards, history, influence and wealth of the university has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is ranked third in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, after Oxford and CalTech.
It has 31 colleges, of which three are women only, and over a 100 libraries, that hold around 16 million books, of which around 9 million are in Cambridge University Library- that is is a legal deposit library, which means that it is entitled to receive a free copy of every book published in the UK.
The university’s publishing arm, Cambridge University Press, is the oldest printer and publisher in the world, and the second largest university press in the world. Meanwhile, its assessment centre, Cambridge Assessment, is Europe’s largest.
Some renowned alumni of the university, who have been prominent change makers of the world, include Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Sir David Attenborough and Jane Goodall. It has 120 Nobel Laureates. It has also educated at least 30 foreign heads of state, nine English monarchs and 14 British prime ministers.
The university has also been affiliated with the film industry, and many scenes in television shows and movies have been shot here, including the opening scenes of the Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of Dawn Treader (2010), as well as The Theory of Everything (2014).
Each Christmas Eve, BBC radio and television broadcasts The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. Kings College Chapel has the largest fan vault ceiling in the world – a long-standing record, given work began on it in 1446.