You have almost certainly heard of Cambridge University, one half of ‘Oxbridge’, but why should you choose to go there? Here are ten reasons for you to consider making an application.
- It is a historic university
Cambridge is one of England’s two ancient universities. Founded in 1209, it is the second oldest university. You could be following in the footsteps of monarchs, prime ministers, and famed academics such as Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking.
- Cambridge is a beautiful city
Of the two universities that form Oxbridge, most would agree that Cambridge is the more beautiful city. In the summer, take a ride in a punt along the River Cam, which flows through the city center, and admire The Backs. These are quite literally the backs of a number of colleges and it is one of the most beautiful views in the country.
- Close contact with experts in their field
Supervisions are a hallmark of a Cambridge Education. Students typically have at least one supervision each week during term. These are lessons with 1, 2 or 3 students and an expert in the field and you’ll spend an hour, or sometimes longer, discussing the work you were doing that week. They are challenging, but they help you understand your subject unlike anything else.
- Unique courses
Courses at Cambridge are uniquely structured. They follow a Tripos structure and offer breadth and flexibility. Rather than choosing to study a single science, such as Physics or Biology, you instead study the Natural Sciences Tripos. This is the framework through which most of the sciences are studied. If you wish, you can still focus on a single science. However, you also have the option to study modules covering a range of scientific disciplines.
- It has an incredible reputation
Cambridge University is an institution known around the world. It has been identified by Times Higher Education as one of six superbrands. The others are Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Stanford and UC Berkeley. Going to such a renowned university will set you up for success at the start of your career. Top employers will court you before you have graduated, for instance.
- Great for technology
Cambridge is home to a cluster of tech businesses, earning it the name Silicon Fen. In Cambridge itself and the surrounding area, there are a thousand tech and science companies from start-ups with only a handful of employees to a company such as ARM with 6,000 employees locally. Its one of the most important technology centres in Europe and is home to companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, ARM and AstraZeneca.
- It is easy to feel at home
Cambridge is a small city, more of a historic market town really. It’s compact size and the fact that the university dominates the city, makes it easy to feel at home once you arrive. Very quickly, you will find your favourite coffee shop or pub and be able to give directions to tourists when they ask. Cambridge’s size can make the adjustment from living at home to university life less daunting.
- The traditions
At over 800 years old, Cambridge University has a number of traditions that students participate in. Formal Halls, May Balls, their own private police force are just a few of the traditions Cambridge University still has today. However, for those put off by tradition, it is worth noting that Cambridge is less traditional than Oxford. You will not have to sit your exams in a uniform known as sub-fusc, for instance.
- Vibrant music and theatre scene
You might think Cambridge is full of super-focused, super-smart students who do nothing but study. You would be wrong. Cambridge has a strong tradition of drama and comedy, with university groups such as the Cambridge Footlights producing names such as Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie and Richard Ayoade. With venues like the Junction and the Corn Exchange, you will not need to travel to London to see world class music or theatre either.
- The college system
Cambridge is a collegiate university. Along with being a member of the university, you will be a member of a particular college. Cambridge has 31 colleges, three of which are women only. These are your home, your social hub, and even where you will receive some of your teaching. Colleges are one of the many great parts of Cambridge, you feel part of a close-knit community and many feel a closer affinity to a college rather than the university after studying there.