The University of Cambridge is rich in history - its famous Colleges and University buildings attract visitors from all over the world. But the University's museums and collections also hold many treasures which give an exciting insight into some of the scholarly activities, both past and present, of the University's academics and students.
The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges. Its reputation is endorsed by the Quality Assurance Agency and by other external reviewers of learning and teaching, such as External Examiners.
These high standards are the result of both the learning opportunities offered at Cambridge and by its extensive resources, including libraries, museums and other collections. Teaching consists not only of lectures, seminars and practical classes led by people who are world experts in their field, but also more personalised teaching arranged through the Colleges. Many opportunities exist for students to interact with scholars of all levels, both formally and informally.
There are 31 Colleges in Cambridge. Three are for women (New Hall, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish) and two admit only graduates (Clare Hall and Darwin). The remainder house and teach all students enrolled in courses of study or research at the University
Each College is an independent institution with its own property and income. The Colleges appoint their own staff and are responsible for selecting students, in accordance with University regulations. The teaching of students is shared between the Colleges and University departments. Degrees are awarded by the University.
Within each College, staff and students of all disciplines are brought together. This cross-fertilisation has encouraged the free exchange of ideas which has led to the creation of a number of new companies. Trinity and St John's have also established science parks, providing facilities for start-ups, and making a significant contribution to the identification of Cambridge as a centre of innovation and technology.
In addition to the collections on display in the University's libraries & museums, there is a wealth of sporting and cultural activity at the University of Cambridge, much of it organised by individual clubs and societies run by staff and students. Although the University does not offer courses in the creative arts or sport, there is a strong tradition of achievement in these fields, with many former students going on to gain international standing as artists, performers and athletes. Initiatives ensure that aspiring performers enrich their education with a high level of activity outside the lecture.