The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second oldest university in both England and the English-speaking world and the seventh oldest university 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).
Academically, Cambridge ranks as one of the world's top universities, as well as a leading university in Europe, and contends with Oxford for first place in UK league tables. Affiliates of the University have won more Nobel Prizes than those of any other institution in the world - with 88 Nobel Laureates as of October 4, 2010 - the most recent one being Robert G. Edwards for the prize in physiology or medicine. The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the Coimbra Group, the League of European Research Universities and the International Alliance of Research Universities. It forms part of the 'Golden Triangle' of British universities.
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Although the exact date of foundation remains unclear, there is evidence of teaching there as far back as the 11th century. The University grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. In post-nominals the University of Oxford was historically abbreviated as Oxon.
There are 38 colleges of the University of Oxford and 6 Permanent Private Halls, each with its own internal structure and activities. All resident students, and most academic staff, must be members both of a college or hall, and of the university. The heads of Oxford colleges are known by various titles, according to the college, including warden, provost, principal, president, rector, master or dean. The colleges join together as the Conference of Colleges to discuss policy and to deal with the central University administration. Teaching members of the colleges (fellows and tutors) are collectively and familiarly known as dons. In addition to residential and dining facilities, the colleges provide social, cultural, and recreational activities for their members. Colleges have responsibility for admitting undergraduates and organising their tuition; for graduates, this responsibility falls upon the departments.
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is an internationally renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. It was the fourth university to be established in Scotland and is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, having consistently being placed among leading universities in the world.
The university played an important role leading the city of Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the north. Alumni of the university include some of the major figures of modern history.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, an approximately 5 yearly audit of the research quality of British higher education establishments, the University of Edinburgh was placed 10th overall, a rise of 4 places from 14th in the 2001 RAE. The University was also placed 5th in the UK in terms of the power of its research departments. The Guardian University Guide 2011 ranked the University of Edinburgh as 15th in the UK overall. The Medical School has consistently ranked among the top in the UK.
The QS World University Rankings 2010 ranked the University of Edinburgh as the 22nd university in the world, while the Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked it as 40th overall and 6th in Europe. In 2010, the Academic Ranking of World Universities placed University of Edinburgh as 54th overall and 14th in Europe.