The University of Cambridge (informally known as Cambridge University or simply as Cambridge) is a public research university located in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world (after the University of Oxford), and the fourth-oldest surviving university in the world. 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).
The university grew out of an association of scholars that was formed in 1209, early records suggest, by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. The two “ancient universities” have many common features and are often jointly referred to as Oxbridge. In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, they have a long history of rivalry with each other.
Cambridge has performed consistently in various league tables over the years, achieving the top spot in the world according to the QS World University Rankings in both 2010 and 2011; in 2012, the same editors ranked Cambridge second. Other results include a sixth place in the world in the 2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and a fifth position in the world (and first in Europe) in the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities. Furthermore, Cambridge regularly contends with Oxford for first place in UK league tables. In the two most recently published rankings of UK universities by The Guardian newspaper, Cambridge was ranked first. In 2011, Cambridge ranked third, after Harvard and MIT, in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. Graduates of the university have won a total of 65 Nobel Prizes, the most of any university in the world.
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