Cambridge University is the best university in Europe

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Cambridge University is the best university in Europe according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The ARWU is produced by the Institute of Higher Education at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and several indicators of academic or research performance are used to establish the ranking, these include highly cited researchers, articles indexed in major citation indices and staff winning Nobel Prizes.

The University of Cambridge was established in 1209, making it the second-oldest university in the English speaking world (after the University of Oxford). The University has 18 022 students (January 2008): 11 582 undergraduates and 6 440 postgraduates (or ‘graduates’ in the US). Overseas students (meaning non-UK or EU students) number 3 085, representing 17% of the student body. The University of Cambridge has a very strong tradition in sciences, producing 83 Nobel Laureates to date.
The total income of the University of Cambridge is £601.6 million (2007-2008). In late 2006, the total financial endowment of the university and the colleges was estimated at £4.1 billion, with £1.2 billion tied directly to the university and £2.9 billion to the colleges. Compared to the world’s top-25 universities, the University of Cambridge has a high total endowment.
Cambridge is a collegiate university, meaning that it is made up of self-governing and independent colleges, each with its own income and campus (e.g. housing, dining, chapel and sports facilities). There are 31 colleges, with the oldest being Peterhouse established in 1284. All students, and many of the academics, are attached to a college, where they live, eat and socialise.

The University of Cambridge has a very important presence in the City of Cambridge (total population of 108,000 inhabitants). The Colleges often have very old and beautiful campuses, especially those along the River Cam that flows through the City of Cambridge. Pictures of some of the Colleges can be viewed. These include: Gonville & Caius College (founded in 1348), King’s College (1441), Trinity College (1546), Emmanuel College (1584) and Downing College (1800).

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