Subject Material


Published: 28.01.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017

Do you know that there is a ranking list of the best universities in the world? Where do you think Cambridge University lies on this list?


In 2009 Cambridge University can celebrate its 800th anniversary. In 1209 some scholars chose to leave the University in Oxford and settle in the beautiful little town of Cambridge because they believed some teachers had been wrongly executed for murdering a townswoman. This paved the way for the everlasting rivalry between the two universities and it culminates every spring in the boat race along the Thames where young men and women fight to defend the honour of their respective universities.

Famous Students

Cambridge can to this day boast eighty Nobel Prize winners and 14 Prime Ministers. It can take credit for students like the scientists Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawkin, the author John Milton, actors like John Cleese and teachers like Isaac Newton.


The various colleges are connected by bridges crossing the river Cam. Newton's "Mathematical Bridge" and Queen Victoria's favourite spot, the "Bridge of Sighs"(a covered bridge resembling the one in Venice), are among the favourites. Cambridge is ranked among the 5 top universities in the world.

Mathematical Bridge Cambridge. Photo.Mathematical Bridge Cambridge 

According to the myth Newton's "Mathematical Bridge" was originally constructed without nails.. It is recounted that a self-confident student once dismantled the bridge. However, he did not manage to reassemble it properly. True or not, the construction is still a mystery and the bridge is today provided with nails.

Bridge of Sighs. Photo.Why do you think it has got this name?Bridge of Sighs Cambridge  

Punting in Cambridge. Photo. Punting Cambridge 

Punting (pushing and steering the boat by means of a long pole) tours are very popular along the banks of the river Cam.



Tasks and Activities


Cambridge - Comprehension 



  1. How many colleges does Cambridge have?
  2. Find some more of the famous people who have attended Cambridge university. Choose one of them and make a mini presentation.


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