Oxbridge is a portmanteau of Oxford and Cambridge, the two oldest, most prestigious, and highly-ranked universities in the United Kingdom. The term is used to refer to them collectively, in contrast to other British universities, and more broadly to describe characteristics reminiscent of them, often with implications of superior social or intellectual status or elitism.
Although both universities were founded more than eight centuries ago, the term Oxbridge is relatively recent. In William Thackeray's novel Pendennis, published in 1850, the main character attends the fictional Boniface College, Oxbridge. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this is the first recorded instance of the word. Virginia Woolf used it, citing Thackeray, in her 1929 essay A Room of One's Own. By 1957 the term was used in the Times Educational Supplement and in Universities Quarterly by 1958.
When expanded, the universities are almost always referred to as "Oxford and Cambridge", the order in which they were founded. A notable exception is Japan's Cambridge and Oxford Society, probably arising from the fact that the Cambridge Club was founded there first, and also had more members than its Oxford counterpart when they amalgamated in 1905.
In addition to being a collective term, Oxbridge is often used as shorthand for characteristics the two institutions share:
The word Oxbridge may also be used pejoratively: as a descriptor of social class (referring to the professional classes who dominated the intake of both universities at the beginning of the twentieth century), as shorthand for an elite that "continues to dominate Britain's political and cultural establishment" and a parental attitude that "continues to see UK higher education through an Oxbridge prism", or to describe a "pressure-cooker" culture that attracts and then fails to support overachievers "who are vulnerable to a kind of self-inflicted stress that can all too often become unbearable" and high-flying state school students who find "coping with the workload very difficult in terms of balancing work and life" and "feel socially out of [their] depth".
The Sutton Trust maintains that the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge recruit disproportionately from 8 schools. They examined published admissions data from 2015 to 2017 and found that 8 schools accounted for 1,310 Oxbridge places during the three years, whereas 2,900 other schools accounted for 1,220.
Other portmanteaus have been coined that extend the term Oxbridge, though none has achieved widespread recognition.
The term Loxbridge (referring to the golden triangle of London, Oxford, and Cambridge) is also used, and was also adopted as the name of the Ancient History conference now known as AMPAH. Doxbridge is another example of this, referring to Durham, Oxford and Cambridge. Doxbridge was also used for an annual inter-collegiate sports tournament between some of the colleges of Durham, Oxford, Cambridge and York. Meanwhile, Woxbridge is seen in the name of the annual Woxbridge conference between the business schools of Warwick, Oxford and Cambridge.
Thackeray's Pendennis, which introduced the term Oxbridge, also introduced Camford as another combination of the university names – "he was a Camford man and very nearly got the English Prize Poem" – but this term has never achieved the same degree of usage as Oxbridge. Camford was also used as the name of a fictional university city in the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Creeping Man (1923).
Originally: a fictional university, esp. regarded as a composite of Oxford and Cambridge. Subsequently also (now esp.): the universities of Oxford and Cambridge regarded together, esp. in contrast to other British universities. adj Of, relating to, characteristic of, or reminiscent of Oxbridge (freq. with implication of superior social or intellectual status
15 October 2008 Last date for receipt of applications to Oxford University, University of Cambridge and courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science or veterinary medicine.
Is it possible to apply to both Oxford University and the University of Cambridge?
It is possible for a candidate to enter the comparable competition at Cambridge which is scheduled at the same time of year.
Two recent deaths have brought the issue of Oxbridge students' mental health back to the surface
The wearing of academic scarves is a tradition found at many colleges and universities in English-speaking countries, and particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Sets of two or more coloured stripes have traditionally been used as part of the distinctive visual identity of these institutions. The scarves are usually made of Saxony Wool and traditionally 6 feet (c. 2m) long.
The colours are usually derived from the colours of the official coat of arms or the varsity colours, and are used in clothing and symbols of all kinds, from ties to trophies, but notably in the long woollen winter scarves that students and alumni wear to show their pride in their institutions. Some universities have different scarves for different faculties and even for undergraduates and postgraduates. Strictly speaking, proper academic scarves should not have further embroidery on them, such as the 'crests' or logos, as the stripes are sufficient to identify the scarf's origins and affiliation.
At some universities, in addition to collegiate scarves, there are also several non-collegiate scarves which have a well-established meaning. For example, those representing the University in sport may be entitled to wear a particular scarf, depending on their level of achievement, or a university department or club may have its own scarf. In addition, some colleges and universities have (for example) separate scarves for senior clubs such as their Boat Clubs.Academic scarves are to be distinguished from other types of scarves that are officially sold by the institution themselves which often use different colours and are embroidered with logos and other emblem.Blue (university sport)
A blue is an award earned by athletes at a university and some schools for competition at the highest level. The awarding of blues began at Oxford and Cambridge universities in England. It is awarded at British, and some Canadian, Australian and New Zealand universities.Don (honorific)
Don (Spanish: [don], Italian: [dɔn], Portuguese: Dom [dõ], from Latin dominus, roughly 'Lord'), abbreviated as D., is an honorific prefix primarily used in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines.
Don, and dom, is derived from the Latin Dominus; a master of a household, a title with background from the Roman Republic in the Antiquity. With the abbreviated form having emerged as such in the Middle Ages, traditionally it is reserved for Catholic clergy, nobles, in addition to certain educational authorities, and persons of distinction.
The female equivalent is Donna (Italian: [ˈdɔnna]), Doña (Spanish: [ˈdoɲa]), and Dona (Portuguese: [ˈdonɐ]), abbreviated D.ª, Da., or simply D. It is a common honorific reserved for women, such as the First Lady of Brazil. In Portuguese "Dona" tend to be less restricted in use to women than "Dom" is to men.Emergency – Ward 10
Emergency – Ward 10 is a British medical soap opera series shown on ITV between 1957 and 1967. Like The Grove Family, a series shown by the BBC between 1954 and 1957, Emergency – Ward 10 is considered to be one of British television's first major soap operas.Fellow
A fellow is a member of a group of learned people (a fellowship) which works together in pursuing mutual knowledge or practice. There are many different kinds of fellowships which are awarded for different reasons in academia and industry. These often indicate a different level of scholarship.Ice Hockey Varsity Match
The Ice Hockey Varsity Match is a longstanding competition between the Cambridge and Oxford University Ice Hockey Clubs.
Tradition places the origin of the match in 1885, when a game is said to have been played in St Moritz. This date is recognised by the Hockey Hall of Fame, and prior to the 1985 Varsity Match, the International Ice Hockey Federation formally recognised the game played a century earlier as having been the first ice hockey match played in Europe. However, there is no contemporary evidence that the 1885 match took place, and Oxford now claim that it was a bandy match. If the 1885 date is accepted, this is the oldest rivalry in ice hockey.The oldest surviving evidence of the competition is a team photo and roster from 1895, for a game played on Blenheim Lake in Oxford, although this was definitely a bandy match. The first match usually counted as an ice hockey contest is that of 16 March 1900 at Princes Skating Club, although at Oxford's insistence, it was played using bandy sticks and a lacrosse ball.The following year, another Varsity Match was played at Princes, this time with hockey skates and a puck. However, a 1902 match at Blenheim Lake was again a bandy match.The competition became established in 1909; the two universities then met each other on a European rink each year until World War I. From 1927, the match has been played for the Patton Cup, named for Peter Patton, the first President of the British Ice Hockey Association. It was then played most years until 1932, when it returned to England, being played at Richmond Ice Rink. The annual matches of the 1930s may no longer have been of professional standard, but they were able to attract crowds up to 10,000 strong. In 2016, the Patton Cup was replaced by the King Edward VII Cup.
Other than a gap during World War II, the matches have continued annually ever since, and since 1996 have alternated between Oxford Ice Rink and a rink nominated by Cambridge (who do not have a home rink). Oxford, often strengthened by Rhodes Scholars have won more than two-thirds of the encounters.List of Oxbridge sister colleges
Most of the colleges forming the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford are paired into sister colleges across the two universities. The extent of the arrangement differs from case to case, but commonly includes the right to dine at one's sister college, the right to book accommodation there, the holding of joint events between JCRs and invitations to May balls.
Trinity College, Dublin a sister of both Oriel College, Oxford and St John's College, Cambridge is unique in being the only non-Oxbridge institution to have sister status with a college.
Most of the pairings reflect similarities between the two colleges concerned, often parallel histories. For example, University College, Oxford (an ancient and prestigious college, founded 1249) is paired with Trinity Hall, Cambridge (of equivalent reputation, founded 1350). William Wykeham's statutes for New College, Oxford, founded in 1379, formed the basis of the foundation of its sister college, King's College, Cambridge. The two Colleges both share distinguished choral reputations. Founded by scholars from Merton College, one of Oxford's oldest colleges (founded 1264), Peterhouse (Cambridge, 1284) is Cambridge's first college. Similarly, Somerville College, Oxford (founded in 1879 as a women's institution) has Girton College, Cambridge (also historically a women's college, founded 1869) as its sister college. St Catherine's College, Oxford (the most recent undergraduate college in Oxford, founded 1963) is paired with Robinson College, Cambridge (the newest Cambridge college, founded 1977).
Oriel College and St Hugh's College, Oxford currently each dispute the other's claim to sister college status with Clare College, Cambridge. While Oriel and Clare both share a common founding year of 1326 and a long history of association, in the 1980s, the now co-ed Clare associated with the then female-only St. Hugh's, in order to protest against Oriel remaining all-male. Today both St. Hugh's and Oriel are co-ed colleges.List of fictional Oxbridge colleges
This is a list of fictional colleges of either:
the universities referred to collectively as Oxbridge, but where the specific university is not specified or known;
fictional institutions spanning both Oxford and Cambridge universities; or
a fictional Oxbridge UniversityBoniface College, Oxbridge
Pendennis by William Thackeray, inspired by his time at Cambridge and home to the poet Sprott.
Fernham College, Oxbridge
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, based on Newnham College, established in 1871 as the first exclusive women's college at Cambridge University.
Footlights College, Oxbridge
from which came a team of participants in an imitation of University Challenge in an episode of The Young Ones called "Bambi". Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Ben Elton played contestants: "Lord Snot", "Lord Monty", "Miss Money-Sterling", and "Mr. Kendall-Mintcake", respectively. Fry, Laurie and Thompson were all students at Cambridge and members of the Footlights.
in Middlemarch, Chapter 52, where Fred Vincy takes his bachelor's degree.
Pembridge College, Oxbridge: The Passing of Sherlock Holmes; by E. V. Knox
St Luke's College
"The Adventure of the Three Students", a Sherlock Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle.In The Masters by C. P. Snow, the author decries the use of a fictional name for the college where the events he describes take place as being the "Christminster" convention, Christminster being the fictional version of Oxford in Thomas Hardy's Wessex.Master of Arts (Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin)
In the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, Bachelors of Arts with Honours of these universities are promoted to the title of Master of Arts or Master in Arts (MA) on application after six or seven years' seniority as members of the university (including years as an undergraduate). As such, it is an academic rank, and not a postgraduate qualification. No further examination or study is required for this promotion.This practice differs from most other universities worldwide, at which the degree reflects further postgraduate study or achievement. These degrees are therefore sometimes referred to as the Oxford and Cambridge MA and the Dublin or Trinity MA, to draw attention to the difference. However, as with gaining a postgraduate degree from another university, once incepted and promoted to a Master, the graduate no longer wears the academic dress or uses the post-nominal letters pertaining to a Bachelor of Arts, being no longer of that rank: i.e. the Master of Arts degree is not awarded separately (for instance, in addition to that of Bachelor of Arts), but rather the new rank is treated as a conversion of one degree to another.
All three universities have other masters' (i.e. postgraduate) degrees that require further study and examination, but these have other titles, such as Master of Letters (M.Litt.), Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), Master of Studies (M.St.), Master of Engineering (M.A.I., or MEng), and Master of Science (M.Sc.).
In the ancient universities of Scotland, a degree with the same name is awarded as a first degree to graduates in certain subjects (see Master of Arts (Scotland)).Oxbridge Academy Foundation, Inc.
Oxbridge Academy Foundation, Inc. is a private coeducational college-preparatory high school in West Palm Beach, Florida. Oxbridge Academy serves grades 9–12. Aimed at academically gifted students of all socioeconomic backgrounds, the school has physical therapist on staff, chef-prepared lunches, a sailing and equestrian team, and a flight simulator.Oxford and Cambridge Club
The Oxford and Cambridge Club is a traditional London Club. The Club is the result of a number of amalgamations of university clubs, most recently that of 1972 between the United University Club, founded in 1821, and the Oxford and Cambridge University Club, founded in 1830. From 1972 until 2001 the Club was known as the United Oxford and Cambridge University Club, in 2001 it reverted to its original name of the Oxford and Cambridge Club. In June 2017 the Club elected its first female Chair.Oxford–Cambridge rivalry
Rivalry between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge is a phenomenon going back many centuries. During most of that time, they were the only two universities in England and Wales, making the rivalry more intense than it is now.
The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, sometimes collectively known as Oxbridge, are the two oldest universities in the United Kingdom. Both were founded more than 800 years ago, and between them they have produced a large number of Britain's most prominent scientists, writers and politicians, as well as noted figures in many other fields. Yet for many of these centuries the two universities were unrecognisable as universities in the modern sense, as they were largely institutions for producing clergymen and were thus strongly tied to the Church. Competition between Oxford and Cambridge also has a long history, dating back to around 1208 when Cambridge was founded by scholars taking refuge from hostile townsmen in Oxford.Rugby League Varsity Match
The Rugby League Varsity Match is an annual rugby league match between Cambridge University and Oxford University. It is currently played in either Cambridge or Oxford on alternate years, usually in the first week of March.
The first Oxford versus Cambridge University match took place in 1981. The varsity match has discretionary full blue status. The two teams play for the KJ Lee Trophy which was donated by the father of a former Oxford player.
The Varsity Match was one of only three varsity events to be televised and was shown live on Sky Sports between 2004 and 2011..Sister college
Harvard University and Yale University in the USA, and the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and the University of Dublin, as well as separately the University of York and Durham University in Britain and Ireland, have a tradition of pairing their respective residential colleges or houses with one another. Colleges that are paired are referred to as sister colleges, and have a ceremonial and symbolic relationship to one another. Students at one college can often find accommodation at their sister college should they be visiting the other University; this is especially relevant to Harvard and Yale students during the annual Game.The University Match (cricket)
The University Match in a cricketing context is generally understood to refer to the annual fixture between Oxford University Cricket Club and Cambridge University Cricket Club.
From 2001, as part of the reorganisation of First-class cricket, the University Match was changed from a three-day First-class fixture, played at Lord's to a one-day University Match at Lord's and a four-day First-class fixture played alternately at Fenner's or The Parks. Cambridge award a blue for either game, though Oxford award a blue for the four-day game only. At the same time, Oxford players have also played in the Oxford University Centre of Cricketing Excellence (Oxford UCCE, also including Oxford Brookes University, now superseded by the Oxford MCCU), and Cambridge players in the Cambridge University Centre of Cricketing Excellence (Cambridge UCCE, including Anglia Ruskin University and now the Cambridge MCCU). However, only those at Oxford and Cambridge Universities are eligible to play in the University Match(es).The Varsity Polo Match
The Varsity Polo Match is an annual polo match between the Oxford University Polo Club and the Cambridge University Polo Club, played between teams of four players. Historically it was known as the inter-University Challenge Cup or inter-Varsity polo match. It is also known as the Oxford-Cambridge Polo Match or by a title that includes the name of its current sponsor (1982 Champagne Taittinger University matches; 1984 Krug Champagne Varsity Polo; from 2010 to 2014, the Jack Wills Varsity Polo, and from 2016 onwards the La Martina Varsity ). Members of both teams are traditionally known as Blues, with Oxford in dark blue and Cambridge in light blue.
The match is a well-established and popular fixture in the British sporting calendar with up to 5000 spectators in single years and creates an interest which a game between teams of far more seasoned players often fail to do. It usually takes place at the beginning of June at Guards Polo Club. The Varsity Match was most recently contested in June 2018, and was won by Oxford by a margin of 13 – 0. As of 2018 Oxford has won the match 63 times and Cambridge 57 times.Tutorial system
The tutorial system is a method of university teaching where the main focus is on regular, very small group teaching sessions. It was established by and is still practised by the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In addition to attending lectures and other classes, students are taught by faculty fellows in groups of one to three on a weekly basis. These sessions are called "tutorials" at Oxford and "supervisions" at Cambridge. One benefit of the tutorial system is that students receive direct feedback on their weekly essays or work in a small discussion setting. The University of Buckingham also practices the weekly tutorial system since it was set up as England's first private university in the 1970s.Student tutorials are generally more academically challenging and rigorous than standard lecture and test format courses, because during each session students are expected to orally communicate, defend, analyse, and critique the ideas of others as well as their own in conversations with the tutor and fellow-students. As a pedagogic model, the tutorial system has great value because it creates learning and assessment opportunities which are highly authentic and difficult to fake.Outside the United Kingdom, a small number of universities have a tutorial system influenced by the Oxbridge system: Williams College in Massachusetts, Honors Tutorial College of Ohio University, Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and New College of Florida. These tutorials are often limited, either restricting them to those on an "honors program", or offering them as a single class rather than being the central feature of the university's teaching.University Golf Match
The University Golf Match (commonly known as the Varsity Match) is the annual golf match contested between the Full Blue golf teams from Oxford and Cambridge universities. Dating back to 1878, it is the oldest amateur event in golf, as the first Amateur Championship was played in 1885. It is also the oldest team event in English golf. Scottish team matches were common after 1849, and included St Andrews University matches against Fife artisan clubs. The Varsity Match was most recently contested in March 2018, at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, and was won by Cambridge.University court
A university court is an administrative body of a university in the United Kingdom. In England's Oxbridge such a court carries out limited judicial functions; whereas in Scotland it is a university's supreme governing body, analogous to a board of directors or a board of trustees.
University associations and groupings in the United Kingdom