OXFORD vs CAMBRIDGE

OXFORD vs CAMBRIDGE
Two of the most recognised and prominent universities in the world stand very similar in their dynamics but at the same time they are very very different. They each respectively have their own strong reputation. But the courses that each have to offer is what makes them different.
Let’s start with some of the differences that these two have:

Rankings-

When we look at the ranks at which Oxford and Cambridge stand we will find that they are both pretty neck and neck. Different institutions have placed them differently in ranking. Just recently The Times placed Oxford as first in the world, and Cambridge as second, overall and for research. Another ranking placed Cambridge as the third best in the world for its teaching, and Oxford as fifth. The QS World University Rankings put Oxford in fifth and Cambridge in sixth overall.
But on a global level, the differences between Oxford and Cambridge are very few; the two have had permanent spots in the global top 10s and have remained there for decades. They are firmly established among the world’s academic elite as well as in the minds of employers. The brand that Oxbridge provides is one that will never let you down. It wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that once you get into one of these top schools you’re coming out and life after would be pretty smooth.

Alumni’s-

Oxford has a lot of well known people having passed out from the renowned establishment – for example, it has generated countless Prime Ministers and MPs (10 out of the last 13 went there, including David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher), even some of the most profound comedians and satirists have graduated from Cambridge (some of the names: Eric Idle, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Clive Anderson, Hugh Dennis).
Cambridge is also eminent for its scientists – Newton, Darwin and, recently David Attenborough, are a few names in the list of popular graduates. There have been 90 Science Nobel laureates from Cambridge, compared to Oxford’s 55.
The real difference between these two prestigious institutions is the variation in the courses that are offered

Oxford and Cambridge in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

 

University of Oxford

University of Cambridge

Accounting & finance

4th

8th

Anatomy & physiology

2nd

1st

Anthropology

1st

2nd

Archaeology

1st

2nd

Architecture

--

7th

Art & design

37th

--

Biological sciences

4th

3rd

Business & management

10th

7th

Chemistry

6th  

=3rd

Classics & ancient history

2nd

3rd

Computer science & information systems

6th

5th

Development studies

3rd

5th

Earth & marine sciences

5th

4th

Economics

9th

10th

Education & training

4th

5th

Engineering (chemical)

6th

=3rd

Engineering (civil)

16th

5th

Engineering (electrical)

11th

5th

Engineering (mechanical)

=8th

3rd

English language & literature

1st

2nd

Environmental sciences

6th

8th

Geography

1st

3rd

History

3rd

2nd

Law

2nd

3rd

Linguistics

9th

6th

Mathematics

6th

5th

Materials science

=7th

4th

Medicine

2nd

3rd

Modern languages

3rd

2nd

Performing arts

=9th

11th

Pharmacy

4th

6th

Philosophy

4th

6th

Physics & astronomy

6th

4th

Politics

2nd

5th

Psychology

3rd

4th

Social policy & administration

3rd

4th

Sociology

2nd

=6th

Statistics

7th

5th

Theology, divinity & religious studies

3rd

4th

Veterinary science

--

4th

Gwyn Day has been an admissions guidance counselor and has helped hundreds of students in enrolling into both Cambridge and Oxford. Here’s what his take is on which is better than which:

Societies 1

These days I speak most often at Oxford rather than Cambridge at the university societies. Whether it is Women in Business or for students interested in Banking & Finance, Law or Management Consultancy I have noticed a significant increase in turnout and seriousness over the last few years as students have become much more career oriented. Indeed the focus of First year students at Freshers Fair is now much more concentrated on which Societies offer the best introductions to potential employers and recruitment skills development.
The compressed term times of OxBridge and the incredibly steep learning curves mean that time is at a premium. It is generally considered that students can achieve well at two out of three areas....but not all three: academics; sport/societies, friendship groups. Two out of three. A First or a Double First marks you out for life as an academic super achiever and opens the doors to the most elite of Master / global PhD programmes and even a 2.1, given you are at OxBridge means the employers automatically look closely at your applications. There is a caveat though. OxBridge students often take on an intellectual arrogance through knowing they are, intellectually, among the best of the best. Unfortunately in this disrupted world of ambiguity where empathy to diversity and holistic thinking are required in collaborative systems, arrogance doesn’t play. Hence the importance of joining, AND RUNNING, societies come to the fore. Involvement means team working, creative thinking, decision making (with real world consequences), time management and much more. The budgets of OxBridge societies, run by students are often in the tens of thousands of pounds and in some instances in the hundreds of thousands. At 19 years of age you can be inviting and hosting Nobel Prize winners, organising conferences for multiple global thought and business leaders or arranging the logistics of an all night May Ball for 500 people. Commitment is everything when winning a “Blue” (representing the university first team in an activity against the other blue. Oxford dark blue, Cambridge light blue. By actively engaging in societies you can be invited to private dinners, cocktail parties and networking events with decision makers who are looking for the next generation of the brightest and the best.The great thing about these events is that they will take you, an eighteen year old fresh out of school, seriously. They will listen to what you say. Why? Because you are smart, have read widely and you THINK. They love and are open to new perspectives.....and help those they deem the best. Rostrum continues to guide students even at university to maximise the chances of achieving their next goals!

International Diversity:

When it comes to international diversity, both Oxford and Cambridge equally have strong representation. Predictably, Oxford and Cambridge are both popular destinations for academics and students from around the globe. Although there has been some recent resistance regarding its perceived lack of diversity, Oxford takes the lead for its percentage of international students, although Cambridge earns a slightly stronger score for its percentage of international faculty members. So the ratio of the other compensates and overlaps .

Better city:

One of the significant differences between Oxford and Cambridge is that Oxford feels bigger – it feels more like a city than a university, whereas Cambridge is more like a large campus that happens to also be a city. This gives the two universities very different atmospheres. What can be found common to both these universities is the air of excitement of the students enrolled on the campus, where life would take them from where they are now – something which encaptures any Oxbridge student.
It is pricey to live in Oxford and Cambridge (rent and house prices will blow your head out), yet the Colleges mean that actual living expenses are discounted for students. It becomes extremely necessary to budget for the likes of living costs, food and books. Cambridge advises students to allow a minimum of £10,950 per year for living expenses, and Oxford recommends between £12,168-18,655.
In all, there is no denial in the fact that Oxford and Cambridge stand in their respective thrones undefeated. It is just as distinguished and esteemed to study at Oxford as it is to graduate from Cambridge. It depends more on the subjects that you’re inclined to opting for that could be your call of choice and decision.

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