Difference between Oxford and Cambridge

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Both Oxford and Cambridge are seats of education. They are equally famous and have many similarities. The Oxford and Cambridge Universities are very famous and more than 750 years old. Many famous personalities are products of these two great institutions. However, there are differences between the two that require mention. The differences are in the courses they conduct, the terms they use as well as the interview and selection process.

Cambridge University:

Cambridge is a small city with a lower population and lesser number of industries as compared to Oxford. There are a large number of high tech industries around Cambridge. In Cambridge, the JCR is the abbreviated for Junior Combination Room.

There are three terms in a Cambridge University course. They are renowned as Michaelmas, Lent, and Easter. Every college in Oxford and Cambridge has large grassy compounds. In Cambridge, the term used to refer to such compounds is courts.

Colleges in Cambridge universities teach various subjects and the students are free to choose any subject they wish. They have a more lenient system of admission wherein a student gets a second chance in case they do not get the college of their first priority. The interviews are also very short in comparison and the results come out sometime in January. The colleges in Cambridge University are not so strict about wearing proper university uniform.

Oxford University:

In comparison Oxford is a bigger city with a large number of industries around the city. Oxford is famous for its automotive industries with BMW manufacturing its “Mini” in Oxford city. The JCR is the short for Junior Common Room. It refers to an undergraduate.

The three terms in an Oxford University college are the Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity. Quadrangles are the name given to the large grassy compounds in Oxford.

The admission process is a stringent one on an Oxford University and a student cannot apply for courses other than his interests. The interview process is also much longer as compared to Cambridge Universities. The selection process is however faster and results come out before Christmas. They are very strict about the uniforms and known as “Sub Fusc.” This is a formal academic dress. Students should wear this dress before they appear for their examinations.

Other Differences:

Cambridge University ranks second in the world whereas Oxford occupies the fifth position.

Both the Universities are famous for featuring in many movies. Oxford is more popular in this regard as compared to Cambridge. The Harry Potter series are some famous movies shot in Oxford University locations. Both the Universities are famous for their tourist locations. The Kong George Chapel is an important location in Cambridge University.

Interestingly a student cannot apply to both the Universities in the same academic year.

Oxford University courses are more academic oriented than Cambridge University courses. The formal assessment is through examinations. Students have to write many essays in advance.

Oxford University names its teaching sessions as “tutorials” whereas Cambridge University calls them as “Supervisions.”

Students can apply via the UCAS online application system to both the Universities. Cambridge University students may have to complete a Supplementary Application Questionnaire. Oxford University places more emphasis on interviews and completion of certain tasks.

Some famous students:

Oxford has 48 Nobel Laureates in its ranks whereas Cambridge has 89. 26 British Prime Ministers and 60 other heads of Government are products of Oxford University. The most notable among them is Bill Clinton. Cambridge has produced 40 heads of state and 14 British Prime Ministers. Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton are some of its famous students.

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