6 Facts about the 6 Oldest UK Universities
Any student who wants to pursue an education in the United Kingdom will always know the names of Oxford University, Cambridge University, St. Andrews University, Glasgow University, Aberdeen University & Edinburgh University. These universities are not only shining examples of education but also have a huge contribution to the progress of human civilization. But, there are some interesting and funny facts about these universities which might affirm your belief in applying to them.
So here at Stoodnt.com, we have brought you some fun facts which might help you in knowing your favourite university a bit better.
Interesting Facts About:
- Oxford University
- Cambridge University
- University of St. Andrews
- University of Glasgow
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Edinburgh
- The University of Oxford is situated in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in operation after the University of Bologna
- The Motto of Oxford is “Dominus Illuminatio Mea” or “The Lord is my light” (the opening words of Psalm 27)
- Oxford University had its own police force, which wasn’t abolished until 2003
- When the whole world is fighting Covid19 pandemic, a team led by Dr. Sarah Gilbert is busy fighting for a solution and a vaccine which will put an end to this. Dr. Gilbert is one of the leading Vaccinologists in the world. She is the professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute
- The word “soccer” comes from Oxford University putting “-er” on the end of the “assoc” in Association football
- Some of the notable and the most respected people in the world are its alumni they’re Sir Timothy Burners Lee, Indira Gandhi, Boris Johnson, Bill Clinton, Professor Stephen Hawking, CS Lewis, Vikram Seth, AJP Taylor and Oscar Wilde just to name a few
- The University of Cambridge is a collegiate research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1209 after it grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford to Cambridge to escape Oxford’s riots of “town & gown”. Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university
- Cambridge University is one of the oldest universities in the world but it is also the birthplace of Football. “The Cambridge Rules” were written and made up in the year 1863 and very much influenced the Football Association’s rulebook’s original rules
- Cambridge University library has over 3,000,000 volumes. This makes it one of a handful in the country that is entitled to a copy of every book published in Great Britain. Some noteworthy collections include the Acton Library of medieval, ecclesiastical and modern history, the W.G. Aston Japanese library, the papers of Charles Darwin and the Wade Chinese collection
- The Mathematical Bridge (Wooden Bridge) is a bridge made up of wood which connects two parts of Queen’s College. It was the first bridge built using mathematical principles. It was designed by William Etheridge and built by James Essex in 1749, who arranged the timbers in a series of tangents with radial members to tie the tangents together and create a self-supportive structure. There is a popular myth that Sir Isaac Newton, who at one point held the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at the university, actually built the bridge
- Cambridge remained fairly insignificant until 1502, when a “Professorship of Divinity” was founded which was the oldest in the university. In 1511 Desiderius Erasmus went to Cambridge and did much to inculcate the new learning of the Renaissance there
- Some of the most famous and respectable people in the world have got their education from Cambridge University. Srinivas Ramanujan, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Alan Turing, David Attenborough, Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Rachel Weisz, Florence Nightingale are just a few names to be noted as Alumni of this place
- The University of St Andrews (abbreviated as St And) was founded in 1413. It is situated in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. After Oxford and Cambridge universities, it is the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world
- The University of St Andrews was Scotland’s first university to enrol female undergraduates on an equal level to their male counterparts — the first female, Agnes Forbes Blackadder, graduated in 1894 with an MA
- Back in 1528, in an infamous incident, Patrick Hamilton, a Protestant martyr, was burned at the stake, cursing the area as he perished. In that place, there’s a mark of PH. Students in the university know very well not to step upon St. Salvator’s unlucky PH, for which it could lead to bad luck leading to a botched degree and failed exams
- Raisin Monday is a tradition or the culmination of a weekend of festivities when first-year students at the University of St. Andrews thank their seniors or “parents” for mentoring them. The juniors or “children” are given embarrassing costumes to wear and then take part in a foam fighting at the Salvator’s Quad in the Fife town
- Once upon a time in St. Andrews, keeping beards was banned
- Some of the globally noted alumni members from St. Andrews are John Napier, Prince Williams, James Black, Fay Weldon and many others
- The University of Glasgow (abbreviated as Glas.) is a public research university in Glasgow, Scotland. It was founded in 1451. It is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world
- Just like universities in the pre-modern era, the University of Glasgow originally educated students only from wealthy backgrounds. After that, it became a pioneer in British Higher Education in the 19th century by also providing to needs of students from the growing urban and commercial middle-class section
- The University of Glasgow’s “Hunterian Museum” was built in 1807 and is Scotland’s oldest public museum. The museum has a large collection of art and scientific relics including the world’s first-ever ultrasound machine
- Surprisingly teaching at the university began in the chapterhouse of Glasgow Cathedral, subsequently moving to nearby Rottenrow, in a building known as the “Auld Pedagogy”
- Before 1914 every single graduate was recorded by the university. It is actually still possible to view the 18,863 graduates on the Glasgow University website
- Out of their immensely respected alumni members worldwide, University of Glasgow houses 7 Nobel Laureates as their alumni. They’re Sir Derek Barton, Sir James Black, John Boyd Orr, Sir William Ramsey, Frederick Soddy, Alexander R. Todd, Baron Todd and Sir Robert Geoffrey Edwards. Not to forget Steven Moffat who is credited with Doctor Who and Sherlock!
- The University of Aberdeen (abbreviated as Aberd.) is a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is an ancient university founded in 1495 which makes it Scotland’s third-oldest university and the fifth-oldest in the English-speaking world
- The current library of the Aberdeen University contains one of the most extensive university library collections in the United Kingdom (UK), with over a million volumes and a quarter of a million ancient and priceless books and manuscripts, including the “Hortus sanitatis” the Latin natural history encyclopaedia which was published by Jacob Meydenbach in Mainz, Germany in the year 1491
- The University of Aberdeen houses outstanding sports facilities which include Olympic-standard Aberdeen Sports Village and Aquatic Centre
- It is also called as the Origin Point of the MRI Scanner. 40 years ago, a team of scientists at Aberdeen University built the world’s first human-sized MRI scanner and used it to perform the first-ever diagnostic MRI scan in August 1980. Now, after 40 years, University’s School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition is developing a brand new type of MRI machine, called “Fast Field-Cycling MRI” (FFC-MRI). This will help in the diagnosis of Breast Cancer!
- The University of Aberdeen has been associated with 5 Nobel Laureates and it has been recognized for many academic achievements. The prizes were awarded for Physics, Medicine, Peace and Chemistry (once in 1921 and once in 1952). Amongst the work that was recognized for these awards was the research conducted by Professor JJ R Macleod (Alumni) along with Frederick Banting which led to the development of insulin as a treatment for Diabetes
- The University of Aberdeen among its alumni has people like Nicky Campbell, James Clerk Maxwell, John Macleod, Iain Glen, James Burnett Lord Monboddo among many others
- The University of Edinburgh (abbreviated as Edin.) was founded in 1582. It is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s ancient universities.
- The university played an important role in making Edinburgh a chief intellectual centre during the Scottish Enlightenment period from 18th Century to the early 19th Century. This made a huge contribution to the city being nicknamed the “Athens of the North”
- United Kingdom’s oldest student newspaper “The Student” was started at the University of Edinburgh in 1887 by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Edinburgh receives approximately 60,000 applications every year, making it the second most popular university in the UK by volume of applications
- Students after graduating from the University of Edinburgh Medical School have found five out of the seven Ivy League medical schools. Also, the faculty of the University of Edinburgh Medical School have introduced antiseptic to sterilize surgical instruments, discovered Chloroform Anesthesia, Oxytocin, developed the Hepatitis B vaccine, and have made a parallel contribution to the treatment for tuberculosis just to count a few achievements
- Some of the globally respected alumni members from the University of Edinburgh are Edward Abby, Marion Cameron Gray, Mona Chalmers Watson, Marion Ross, Robert Brown, Alexander Graham Bell, Arthur Conan Doyle and many others
In case you were wondering to apply in any of these universities, we hope we have spiked an interest inside you now!
Author: Kartikey Tripathi
With a Masters Degree in Media Science and Specialisation in Corporate Communications. I have both likeliness as well as professional experience in Advertising Copywriting. I’m an actor cum writer based in India.
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