Ivy League

The Ivy League is an athletic conference composed of sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group.

The eight institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. The term Ivy League also has

connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.

The term became official after the formation of the NCAA Division I athletic conference in 1954.The use of the phrase is no longer limited Ivy League to athletics, and now represents an educational philosophy inherent to the nation's oldest schools. Seven of the eight schools were founded during the United States colonial period; the exception is Cornell, which was founded in 1865. Ivy League institutions, therefore, account for seven of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Ivy League schools are viewed as some of the most prestigious, and are ranked

amongst the best universities in the United States and worldwide. All eight Ivy League institutions place within the top sixteen of the U.S. News & World Report College and university rankings, including Ivy League the top four schools and five of the top nine. A member of the Ivy League has been the U.S. News number-one-ranked university in each of the past twelve years: Princeton University five times, Harvard University twice, and the two schools tied for first five times.

The Ivies are all in the Northeast geographic region of the United States. Each

school receives millions of dollars in research grants and other subsidies from federal

and state government.

Undergraduate enrollments among the Ivy League schools range from about

4,000 to 14,000, making them larger than those of a typical private liberal arts college

and smaller than Ivy League a typical public state university. Overall enrollments range from

approximately 6,100 in the case of Dartmouth to over 20,000 in the case of Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Penn. Ivy League university financial endowments range from Brown's $2.2 billion to Harvard's $32 billion, the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the world.


The University of Cambridge (informally Cambridge University, or simply Cambridge) is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It

is the second oldest university in both England and the English-speaking world and the seventh oldest university globally. In post-nominals the university's name is abbreviated Ivy League as Cantab, a shortened form of Cantabrigiensis (an adjective derived fromCantabrigia, the Latinised form of Cambridge).

The university grew out of an association of scholars in the city of Cambridge

that was formed, early records suggest, in 1209 by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. The two "ancient universities" have many common features

and are often jointly referred to as Oxbridge. In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, the two universities have a long history of rivalry with each other.

Academically, Cambridge ranks as one of the world's top universities, as Ivy League well

as a leading university in Europe, and contends with Oxford for first place in UK league tables. Affiliates of the University have won more Nobel Prizes than those of any other institution in the world - with 88 Nobel Laureates as of October 4, 2010 - the most recent one being Robert G. Edwards for the prize in physiology or medicine.

The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, the Coimbra Group, the League of European Research Universities and the

International Alliance of Research Universities. It forms part of the 'Golden Triangle'

of British universities.


Cambridge’s status was enhanced by Ivy League a charter in 1231 from King Henry III of

England which awarded the ius non trahi extra (a right to discipline its own members)

plus some exemption from taxes, and a bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX that gave

graduates from Cambridge the right to teach everywhere in Christendom.

After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter by Pope

Nicholas IV in 1290, and confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318, it

became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to come

and visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses.


Cambridge is a Ivy League collegiate university, meaning that it is made up of selfgoverning

and independent colleges, each with its own property and income. Most colleges bring together academics and students from a broad range of disciplines, and within each faculty, school or department within the university, academics from many different colleges will be found.

The faculties are responsible for ensuring that lectures are given, arranging

seminars, performing research and determining the syllabi for teaching, overseen by

the General Board. Together with the central administration headed by the Vice-

Chancellor, they make up the entire Cambridge University. Facilities such as libraries

are provided on all these levels: by the Ivy League University (the Cambridge University

Library), by the departments (departmental libraries such as the Squire Law Library),

and by the individual colleges (all of which maintain a multi-discipline library,

generally aimed mainly at their undergraduates).


All students and many of the academics are attached to colleges, where they socialise. It is also the place where students may receive their small group teaching sessions, known as supervisions. Each college appoints its own teaching staff and fellows in each subject; decides which students to admit, in accordance with

university regulations; provides small group teaching sessions, for undergraduates

(though lectures are arranged and degrees are Ivy League awarded by the university); and is

responsible for the domestic arrangements and welfare of its own undergraduates,

graduates, post-doctoral researchers, and staff in general.

The University of Cambridge currently has 31 colleges, of which three, Murray

Edwards, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish, admit women only. The other colleges are

now mixed, though most were originally all-male. Darwin was the first college to

admit both men and women, while Churchill, Clare and King's colleges were the first

previously all-male colleges to admit female undergraduates in 1972. Magdalene was

the last all-male college to become mixed in 1988. Clare Hall and Darwin admit only

postgraduates Ivy League, and Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund’s and Wolfson admit

onlymature (i.e. 21 years or older on date of matriculation) students, including

graduate students. All other colleges admit both undergraduate and postgraduate

students with no age restrictions. Colleges are not required to admit students in all

subjects, with some colleges choosing not to offer subjects such as architecture,

history of art or theology, but most offer close to the complete range. Some colleges

maintain a bias towards certain subjects, for example with Churchill leaning towards

the sciences and engineering, while others such as St Catharine's aim for a balanced

intake. Costs to students (accommodation Ivy League and food prices) vary considerably from

college to college. Others maintain much more informal reputations, such as for the

students of King's College to hold left-wing political views, or Robinson College and

Churchill College's attempts to minimise its environmental impact.

There are also several theological colleges in Cambridge, including Westcott

House, Westminster College and Ridley Hall Theological College that are affiliated

to the university and are members of the Cambridge Theological Federation.


The principal method of teaching at Cambridge colleges is the supervision.

These are typically weekly hour-long sessions in which small groups of students –

usually between one and three Ivy League – meet with a member of the university's teaching staff

or a doctoral student. Students are normally required to complete an essay or assignment in advance of the supervision, which they will discuss with the supervisor during the session, along with any concerns or difficulties they have had with the material presented in that week's lectures. Lectures at Cambridge are often described

as being almost a mere 'bolt-on' to these supervisions. Students receive between one

and three supervisions per week, depending upon their subject. This pedagogical

system is often cited as being unique to Cambridge and Oxford (where “supervisions” are known as “tutorials Ivy League”).

The concept of grading students' work quantitatively was developed by a tutor

named William Farish at the University of Cambridge in 1792.

Schools, faculties and departments

In addition to the 31 colleges, the university is made up of over 150 departments, faculties, schools, syndicates and other institutions. Members of these are usually also members of one or more of the colleges and responsibility for running the entire academic programme of the university is divided amongst them.

A 'School' in the University of Cambridge is a broad administrative grouping

of related faculties and other units. Each has an elected supervisory body – the 'Council' of the school Ivy League – comprising representatives of the constituent bodies. There are six schools:

Arts and Humanities

Biological Sciences

Clinical Medicine

Humanities and Social Sciences

Physical Sciences


Teaching and research in Cambridge is organized by faculties. The faculties have different organizational sub-structures which partly reflect their history and partly their operational needs, which may include a number of departments and other institutions. In addition, a small number of bodies entitled 'Syndicates' have responsibilities for teaching and research, e.g. Cambridge Assessment, the University Press, and the University Library.

Academic year

The academic year is divided into three terms, determined by the Statutes of the University. Michaelmas Ivy League Term lasts from October to December; Lent Term from

January to March; and Easter Term from April to June.

Within these terms undergraduate teaching takes place within eight-week periods called Full Terms. These terms are shorter than those of many other British universities. Undergraduates are also expected to prepare heavily in the three holidays (known as the Christmas, Easter and Long Vacations).

Cambridge maintains a long tradition of student participation in sport and recreation. Rowing is a particularly popular sport at Cambridge, and there are competitions between colleges, notably the bumps races, and against Oxford, the Boat Race. There Ivy League are also Varsity matches against Oxford in many other sports, ranging from cricket and rugby, to chess and tiddlywinks. Athletes representing the university in certain sports entitle them to apply for a Cambridge Blue at the discretion of the Blues Committee, consisting of the captains of the thirteen most prestigious sports.

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