This is a reading, writing and speaking English lesson about the English Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

The two universities are probably the most famous universities in the world and certainly the two oldest universities in England.

Oxbridge is a common term used to refer to both universities, combining Ox- from Oxford and –Bridge from Cambridge.

The term is believed to have been first used in literature  by author William Thackeray in the nineteenth century.

Oxford and Cambridge are two towns in the centre area of England about 80 miles apart from each other and both approximately one hour driving time from London.

They are both quaintly set astride wide, winding rivers which make it ideal for boating, punting and rowing.

Not only that but both towns lie on a flat terrain and their historical development is well-suited to a cycling means of transportation for students and teachers alike.

Actually, Oxford and Cambridge are not one single University but a series of Colleges.

There are, in fact, more than forty Colleges in Oxford and more than thirty in Cambridge.

In Oxford, you will find the Colleges of Christchurch, Pembroke, Magdalen, Balliol and Oriel.

In Cambridge, the College names of Trinity, Kings, Peterhouse, Emmanuel and Clare will roll off the tongue.

Students studying at Oxbridge will be encouraged to stay within the complex, housed within attractive historic buildings of great antiquity.

The two Universities rank highly for research, providing educational pogrammes and serving as a springboard into public life for only the best and brightest students who are would-be doctors, dentists, lawyers, scientists, barristers or economists.

An attitude has long prevailed that Oxbridge admission is only for those coming from the old-school-tie system and from the elite of Society with a strong foundation in extra-curricular activities.

Time are changing and students are now admitted who are able to show their academic potential, sense of self-motivation, independent clinical thinking and who may come from a socially disadvantaged background.

Oxbridge is associated with fierce rivalry in sport.  Blue has long been seen as the colour of achieving success in competition at the highest level.

Oxford are the dark blue and Cambridge the light blue.

The first competitive sporting contest between Oxford and Cambridge occurred in a cricket match at Lords London in 1827 but it is the Varsity Boat Race between the two Universities run on a four mile stretch of the river Thames in London every April since 1829 which has most been popularized by the British people.

Oxbridge has long been renowned for tradition, focus on small selective groups to teach not large classess, tutorial and supervision rather than lecturing.

Oxford and Cambridge remain the magnet for anyone who has the ability to solve a problem, be a team player, a leader, show creative talent and of course a literary ability not just reserved for those of superior, social or intelectual status.

The door to Oxbridge and a brighter future is open to everyone.



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