From Quiz Revision Notes

British universities

University of Oxford

University College is the oldest Oxford college, and was founded in 1249

Balliol College was founded in 1263

Queen's College was founded in 1341 by Robert de Eglesfield in honour of Queen Philippa of Hainault (wife of King Edward III)

Christ Church was founded by Cardinal Wolsey in 1546. Christ Church is known as ‘the house’. Christ Church has produced thirteen British prime ministers

Keble College was established in 1870, having been built as a monument to John Keble. John Keble had been a leading member of the Oxford Movement, which sought to stress the Catholic nature of the Church of England. Designed by William Butterfield

All Soul’s College has no undergraduates

Nuffield College was the first Oxford college to admit men and women

Lady Margaret Hall is named after Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. First women’s college at Oxford

Somerville College is named after Scottish mathematician and astronomer Mary Somerville

St Hilda's College was founded in 1893 as a hall for women, and remained an all-women's college until 2008

St Catherine’s College was designed by Arne Jacobsen

Hertford Bridge, popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs, is a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane in Oxford

Rhodes scholarships were initiated after the death of Cecil John Rhodes and have been awarded to applicants annually since 1902 by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford

Bill Clinton won a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford

St Benet's Hall is a Permanent Private Hall (PPH) of the University of Oxford. It is now the only constituent body of the University admitting men alone for undergraduate degrees

Oxford Union voted against fighting for King and Country in 1933

Chris Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, is the Chancellor of the University of Oxford

University of Cambridge

Peterhouse is the oldest Cambridge college, and was founded in 1284

King’s College was founded in 1441 by Henry VI

Queens’ College was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou

Sidney Sussex College was founded in 1596 and named after its foundress, Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex

Girton College was established in 1869 as the pioneering and therefore first residential women's college in England. The college became mixed in 1977 with the arrival of the first male Fellows. Male undergraduates have been admitted since 1979

Newnham College was founded in 1871 by Henry Sidgwick, and was the second Cambridge college to admit women after Girton College

Murray Edwards College is a women-only college. It was founded as "New Hall" in 1954

Bridge of Sighs is a covered bridge belonging to St John's College

Senior Wrangler is the top mathematics undergraduate at Cambridge University. Wranglers are students who gain first-class degrees in mathematics

Wooden spoon was given to student who came last in Cambridge maths exams

David Sainsbury is the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge

Scott Polar Research Institute is a centre for research into the polar regions and glaciology worldwide. It is a sub-department of the Department of Geography in the University of Cambridge

Other universities

University of St Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland and third oldest in the English-speaking world, having been founded between 1410 and 1413

Durham is the third-oldest university in England, founded in 1832

Trinity College, Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland

Redbrick universities – Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, and Bristol. All founded before World War I

Plate glass university refers to one of the several universities founded in the United Kingdom in the 1960s in the era of the Robbins Report on higher education. East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Lancaster, Sussex, Warwick, and York

Manchester University combined with UMIST to form the largest single-site campus in the UK

UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) is the United Kingdom's largest university space research group. MSSL is the Department of Space and Climate Physics of the University College London. Based in Dorking

Robert Gordon University is in Aberdeen

University of Ulster is based in Coleraine

Floella Benjamin – chancellor of Exeter University

Planning for the Open University commenced in 1965 under Minister of State for Education Jennie Lee

Walter Perry (later Lord Perry) was appointed the Open University's first vice-chancellor in January 1969. The first students enrolled in January 1971. The University administration is based at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes

Trinity Laban is the UK's only conservatoire of Music and Dance. The Higher Education Institute was formed in 2005

Anglia Ruskin University has its origins in the Cambridge School of Art. Its campuses are located in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough

Russell Group is a collaboration of twenty UK universities that together receive two-thirds of research grant and contract funding in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1994

Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is a non-departmental public body responsible for ensuring that any university or higher education institution in England which plans to charge variable tuition fees has in place an acceptable plan to promote equitable access among its undergraduate applicants and those considering applying

Polytechnics were granted university status under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. This meant that Polytechnics could confer degrees without the oversight of the national Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) organization

American universities

Ivy League

The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education located in the Northeastern United States –

  • Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island
  • Colombia University – New York
  • Cornell University – Ithica, New York
  • Dartmouth College – Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey
  • University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut

The Big Three is an historical term used in the United States to refer to Harvard University, Yale University, and Princeton University. The phrase Big Three originated in the 1880s, when these colleges dominated college football

John Harvard, the founder of Harvard University, was a clergyman

Radcliffe College is a women’s college at Harvard

Skull & Bones, founded in 1832, is the oldest of Yale’s secret societies

Colombia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of George II. After the American Revolutionary War King's College briefly became a state entity, and was renamed Columbia College in 1784

Other universities

University of California is named after the philosopher George Berkeley

Stanford University was founded by Leland Stanford, governor of and U.S. senator from California and leading railroad tycoon, and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, in 1891 in memory of their son, Leland Stanford, Jr

Duke University – Durham, North Carolina

Rice University – Houston

Vanderbilt University – Nashville

Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh

Norte Dame University – Notre Dame, Indiana

Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior – names for students in each year at US universities

European universities

Bologna is the oldest university in the world (founded in 1088), followed by Paris and Oxford

Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain

University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law

Uppsala University was founded in 1477, and claims to be the oldest university in Scandinavia, outdating the University of Copenhagen by two years

The Sorbonne in Paris was originally a theology college

Germany is the only EU country to allow Rhodes scholars

Marburg was the first protestant university

Founded in 1460, University of Basle is Switzerland's oldest university

Jagiellonian University in Krakow is the oldest university in Poland

La Sapienza in Rome is the largest Italian university by enrollment

University of Heidelberg was founded in 1386, and is the oldest university in Germany and was the fourth university established in the Holy Roman Empire

Established in 1290, the University of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world. The Joanina Library is the Baroque library of the University of Coimbra, built in the 18th century. The library contains about 250,000 volumes

To date, 47 Nobel Prize laureates have studied, taught or made contributions to the University of Gottingen in Germany. Founded in 1734 by George II. In the 1930s, the University of Gottingen became a focal point for the Nazi crackdown on ‘Jewish physics’, as represented by the work of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr (both Jewish). In what was later called the ‘great purge’ of 1933, academics including Max Born, Leo Szilard and Edward Teller were expelled or fled


Charterhouse School was founded by Thomas Sutton in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian monastery in Charterhouse Square, Smithfield. The school is now situated in Godalming. Former pupils are known as Old Carthusians

Dulwich College was founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn, a successful Elizabethan actor

Eton College founded by Henry VI in 1440. Eton is a full boarding school, and it is one of four such remaining single-sex boys' public schools in the United Kingdom (the others being Harrow, Radley, and Winchester) to continue this practice. Eton has educated nineteen British prime ministers

Harrow School founded in 1572 under a royal charter granted to John Lyon. Eton has educated eight prime ministers

Radley College in Oxfordshire was founded in 1847

Roedean School, near Brighton, was founded in 1885 as Wimbledon House by three sisters: Penelope, Millicent, and Dorothy Lawrence

Thomas Arnold was headmaster of Rugby School from 1828 to 1842. Father of poet Matthew Arnold

Winchester College was founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester . Former pupils of Winchester College are known as Old Wykehamists

Kurt Hahn created the Outward Bound movement, and founded Gordonstoun School in 1934

Le Rosey, the £80,000-a-year Swiss Institute, is the most expensive boarding school in the world

Upper Sixth (UK) – same as Twelfth Grade (USA)

Grade school – primary school in USA

Corporal punishment abolished in state schools in 1986

Education Act 1944

GCE introduced in 1951

CSE introduced in 1965

GCSE introduced in 1986

Tripartite System was the arrangement of state-funded secondary education between 1944 and the 1970s in England and Wales. Three types of school, namely: grammar school, secondary technical school (sometimes described as ‘Technical Grammar’ schools) and secondary modern school

An academy is a school that is directly funded by central government (specifically, the Department for Education) and independent of control by local government in England.

An academy may receive additional support from personal or corporate sponsors, either financially or in kind. They must meet the National Curriculum core subject requirements and are subject to inspection by Ofsted. Academies are self-governing and most are constituted as registered charities

Some traditional schools blend online and offline learning, sometimes called flipped classrooms. Students watch lectures online at home and work on projects and interact with faculty while in class

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in member and non-member nations of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading

The General Knowledge Paper at King William’s College in the Isle of Man has been published in The Guardian since 1951


Al-Azhar University is Egypt's oldest degree-granting university

University of al-Karaouine in Fez, Morocco is the oldest continually operating university in the world

Monash University in Melbourne is Australia’s largest university

Australian National University is the highest ranked university that is not in UK or USA

In medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects that were taught first: grammar, logic, and rhetoric

United Nations University HQ is in Tokyo

The University of the Third Age was founded in Toulouse in 1972 to improve the quality of life for older people

Johann Pestalozzi was a Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer. Pestalozzi was a Romantic who felt that education must be radically personal, appealing to each learner's intuition

Friedrich Froebel was a German pedagogue, a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He developed the concept of the ‘kindergarten’, and also coined the word now used in German and English

The quadrivium comprised the four subjects, or arts, taught in medieval universities after the trivium. Together, the trivium and the quadrivium comprised the seven liberal arts. The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy

There are three classes of Latin academic honours in use in the United States and around the world, and most universities use at least two of them. All universities use cum laude, which means “with praise.” Some universities also add magna cum laude, which translates to “with great praise”. The third honor is summa cum laude, for “with highest praise,” used for only the very best students

Commencement – graduation ceremony

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web