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If you are an intellectual snob, a dullard and super serious about your academic subject go to Cambridge.

If your a fun go getter with a good social life who wants to achieve in business or politics it's Oxford.

Well that is one comment from someone who is biased, but you won't get a definite answer because they are both good uni's and people will stick up for whichever one they attended.

Answer: Whilst generalisation is always dangerous, there is some truth in the comment above!

Historically, Cambridge has tended to be the more radical of the two universities: eg it was a hotbed of Reformation zeal, & produced many "Puritan" leaders (eg Cromwell), & has more recently generated a fair number of Communists, Russian spies & traitors - eg Cambridge Spy Ring. On the other hand, Tariq Ali was President of the Oxford Union!

Keynesian Economics originated in Cambridge (JM Keynes was a college fellow & bursar), but it was also a major centre of "monetarist" thinking during the 1960s, '70s & '80s. Many leading "new right" Conservatives of the Thatcher/ Major era were Cambridge products (eg Geoffrey Howe, Leon Brittan, Michael Howard, Michael Portillo), but Thatcher herself went to Oxford, & Major did not go to university.

Today, "Cowley Tech" appears to be very much back in the "driving seat" where UK Govt is concerned: Cameron, Hague, Osborne, Gove, Alexander, Boris et al are all Oxford products, although The Clegg & Vince Cable went to "Fenland Poly"! Many of the last Labour Govt (eg Blair, Balls, Cooper, Mandelson, the Milibabbles & Co.) were also Oxonians, although the "colourful" Campbell (not an MP, nor technically a member of the Govt) was a Cambridge man.

During the English Civil War, Oxford was the Royalist capital, and it's probably broadly true that Oxford students still often tend to be more "Cavalier" in attitudes/ behaviour than those at Cambridge. Arguably, there is a greater variety of "interesting" student clubs/ societies at Oxford, and drama/ theatre/ performing arts are more vibrant in Oxford (eg the city has more, & better, theatres) than Cambridge. It has often been said that Oxford is a real city which happens to contain an ancient university, whereas Cambridge is a large town dominated by an ancient university: there is some truth in this assertion in terms of the respective atmospheres of the two places, & many find Cambridge the more insular & "provincial".

Cambridge's traditional focus on mathematics & science has tended to produce an ethos in which Cartesian logic, calculation/ quantification underpins intellectual activity, & in my experience Cambridge people are often quite cool & aloof - supercilious even - in manner. I have found, on average, Oxford people to be less intellectually precious, & more "rounded"/ worldly wise, than Cambridge products.

IMO, Cambridge often seems to attract/ produce clever people who are more than a little pleased with themseves, but who frequently lack "people skills" & are sometimes quite a long way along the Aspergic continuum! Oxford products seem more "grounded", are generally less intellectually arrogant, & are usually more fun to be with. That stated, without doubt, both contain, by normal standards, very high numbers of eccentrics, "oddballs", & pretentious thunderprats.

A totally subjective opinion; probably very unfair, I know. Academically, it should not be forgotten, both universities are nationally & internationally outstanding, & few can match "Camford's" output of World leading research (eg King's, Cambridge has produced more Nobel prize winners than France & Russia combined!), & it's particularly impressive when compared with that of vastly better funded American universities.

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โˆ™ 2010-12-01 00:38:54
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Q: Which is best Cambridge or Oxford University?
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