Trinity College (University of Cambridge)

College & Education

Europe, United Kingdom, Cambridgeshire

Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows (however, counting only the student body but not Fellows, Trinity has somewhat fewer students than Homerton College). Trinity considers itself to be "a world-leading academic institution with an outstanding record of education, learning and research". Like its sister college, Christ Church, Oxford, it was traditionally considered the most aristocratic of the Cambridge colleges — and it has generally been the academic institution of choice of the Royal Family (King Edward VII, King George VI, Prince Henry of Gloucester, Prince William of Gloucester and Edinburgh and Prince Charles were all undergraduates). The Push Guide to Which University (2005) called it "arguably the grandest Cambridge college" and it has been called "the most magnificent collegiate institution in England". Like Christ Church, the college has also been associated with Westminster School since the school's refoundation in 1560. The Master remains to this day an ex officio member of the school's governing body. The proportion of state school to private school pupils at Trinity is roughly 2:3, though in 2006 it had the lowest state school intake (39%) of any college. On a rolling three-year average Trinity has admitted a smaller proportion of state school pupils (42%) than any other Oxbridge college. It first admitted women graduate students in 1976 and women undergraduates in 1978; and appointed its first female fellow in 1977. Trinity has a world-renowned academic tradition, with members having won 32 Nobel Prizes (of the 87 Nobel Prizes awarded to members of Cambridge University), four Fields Medals (mathematics), one Abel Prize (mathematics) and two Templeton Prizes (religion). It had the highest proportion of students gaining Firsts in their exams of any college in 2008. Trinity has many notable alumni (it has educated six British prime ministers and several heads of other nations) — but its most distinguished include Isaac Newton, Bertrand Russell, George VI and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Trinity has many college societies. Its rowing club is the First and Third Trinity Boat Club. Trinity's May Ball, named after the Boat Club, is one of the largest of Cambridge's May Balls. Trinity also has the oldest mathematical university society in the United Kingdom, the Trinity Mathematical Society. The first formalised version of the rules of football, known as the Cambridge Rules, was drawn up by Cambridge student representatives of leading boarding schools at Trinity College in 1848.