Sunday, November 05, 2006


Oxbridge is a name used to refer to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the two oldest in the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world. The name is a portmanteau of the two universities' names.
In the Times Higher Education Supplement's university league table Cambridge and Oxford are ranked respectively as the second and third best universities in the world. In a survey name up to 30 universities which they considered the best research institutions in their field, Cambridge came first, and Oxford second, leaving Harvard - which tops the overall table - in third place.
Oxford and Cambridge were founded more than seven centuries ago, the name is relatively young. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this is the first recorded instance of the word, but it did not enter common usage until the middle of the 20th century. The book also introduces the term Camford as another portmanteau of the university names; although this term has never achieved the same degree of usage as Oxbridge.
Other portmanteaux are occasionally derived from the term "Oxbridge" which is used as the name of an annual sports tournament, which is used as the name of a history group collaboration. However, such terms are only used for specific groups, and none has achieved widespread use.
There is a tradition of members of Oxford and Cambridge referring to each other's university as Social critics in the United Kingdom also sometimes use as shorthand for the dominate government, education, and other institutions.


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