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The University of Cambridge (informally Cambridge University) is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England, often regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Founded in 1209 and given royal charter status by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s third-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two ancient universities share many common features and are often referred to jointly as “Oxbridge”.
Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent colleges and over 100 academic departments organised into six schools. Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the world’s oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, and a botanic garden. Cambridge’s libraries hold a total of around 15 million books, eight million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library.
In the year ended 31 July 2015, the university had a total income of £1.64 billion, of which £398 million was from research grants and contracts. The central university and colleges have a combined endowment of around £5.89 billion, the largest of any university outside the United States. The university is closely linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as “Silicon Fen”. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the “golden triangle” of leading English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre.