Oxford vs Cambridge University: Which is better in 2024?

Oxford vs Cambridge - Which is better?

Despite being rivals for over 800 years, Oxford and Cambridge have much in common. Both are divided into colleges, both have mentor programs, and both are surrounded by old traditions, stories, and stereotypes.

University Ranking 2024

In the QS rankings for 2024, Oxford is ranking 2nd in the world. This university has more points than Cambridge in terms of scientific citations of professors, which reflects greater participation in global research. Cambridge University is ranking 3rd.

University Reputation

Universities can boast of an excellent international reputation. Yet, Cambridge is famous in the fields of science, engineering, technology and medicine. And Oxford is popular for its high quality of social sciences and humanities and arts.

At the same time, both universities are among the best in all the subjects they offer.


Technically, Oxford is a big city and Cambridge is small. But in fact, both are quite compact, it is convenient to move on foot or by bike.

Both cities are very picturesque, there is something to see for history lovers, and students train on the rivers that cross the city centers, preparing for the annual rowing race.

The universities are located near London: Oxford is an hour’s train ride from the capital, and Cambridge is a little closer.

There is an opinion that Cambridge is more beautiful, and Oxford is more alive.

Student opinion

Jinho Clement, president of iCUSU, an international student body in Cambridge, is an undergraduate student. He was attracted to the university by the Tripos system, when students are graded throughout their studies, and not near the end, as is usually done.

“When you choose an institution, it all comes down to where you think you will gain the most valuable experience,” he explains. “It all depends on the candidate, but factors such as the structure and teaching of the subject, life at the university, the presence of sports and social clubs, and the percentage of students from your country need to be taken into account.”

David J. Townsend, president of the Oxford Student Union, acquires an LL.M. “I was looking for a course that would allow me to decide between continuing my studies or entering the job market,” says David. “And Oxford gives me that choice at the right stage of the course.”

Townsend also took into account the difference in location: “Oxford as a university is better integrated into city life, unlike the more isolated Cambridge.”

“These are two great universities, and you should decide where to apply based on the quality of a particular course,” says David. – Rivalry is nothing but a joke, it is like two brothers competing who can send the ball further: it is a healthy competition that encourages progress. But Oxford is the older brother, which means he’s the boss! “

Remote selection

Jinho and David believe that international students who are unable to visit the campus do not have such a difficult choice.

“The university’s website is full of information, and it is worth finding a graduate in your country and asking for advice. And student information, produce special guides for foreign candidates, they are available online, ” says David.

Jinho advises contacting university student communities, especially those aimed at students from your country.

Each student’s decision is individual, and if you choose a program that suits your interests and goals, you will hardly regret your choice. In other words, it won’t be long before you get to the list of proofs why your chosen half of Oxbridge is better!

Elite education at universities such as Cambridge, Harvard or Oxford, according to most people on the planet, is only available to the elite. Many applicants today do not even think about admission to these universities when deciding which university to enroll in to study abroad. However, if you know the intricacies of enrolling in these universities and go through some preparation for enrollment, anyone can become a student of these most prestigious and famous universities in the world.

Who can become a university student at Oxford and Cambridge?

Of course, it cannot be said that if you decide today to enroll in one of the most prestigious universities in the world, your wish will be fulfilled tomorrow. The level of preparation of students must be really high. For that reason, this decision must be made by the child’s parents and prepare the baby for this step as he grows up. Education at Cambridge, Harvard or Oxford begins at birth.

The child must know English perfectly, study in a specialized school and show high academic results. If you like these students who study well, you can try and apply for enrollment in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. However, without prior preparation, your chances will still not be high enough.

Cambridge Entry Requirements

Cambridge is one of the most desirable universities in the world for students. It was founded more than 800 years ago by prof. Oxford University. Today, Cambridge has 31 colleges, of which only 6 can get a degree, some of the best Cambridge colleges are here.

Characteristics of enrollment at this university for foreign students are high requirements for academic and linguistic knowledge. In addition, this university attaches special importance to the motivation of the candidate and his ability to think outside the box.

To be admitted, you must pass a personal interview with the admissions office. This is the most important step in applying to study abroad at Cambridge. The selection committee should see you as a worthy candidate. You have to show your originality and freedom of opinion. You will also need to convince university representatives that Cambridge is your only path to achieving the ultimate goal of your career and your contribution to human development.

One of the phases of the interview is the completion of the exam task. For those who enroll in the Faculty of Exact Sciences, I need to do a test for those who enroll in the Faculty of Linguistics write an essay. For architecture or design you must have a portfolio with you. However, these are not all the exams you will have to take when enrolling in Cambridge. Each specialty has its own examination program in specialized subjects.

The preparatory program for admission to Cambridge includes academic and linguistic preparation, as well as preparation for an interview with the admissions committee. The average duration of the preparatory course is 1 academic year. After completing the program, the student is completely ready to hand over the documents to Cambridge.

Oxford Entry Requirements

Oxford is the fifth-best university in the world. The requirements for candidates here do not differ much from Harvard and Cambridge. They also want to see only successful, purposeful and non-standard students here. The educational system of our country lags far behind world standards, so even after finishing school on Friday, it is impossible to enroll in this faculty immediately.

There are special requirements for the academic readiness of students. You will have to prove your knowledge in practice. You will need to take exams and pass interviews. To be guaranteed to become a student of this university, you need to pass a special training course that is developed only for candidates applying to Oxford. An interview can be done remotely, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to prepare for it. This is a very important part of the competition. You have to show your best side, but you should not cross that thin line between an adequate assessment of their abilities and simple bragging.

Academic and linguistic preparation of students must also be at the highest level. By contacting our company you will be able to complete the preparation program specifically for admission to Oxford. Here, your knowledge will be maximally adapted to the educational system of Great Britain, and you will also receive a lot of new modern knowledge that is simply not taught to students in our country. Only with this baggage of new knowledge can one try to enter this university.

It turns out that actually getting into Oxford is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. Yes, of course, before taking the exam, you will have to work hard on yourself, but it pays off. By contacting our company, you can get comprehensive assistance in enrolling in the best universities in the world. Our experts for studies abroad will give you a full consultation, assess your chances of admission and choose the best pre-university training program for you.

Today, in the modern world, borders and conventions are being erased, each of us can easily become a world person and study abroad. It is important to note that students from the countries of the former USSR are highly valued at the best universities in the world, because these students have excellent thinking, excellent academic preparation and unsurpassed self-discipline. Today you can prove to the whole world what you are capable of, leave a training application, and together we will go through this difficult journey to Harvard, Cambridge, or Oxford!

It’s no secret that Oxford and Cambridge are the pinnacle of dreams and the pinnacle of achievement for many modern candidates seeking a prestigious education recognized worldwide. We talked about it with Tim Morrison, a career counselor in Oxbridge. These are the names of the oldest universities in England when they talk about them together.

So, Tim graduated from St. John’s School in Essex, and also received his classical education at Cambridge between 1999 and 2002. We asked him how he connected his life with these prestigious educational institutions and how he managed to overcome obstacles on the way to his goal.

We started the dialogue with Morrison quite provocatively: “It seems to us, like many other ordinary people, that if a person enters Oxford, he gets a completely different experience than those who want to enroll in any other university. According to prejudices, during the interview here, the unfortunate applicant will meet face to face with experts who study their topic extremely deeply and who are nap sent more than one book. There is an opinion that few of them are patient with candidates who can underestimate or even take for fools. So, we have a lot of myths about how these experts allegedly humiliate candidates in interviews.

Then, after going through all this, when you finally, with incredible effort, enter college, you have no time left for anything but hard work. Here, the deadlines for submitting materials are much shorter, and the scope of work is much higher than at any other university. If you are learning English, you should definitely read numerous books in this language, write an essay of 3,000 words every week, and then your work will be evaluated by one of the best experts in the UK. The question is who is this for? The answer is, all this is for people who are able to think academically.

So we are also interested in the moment of employment. We will agree that we do not take into account the connections and patronage of the university. Oxbridge’s graduates are virtuosos in their field. But wherever they work, from publishing to politics, from civil service to industry, Oxbridge still doesn’t have the best employment rate for its graduates. The modern picture of the world is such that Oxford and Cambridge graduates are less willing to put their knowledge to practical use than many students from other universities.

After listening to our long statement, Tim mentally returned to his alma mater, after which he calmly and balanced gave his answer:

“Oxford and Cambridge – these two prestigious universities – provide the strongest primary education in the UK. But let’s face it, their graduate, accustomed to walking on the river, sipping expensive champagne and talking about Wittgenstein, is not always easy to break into an employer and immediately become a top manager or get a leading position in the company. Oxford in our imagination looks exactly like this, and in reality, of course, you have to think carefully before you come to us.

There is no doubt about the benefits offered by both our universities. People cross the entire planet just to visit a place our students called home. Diplomas from these universities are respected by employers around the world, opening the door to graduates who are not available to other people. Perhaps the most important thing in this regard is that both universities are a kind of home of academic knowledge. Here the best minds of the country help young people to get a large amount of information on all their issues. However, there is competition and academic pressure that few graduates can handle. ”

Common problems, misconceptions, and myths

Oxford and Cambridge are small boring cities

There is a lot of truth in that. Due to the specific way of life, the center of which is the university, students may from time to time suffer from a kind of claustrophobia. However, campuses have many of their own sports teams, all kinds of interest groups and many other interesting advantages. So every student always has a chance to have some fun.

Only extremely wealthy young people study at Oxford and Cambridge

This statement is fundamentally wrong. Enrollment commissions strive to ensure that the best intellectual people study at universities, choosing them from the total weight without any prejudice. Here you will meet children from different walks of life.

I’m not smart enough for Oxford and Cambridge

The only truth is that the academic standards at Oxbridge are very high, and you will be required to work hard on yourself. Problems can only arise when you realize that you are not the best smart person in your environment. After all, not everyone is brilliant. You will be surrounded by erudite and enthusiastic people eager to learn.

The workload at Oxford and Cambridge is huge

No doubt it is. In particular, if we are talking about art objects, then the differences between what is taught at our universities and what is taught at many other universities can be very significant. Each week, as expected, you will read a lot and then write an essay of two to three thousand words. This means that learning will take up most of your time. Also, you will not be allowed to work while studying.

After graduation, it will be difficult for me to find a job

An incredibly focused lifestyle at these two universities means you really won’t have as much time as you would like to have to successfully plan your career. A degree from Oxford and Cambridge is the best thing you can mention in your resume. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get the best training in the world to work in a particular organization.

I will not be able to enroll in your universities

The attitude of the university towards all candidates is extremely positive. But don’t forget that those who compete with you are very strong. There are no set rules or standards on how your university application will be graded, but there are a number of valuable guidelines:

  1. Good academic education is needed. The selection committee will, of course, take into account all your circumstances and previous education, but it will still expect excellent results from you. Especially in those subjects that you want to study with us.
  2. You really require enthusiasm. This is more than a promise to learn. You have to prove your true interest in learning – study thematic literature, move in the areas of knowledge that interest you, have relevant work experience and much more. You can discuss this in the application for admission and in the subsequent interview.
  3. We require development potential. It’s hard to assess, but the admissions committee wants to know if you’ll do well when you’re academically promoted. This is the main reason for the interview.

How to choose a college at Oxford or Cambridge?

This is an extremely difficult decision. There are several factors that are really important.

  1. Large or small faculty? Do you want to study in an educational institution where you know everything or, on the contrary, are you looking for diversity? You decide.
  2. Which location do you like the most? Some faculties are located outside the city in peace and quiet, others are central, in cities where it is easier to solve the issue of attending lectures and shopping.
  3. New college or college with history? While some old colleges are more prestigious, atmospheric and beautiful in terms of exteriors and interiors, new ones offer you a more comfortable life and pastime.
  4. What subjects would you like to study? There are many teachers and all of them are top level specialists. Make the right decision for your calling and make a significant contribution to your future. You can decide on the subject of study and the current competition with the help of comparative tables.

Speaking of these tables. The number of candidates for a particular subject at each college is published in the prospectus. Some applicants turn to the case for which the least applicants have applied, in the hope that this will increase their chances. This is not the smartest approach because:

  1. The number of applicants and their distribution by case changes every year.
  2. Faculties communicate with each other, redistributing the workload.

Interviews at Oxford and Cambridge University

Your personal application, the recommendations of the school or faculty you have previously attended and the results of the exam will be reviewed by the admissions committee. If you are eligible for an employment campaign, you will be invited for an interview. It should be borne in mind that universities reduce the number of candidates invited to the meeting over time.

Oxford candidates are often required to take a preliminary test. This usually happens at your school or college in October or November. Before testing, you can learn how it goes by getting information from the official Oxford website. This will give you an idea of ​​how much time you need for each question.

If you overcome all these difficulties, then you will be able to pass the interview at the beginning of December. To this day, there are many myths and even anecdotes about how the interview at Oxford goes.

 In these stories, pollsters walk on their heads, throw rugby balls at you and do other funny things. However, it is worth remembering that all examiners are very predictable. They will ask you about your work so far, they will ask you to prove all your theses and statements, they will try to touch on your favorite topic in which you are most familiar. 

Admissions Committee Staff will not expect you to be able to learn everything in the world, but will want to see you learn the material quickly and put what you learn into practice immediately. Criteria for the possibility of using intellectual baggage vary depending on the subject (new song in English, new topic in mathematics, unknown skull in biology), but the principles remain the same: you are interested and able to understand information about the subject you are interested in. You may be asked to take a written test in addition to the dialogue, of which you will be warned in advance.

All of this can seem daunting. But the time Oxford and Cambridge spend choosing the right people pays dividends. There are many good reasons to enroll in these universities. It’s an amazing experience. But you have to receive it with your eyes open. 

You shouldn’t go to Oxbridge just because you were the most successful student in the school, and teachers and parents didactically recommend that you go to the most prestigious university in the UK. 

However, if you truly believe that the pace of life on our campuses is right for you and that you want to take advantage of this unique opportunity to work with some of the greatest minds in the UK, then our doors are open. 

Oxford and Cambridge, like no other university, can push you to the most prominent academic heights. Anyone who really loves their job, their science, will never miss this opportunity.

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