4. University of Cambridge
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 2016, the university had a total income of £1.64 billion, of which £462 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.
As of 2017, Cambridge is ranked the world's fourth best university by three ranking tables and no other institution in the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects. Cambridge is consistently ranked as the top university in the United Kingdom. The university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, scientists, politicians, lawyers, philosophers, writers, actors, and foreign Heads of State. Ninety-five Nobel laureates, fifteen British prime ministers, five notorious and treachourous spies, and ten Fields medalists have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty, or alumni.