Jesus College, Cambridge

Jesus College, Cambridge - Jesus College, Cambridge

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Jesus College

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01223 339339

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Jesus College, Cambridge description

School / College / Library

Medium (1-150)

Jesus College is one of the leading colleges in the University of Cambridge. It was established between 1496 and 1516 on the site of the twelfth-century Benedictine nunnery of St Mary and St Radegund whose ruinous buildings, which included a huge church, were adapted to house it. Today these buildings remain at the College’s centre. Five spacious, three-sided courts containing rooms for students and Fellows, and beyond them twenty-four acres of gardens and playing fields, surround the nuns’ cloisters. There the College’s Chapel and Hall face one another, and the remains of the nunnery’s chapter-house may be seen.

Jesus College is one of 31 colleges in the University of Cambridge, each an independent self-governing body, with its own constitution, endowments and income. The College chooses its own students and elects its own Master and Fellows (faculty). There are now more than 80 Fellows (nearly all of whom also teach and research in the University’s Faculties, Departments and Institutes), 500 undergraduates and about 300 graduate students, coming from more than 25 countries. Women were first admitted in 1976. Members of the College – Fellows and students – are prominent in all aspects of the University’s life and activities.

In Cambridge undergraduate teaching is shared between colleges and the University. Lectures seminars and practical classes are the University’s responsibility, and it is the University which conducts examinations and awards degrees. But it is in the colleges that undergraduates receive the individual teaching and guidance that is the distinguishing feature, and a major strength, of the Cambridge system paralleled, in the world of higher education, only at Oxford. Every undergraduate has a subject-specific Director of Studies (almost invariably a Fellow of the College) who mentors a student throughout a degree course, and arranges for the once or twice-weekly meetings – “supervisions” – of small groups of students (usually one, two or three) with a topic-specific teacher (often a college Fellow) to discuss their written work and assigned reading and to test their understanding of a topic. This personalised system aims both to help students assimilate extensive and complex material rapidly, and to encourage intellectual rigour and freedom of thought, learning and critical debate.

The College is also home and a recreational and sporting centre for its undergraduate and postgraduate students, providing high standard accommodation, catering, library and IT facilities for them all, as well as a wealth of opportunities to participate in sport, music and the arts. Football, rugby, cricket and hockey pitches are all on-site, as well as squash, tennis and netball courts and a gym, while the College boat house is just a few hundred metres away. One of the most musically active colleges in Cambridge, Jesus has two highly regarded Chapel Choirs – one of men and women, the other of men and boy choristers – and a thriving Music Society. There is strong interest in and support for the visual arts. For more than twenty years the College has hosted exhibitions of sculpture by contemporary artists, and it now has an important permanent collection that includes works by Anthony Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi and Barry Flanagan.

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