England is famous for its educational institutes. There were many different kinds of schools in Medieval England and the English universities were one of the most significant creations. The students who attended either Oxford or Cambridge Universities set an intellectual standard that contrasted markedly with the norm of Medieval England. Today both Universities are internationally renowned centres for teaching and research, attracting students and scholars from all over the world.

The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford is one of the oldest and most highly reverend Universities in Europe. It was the first university established in Britain. Oxford is situated about 57 miles (90 km) north-west of London in its own county of Oxfordshire. Oxford is dominated by the Medieval architecture of the University, and the exquisite gardens within.

According to legend Oxford University was founded by King Alfred the Great in 872 when he happened to meet some monks there and had a scholarly debate that lasted several days. A more realistic scenario is that it grew out of efforts begun by Alfred to encourage education and establish schools throughout his territory.

The first college, University College, was founded in 1249 by William of Durham. Other notable colleges include All Souls (founded in 1438), Christ Church (founded in 1546) and Lady Margaret Hall (founded in 1878), which was the first women's college. Since 1974, all but one of Oxford's colleges have changed their statutes to admit both men and women. St Hilda's remains the only women's college, and the rest enroll both men and women.

Today Oxford University is comprised of thirty-nine colleges and six permanent private halls, founded between 1249 and 1996. More than 130 nationalities are represented among a student population of over 18,000. A range of scholarships offer support for international students. Thirty colleges and all halls admit students for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Seven other colleges are for graduates only; one has Fellows only, and one specializes in part-time and continuing education. Each college is practically autonomous with its own set of rules. There is central administration, providing services such as libraries, laboratories, lectures and examination.

There have been many famous people who have studied at Oxford University and they include John Locke, Adam Smith, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, J. R. Tolkien, Indira Gandhi, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch, Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), and Hugh Grant. All in all, Oxford has produced four British and at least eight foreign kings, 47 Nobel prize-winners, 25 British Prime Ministers, 28 foreign presidents and prime ministers, seven saints, 86 archbishops, 18 cardinals, and one pope. Seven of the last eleven British Prime Ministers have been Oxford graduates.

Oxford's teaching and research is consistently in the top rank nationally and internationally, and is at the forefront of medical, scientific and technological achievement.

University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world (after Oxford). The start of the University is generally taken as 1209, when some masters and students arrived in Cambridge after fleeing from rioting in Oxford.

Cambridge is situated about 50 miles (80 km) north of London. The town of Cambridge originally took its name from the river on which it stood.

Cambridge University is composed of more than thirty constituent colleges, one of the most illustrious of which is Emmanuel College. This college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth I. Many Emmanuel graduates, including John Harvard, were among those who settled in New England in the first half of the 17th century. The oldest building is in St John's College but the oldest college as institution is Peterhouse, dates from 1284. King Henry VIII founded the largest college, Trinity, in 1546.

Many of the University buildings are of historical or architectural interest, and the University's museums contain many rare, valuable and beautiful items.

The University at present has more than 16,500 full-time students – over 11,600 undergraduates and nearly 5,000 graduates. About 17% of the student body is from overseas, coming from over 100 different countries. Because of its high academic reputation, admission to the University is highly competitive, and most overseas students already have a good degree from a university in their own country.

The University also has a worldwide reputation for other aspects of its work. Cambridge University Press (one of the world's oldest and largest publishers) and UCLES (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate) are world leaders in their respective fields and allow the University to make a direct educational and academic contribution to the lives of millions of people around the world.

Cambridge University is more renowned than its rival for mathematics and natural sciences, and has produced 80 Nobel-prize winners (33 more than Oxford and the highest number of any university worldwide), 13 British Prime Ministers (12 less than the other place) and 8 Archbishops of Canterbury, among others.


Ex. 1. Put the verb to write in the appropriate form:

1. We often ... letters to our parents.

2. What ... you ... now?

3. Yesterday they ... ... tests from 10 till 12 o'clock.

4. Who ... ... this letter tomorrow?

5. I ... ... some letters last week.

6. What ... you ... tomorrow at 10?

7. When I came in she ... ... a letter.

8. Do you often ... letters to your parents?

9. I ... not ... this article now. I ... ... it in some days.

10. ... he ... his report at the moment?

11. What ... she ... in the evening yesterday?

12. As a rule he ... tests well.

Ex. 2. Match the phrases in the left column with those in the right column:

... I go to the Institute by bus. before the Institute
I do my morning exercises ... by Tuesday
We shall have invited you ... during October
Who has seen him ...? every day
He had worked here ... just
... the plant was producing new machines. last week
We have ... done our work. now
What are you doing ...? recently
He was going home ... usually
Will you have read the book ...? when we met
Did you see them ...? when he comes home
We translated this text.... already

Ex. 3. Put the verbs in brackets in the right form:

1. Peter and Ann (go) away five minutes ago. 2. I (write) the letter but I (not send) it. 3. He just (go) away. 4. She already (answer) the letter. 5. She (answer) it on Tuesday. 6. I just (tell) you the answer. 7. I (read) that book in my summer holidays. 8. The greengrocer (sell) now all his vegetables. 9. He (sell) all of them half an hour ago. 10. I (not see) him for three years. I (be) glad to see him again some time. 11. What you (do)? I (copy) the text from the text-book now. 12. He (go) to Moscow next week? 13. He (not smoke) for a month. He is trying to give it up. 14. When he (arrive)? – He (arrive) at 2:00. 15. You (switch off) the light before you left the house? 16. I (read) these books when I was at school. I (like) them very much. 17. I can't go out because I (not finish) my work. 18. I already (tell) you the answer yesterday. 19. What you (do) tomorrow in the morning? 20. I (not meet) him last week. 21. I usually (leave) home at seven and (get) here at twelve. 22. Here is your watch. I just (find) it. 23. You (not have) your breakfast yet?

Ex. 4. Comment on the formation and meaning of the tenses in the following sentences:

1. The sun rises in the East, now it is setting and night is falling.

2. I haven’t seen your brother lately. Has he gone away?

3. She suddenly realized that she had left her umbrella in the bus.

4. When shall we see you again? – I’ll call on you as soon as I come back from Canada.

5. Sometimes we read the same book again and again.

6. We’ve bought a new carpet but I don’t think it goes with the sofa.

7. He was rescued after he had been in the water for three hours.


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