Cambridge in the wider world

Celebratory address from the University of Rome, on the occasion of the Darwin Centenary Conference, 1909 (UA Conf.1.34.112)
Celebratory address from the University of Rome, on the occasion of the Darwin Centenary Conference, 1909 (UA Conf.1.34.112)

The university’s reach is global. Graduates have always applied their learning beyond the class-room, whether in the medieval civil service and church or in contemporary commerce and the media. Victorian reformers sought also to offer university expertise to non-members. What became known as the University Extension Movement provided examinations for children, inspected schools, trained teachers and lectured to adults, without distinction of sex, class or location. These contacts have lasted; every year 11,500 people participate in continuing education courses and 15,000,000 Cambridge examination papers are dispatched around the world. And the university reaches out through publishing. Chartered to license printers from 1534, it established its own press in 1696. The early focus on Bible printing has enlarged, with its premises, to embrace scholarly imprints in every discipline.

Over 800 years, the university has adapted to change to ensure its continued relevance. Whatever the transformation of appearance, structure or syllabus however, the freedom to think remains a Cambridge constant.

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Extra-mural summer school students, 1914 (UA BEMS 58/1/5)

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