The university grew out of an association of scholars that was formed in 1209, early records suggest, by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. The two "ancient universities" have many common features and are often jointly referred to as Oxbridge. In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, they have a long history of rivalry with each other. Today, Cambridge is a collegiate university with a student population in excess of 18,000. Its faculties, departments and 31 colleges occupy different locations in town including purposely-built sites and the student life thrives with numerous opportunities in the arts, sport clubs and societies.
A university is an institution of higher education and research which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects and provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education. The word "university" is derived from the Latinuniversitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means "community of teachers and scholars."