The two medieval universities share many common features and are often referred to jointly as "Oxbridge".The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.However, it was an incident at Oxford which is most likely to have formed the establishment of the university: two Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman, without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities, who would normally take precedence (and pardon the scholars) in such a case, but were at that time in conflict with King John.The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, and most scholars moved to cities such as Paris, Reading, and Cambridge.Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries, but colleges continued to be established until modern times, although there was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800.
As of September 2017, Cambridge is ranked the world's second best university by THE World University Rankings, The university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, scientists, politicians, lawyers, philosophers, writers, actors and foreign Heads of State.
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In response, colleges changed their curricula away from canon law, and towards the classics, the Bible, and mathematics.
Nearly a century later, the university was at the centre of a Protestant schism.