Examination in mathematics was once compulsory for all undergraduates studying for the Bachelor of Arts degree, the main first degree at Cambridge in both arts and sciences. In the First World War, 13,878 members of the university served and 2,470 were killed.
The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, and most scholars moved to cities such as Paris, Reading, and Cambridge.
After the University of Oxford reformed several years later, enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of the new university.
Before 1918 the franchise was restricted to male graduates with a doctorate or MA degree.
For many years only male students were enrolled into the university.
Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse, Cambridge's first college, in 1284.
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.
In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from King Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members (ius non-trahi extra) and an exemption from some taxes (Oxford would not receive a similar enhancement until 1248). There were also institutions without endowments, called hostels.
The colleges at the University of Cambridge were originally an incidental feature of the system. The hostels were gradually absorbed by the colleges over the centuries, but they have left some indications of their existence, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane.
The most recently established college is Robinson, built in the late 1970s.