A change in the colleges' focus occurred in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries.King Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching "scholastic philosophy".
Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent colleges and over 100 academic departments organised into six schools.
Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the world's oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world.
Ninety-eight Nobel laureates, fifteen British prime ministers and ten Fields medalists have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty or alumni.
By the late 12th century, the Cambridge region already had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation, due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely.
Many nobles, intellectuals and even commoners saw the ways of the Church of England as being too similar to the Catholic Church and felt that it was used by the Crown to usurp the rightful powers of the counties.
East Anglia was the centre of what became the Puritan movement.
However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010, making it the newest full college (it was previously an "Approved Society" affiliated with the university).
In medieval times, many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders, and were often associated with chapels or abbeys.
It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the "golden triangle" of leading English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre.
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.
After the University of Oxford reformed several years later, enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of the new university.