Living in College
'..brilliant place to live..' '..amazing college..' 'grounds...some of the most beautiful in Cambridge..' '..porters are fantastic..' '..friendly and welcoming..' '..brilliant food..' '..incredible..' '..a well kept secret..'
Our College offers a comfortable, modern and informal environment with specific opportunities for outstanding young women. Respectful of tradition but not bound by it, we respond to what young women say they want in shaping their future and their College environment. Currently this means that we have a very open and informal style with a mixed Fellowship and with a mix of students from other colleges participating in the day by day social life of the college. On a more practical level it also means that we offer Saturday brunch, a salad bar, 39-week room leases and have just completed a refurbishment programme of many College bathrooms.
College life is very important to all students at Cambridge but every student chooses their own particular blend of college, departmental, university and inter-college activities. Other Colleges are very close by and the centre of Cambridge is just 10 minutes walk. Cambridge itself has an attractive blend of the old, the quaint and the modern, and there is a wide choice of coffee shops, bars, clubs, restaurants and shops.
Almost all our students are accommodated in College throughout their undergraduate studies. Our rooms are modern and many have excellent amenities. In Pearl House and Buckingham House, which represent about 40% of student study bedrooms, facilities are en suite. Elsewhere, bathrooms are shared, as in most Cambridge Colleges, but each room contains a washbasin. We have recently completed an extensive refurbishment programme to ensure that the facilities and appearance of many older rooms are refreshed and modernised.
All of our on-site rooms have central heating, and fast computer connections supported by our helpful College IT staff. There are kitchens with a hob, microwave, fridge and, in some cases, an oven, and the College also has laundries for student use. We have excellent accommodation for those with disabilities, and almost the whole of the College is wheelchair accessible.
The College's striking dome houses the College's main dining hall. It is spacious and exceptionally light with colourful and inspiring modern art work. It is used on a daily basis for cafeteria lunches and early evening meals and provides a stunning backdrop to more formal 'waiter-service' dinners on Tuesdays and some Fridays during Term. These 'Formal Halls' are a popular social feature of College life in all Cambridge Colleges and are always well attended by students and their friends. Food at the College has a very good reputation; it is reasonably priced and always includes a salad bar and a vegetarian option. Our gardeners now grow a wide selection of herbs and some vegetables which they encourage College students to pick and use whenever they want - always very popular!
Students find the College an attractive and comfortable place to live. Our unique contemporary art collection brightens walls and colourful informal gardens add relaxing outside space.
The student common room is a perfect social space with comfy sofas and plenty of room; our TV room has been recently refurbished with a 50" plasma flat screen and all new leather sofas, a separate bar has another large screen TV and vending machines, and, of course, serves drinks. Buckingham House boasts a superb auditorium with cinema (and regular film festivals), and we have an art room and a darkroom available for use by those interested in painting or photography. In addition, the Dome and the broad walkways through the centre of College are great venues for our popular student run music events, 'Ents', which take place each term and are enthusiastically attended by students from all colleges.
For those interested in fitness and sport we have a gym, squash courts and tennis/basketball courts. Nearby, we have access to football, hockey, lacrosse and rugby pitches, and share an excellent boathouse on the river. College teams compete in inter-College league and cup competitions throughout the year, and many of our students have represented the University at sport. Murray Edwards was the most successful Boat Club on the river in the 2011 May Bumps, winning the Pegasus Cup - a stunning and exciting acheivement for us!
Music facilities are good and College musical activities growing. We have several music practice rooms with upright pianos, as well as a harpsichord and a Steinway grand. The College Music Society mounts regular recitals, and termly orchestral and choral concerts in conjunction with our neighbours, Churchill and Fitzwilliam. A competitive music scholarship is offered annually, and students are eligible for external music awards.
Students at Murray Edwards College have long been closely involved in running the College through their elected representatives. Student representatives make a valuable contribution to the College's main decision making body, the College Council. They are also involved, via Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU), in University decision making.
See our own student views about living in College.
Checked and updated HB August 2011