Battle of the oldies

August 28, 1998

Being old is good for a university, so when Durham advertised itself this week as "England's third oldest university", University College, London, immediately sought to put the record straight. While Oxford and Cambridge are the oldest of them all, UCL, which was established in 1826, prides itself on being number three. Apparently Durham, established 1832, could not really explain itself. "There isn't anyone here who was there then," said an unhappy administrator. Particularly galling for UCL, Durham was advertising courses on its Stockton campus, described as "state of the art". And definitely very, very new.

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