What is Varsity?
Varsity is Cambridge University’s independent student newspaper, published every Friday of term time and available to all students, staff and friends of the University since 1947.
We deliver up to 10,000 free copies to all 31 colleges in the University, from where they are distributed from mail rooms, common rooms and social areas. Copies are also distributed to the University's faculties, departments and social areas — over 160 individual locations. We are also widely read by students at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.
As well as our award-winning news, features, opinion and editorial content, Varsity is the essential guide to what's on in Cambridge, a crucial reference guide to everything from job application deadlines to Saturday night’s entertainment. 84% of Cambridge finalists read Varsity (Source: UK Graduate Careers Survey 2001) making our estimated readership almost 16,000 per week.
Independent, Established, Trusted
Unlike most student publications, Varsity is an independent newspaper unaffiliated to the student union — a status that, along with our quality and history, means that Varsity is Cambridge's most established and trusted news source. But despite the newspaper’s independence, we are privileged to hold strong ties to the University as an establishment.
Varsity is owned and operated by Varsity Publications Ltd, a not-for-profit company devoted to the encouragement of student journalism. Every year Varsity awards prizes from The Varsity Trust to enable Cambridge's most talented journalists to develop their careers through postgraduate study. Varsity Publications also publishes a series of supplements and sister publications, including ‘The Mays’ anthologies.
Week in and week out, our team of dedicated student journalists continues to produce one of the world's most renowned and respected student newspapers in a matter of days. As Varsity approaches its seventieth year in print and twentieth year online, our team — and our reputation — continues to grow and grow as we look forward to an equally successful future.
The Editor is the person in charge of what appears in the paper,
commissioning articles, controlling the vast team of contributors and scheduling each of the 21 issues per year. Unlike many student newspapers, Varsity editors don’t take a year off from their studies to do the job: as well as editing the paper for a term, they’re also studying full time for a degree!
The Team is made up of over 40 students, from Section Editors to
Photographers to Production staff, everyone plays a vital role in putting together the weekly newspaper in time for the deadline, and then doing it all again the following week!
The Business Manager is a part-time, salaried position responsible for the day-to-day running of the company, working closely with our advertising and printing partners.
The Board of Directors bring a wealth of knowledge and decades of
combined Varsity experience to the newspaper! Meeting twice a term, the Board is made up of ex-Editors, University academics and friends of the newspaper.
||Salome Wagaine and Aliya Ram
||Louise Benson and Madeleine Morley
||Rhys Treharne and Laurie Martin
||Alice Hancock and Lara Prendergast
||Emma Mustich and Laurie Tuffrey
||Robert Peal and Anna Trench
||Hugo Gye and Michael Stothard
||Tom Bird and George Grist
||Lizzie Mitchell and Elliot Ross
||Joseph Gosden and Hermione Buckland-Hoby (Issue 1), Joseph Gosden and Natalie Woolman (Issue 2-9)
||Emily Stokes (Issues 1-2), Mary Bowers and Jonny Ensall (Issue 3-9)
||Jon Swaine and Amy Goodwin
||Reji Vettasseri and Laura-Jane Foley
||Oliver Duff and Luke Layfield
||Adam Joseph and Julian Blake
||Tom Royston and Sarah Brealey
The Lent term editor also edits a single edition at the start of Easter term, and a separate editor controls a special edition May Week issue (or, in some years, daily May Week issues) at the end of the academic year. The current Business Manager is Mark Curtis.
Recent Business Managers:
- Varsity has its origins in a newspaper first published for about a
year in 1931, re-establishing itself in 1947 despite the rationing of newsprint after the War in the form we are now familiar with.
- In the mid-1970s it merged with the radical paper 'Stop Press' and was known for some years as 'Stop Press with Varsity' before reverting to the more well-known Varsity branding.
- Famous ex-editors include presenter Jeremy Paxman, film director Michael Winner, the late television presenter & reporter Richard Whiteley, Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers, and novelist Robert Harris, as well as a slew of other journalists and media figures. BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan was once a news editor.
- Other notable contributors include playwright Michael Frayn, Clive James and even HRH Charles, Prince of Wales. Some of Sylvia Plath's earliest poems and J G Ballard's first published story were written for the paper. Meanwhile, legendary comic Peter Cook met his first wife while posing for a Varsity May Ball photoshoot.
- Novelist Zadie Smith was first noticed by literary agents after her
short story appeared in the 1997 edition of 'The Mays'.
- Varsity was the first newspaper in the world to report the discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick following the discovery of their double helix in Cambridge.
- We don’t like to show off, but The Guardian even used to run
conferences for student newspaper editors entitled ‘Why Your Paper isn’t as good as Varsity’!
- Varsity is one of only two UK student newspapers to be completely independent of the student union and University, the other being Oxford University's 'Cherwell'.
- Varsity will celebrate its seventieth birthday in 2017, and has one of the world’s oldest student newspaper websites, which will celebrate its twentieth
birthday in October 2016!
Varsity Publications Ltd is a company registered in England, number 561235.
Registered Office: Old Examination Hall, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RF, United Kingdom.
VAT No. 213 9420 86
Our journalists strive for accuracy but on occasion we make mistakes. For further details of our complaints policy and to make a complaint please click here.