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.

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. Varsity is read by tens of thousands of students and staff every month, both online and in print.

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. 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 Oxford/Cambridge anthology The Mays.

Week in, week out, our team of dedicated student journalists continues to produce one of the world’s most renowned and respected student newspapers. As Varsity enters its seventieth year in print and twentieth year online, our team – and our reputation – continues to grow and grow as we look forward to future successes..

Who’s who?

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 60 students. From section editors, to photographers, to production staff, everyone plays a vital role in putting together a weekly newspaper in time for the deadline, and then doing it all again the following week! Alongside print, our websites receives hundreds of thousands of views a month.

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.

Recent Editors

Michaelmas 2019:Maia Wyn Davies & Stephanie Stacey
Easter 2019:Isobel Bickersteth
Lent 2019:Vivienne Hopley-Jones & Catherine Lally
Michaelmas 2018:Noella Chye
Easter 2018:Anna Jennings
Lent 2018:Daniel Gayne
Michaelmas 2017:Elizabeth Howcroft & Patrick Wernham
Easter 2017:Patrick Wernham
Lent 2017:Millie Brierley
Michaelmas 2016:Louis Ashworth & Callum Hale-Thomson
Easter 2016:Eleanor Deeley
Lent 2016:James Sutton
Michaelmas 2015:Tom Freeman
Lent 2015:Talia Zybutz
Michaelmas 2014:Amy Hawkins
Lent 2014:Emily Chan
Michaelmas 2013:Alice Udale-Smith
Lent 2013:Salome Wagaine & Aliya Ram
Michaelmas 2012:Charlotte Keith
Lent 2012:Louise Benson & Madeleine Morley
Michaelmas 2011:Rhys Treharne & Laurie Martin
Lent 2011:Alice Hancock & Lara Prendergast
Michaelmas 2010:Joe Pitt-Rashid
Lent 2010:Emma Mustich & Laurie Tuffrey
Michaelmas 2009:Robert Peal & Anna Trench
Lent 2009:Hugo Gye & Michael Stothard
Michaelmas 2008:Patrick Kingsley
Lent 2008:Tom Bird & George Grist
Michaelmas 2007:Lizzie Mitchell & Elliot Ross
Lent 2007:Joseph Gosden & Hermione Buckland-Hoby (Issue 1), Joseph Gosden & Natalie Woolman (Issue 2-9)
Michaelmas 2006:Emily Stokes (Issues 1-2), Mary Bowers & Jonny Ensall (Issue 3-9)
Lent 2006:Jon Swaine & Amy Goodwin
Michaelmas 2005:James Dacre
Lent 2005:Amol Rajan
Michaelmas 2004:Archie Bland
Lent 2004:Reji Vettasseri & Laura-Jane Foley
Michaelmas 2003:Tom Ebbutt
Lent 2003:Oliver Duff & Luke Layfield
Michaelmas 2002:Katy Long
Lent 2002:Rob Sharp
Michaelmas 2001:Adam Joseph & Julian Blake
Lent 2001:Tom Royston & Sarah Brealey
Michaelmas 2000:Ed Hall
Lent 2000:Jonti Small
Michaelmas 1999:David Peter

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:

2014–Mark Curtis
2007–2014Michael Derringer
2006–2007Adam Edelshain
2005–2006Chris Adams
2004–2005Eve Williams
2003–2004Sam Gallagher
2002–2003Tim Nixon
2001–2002Ed Hall
2000–2001Kate Norgrove
1999–2000Rachel Flowerday
1998–1999Suzanne Arnold
1997–1998Madeleine McTernan
1996–1997Emma Horton
1995–1996Dylan Jones
1994–1995David Nicolson
1992–1994Rebecca Thompson
1990–1992Peter Davis
1987–1990Scott Ross

Varsity Trivia

  • 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 among the first newspapers in the world to report the discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick.
  • 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 a handful of UK student newspapers to be completely independent of the student union and University.
  • Varsity will celebrate its seventieth birthday in 2017, and has one of the world’s oldest student newspaper websites, which celebrated its twentieth birthday in October 2016!

Company Information

Varsity Publications Ltd is a company registered in England, number 561235.
Registered Office: 16 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX. 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.