Basking in the light of success: Trinity College during the 2015 May BallTom Freeman

Trinity College has once again topped the Tompkins Table of Cambridge degree results.

This year, Trinity topped the table with 41 per cent, a slight dip on its record-breaking 42.9 per cent haul of firsts in 2014.

Magdalene recorded the most notable improvement, rising from tenth place, with 25.8 per cent firsts, in 2014 to second, with 33.1 per cent, this year.

Other major improvers include Peterhouse (twelfth to sixth), John's (sixteenth to tenth) and Catz (twenty-first to thirteenth). Pembroke fell from second place to fifth, achieving 31.6 per cent firsts, while the biggest losers were Jesus (fourth to eleventh) and Clare (eighth to fifteenth).

The list, which was exclusively released today by The Independent, is compiled each year by Trinity alumus Peter Tompkins, and ranks the colleges in order of percentage firsts achieved.

The bottom end of the table was once again made up of mature colleges, with Lucy Cavendish and St. Edmund's rounding off the table at twenty-ninth and twenty-eighth respectively. Trinity produced four and a half firsts for every first achieved by Lucy Cavendish.

The lowest placed non-mature college was Homerton at twenty-seventh, with its students achieving 13 per cent firsts. The lowest ranked non-mature college in 2014 was Murray Edwards, which this year rose from twenty-sixth to twenty-third, putting the college ahead of both Girton (twenty-fourth) and Homerton (twenty-seventh).

Corpus Christi continued its downward slide from its third place result in 2012, falling from eighteenth in 2014 to twenty-second this year.

Trinity has now topped the Tompkins Table since 2011. According to Tompkins, Trinity has now matched the winning streak achieved by King's in the early 1990s. King’s maintained its 2014 position of fourteenth in the rankings.

Trinity students greeted the news warmly.

“I’m so pleased to see Trinity at the top of the table again,” one historian told us. “Everyone at Trinity does work really hard. In exam term, the library opens an hour earlier than usual (8am) and it’s packed full from then onwards.”

However, the college, with its sizable endowment that totalled nearly £1 billion in 2013, has a reputation for providing levels of financial support that are not replicated in other colleges.

“Students get a £50 a year allowance for books, and there are lots of subject-specific travel grants, particularly for dissertations,” the student told us.

One Trinity third year detailed the level of such support they had received from the college.

"My subject is small, so has enough funds to pay for us all to go away in the Easter holidays with our supervisors.

"We get a lot of supervisions in the week so it's a significant top-up on our year's contact time.

"But it's often misunderstood: it's not hot-housing. If anything, it's more often the case that the students want to work and our DoS makes sure we go out and enjoy ourselves."

The historically scientific college attributes its strong performance in recent years to a renewed focus on the arts and humanities. This may have proved successful. In February, Trinity Art History alum Eddie Redmayne won the 87th Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

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