Newnham College

Everything you are about to read has been written by current and recently graduated students at the University of Cambridge, to give you honest information about what it’s like to be a student at Cambridge.

Newnham is an all-female, medium-sized college. It was founded in 1871, and has gorgeous red-brick buildings grouped around our lovely gardens! Situated opposite the Sidgwick site, where most arts subjects have their lectures, it’s just a 10 minute walk into the town centre, and to most science departments.

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Newham College

Credit: Cambridge University

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    in the college grounds
  • Gym
    Yes - small
  • Music Practice Rooms
    2 - in the Old Labs
  • Prayer spaces
    none - chapel shared with Selwyn
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian: daily Vegan: most days
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Other: Halal and kosher available on request
  • Theatre space
    Old Labs, located in the gardens
  • Undergraduates / Year
    96

What is your favourite thing about Newham?

Ellie, Newnham, MML, 2nd year
Ellie
MML, 2nd year
Olivia, Philosophy, 1st year
Olivia
Philosophy, 1st year

Ellie: For me, I love that everything is all in one place - I can go to the library or buttery, or my friend’s room in my slippers if I want to, and don’t have to go outside if it’s raining or cold. It makes it feel really homely for me.

Olivia: My favourite thing about Newnham is the gardens. As I live in Peile – a hall in Newnham – I have to walk through the gardens everyday to get to my room. No matter the weather nor the time of day, I always find myself in awe of just how beautiful Newnham is.

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Olivia, Philosophy, 1st year
Olivia
Philosophy, 1st year
Atmosphere

When I first walked into Newnham I was (and still am) in awe of it all. I can’t emphasise enough just how beautiful it is. Aside from being beautiful, it’s a very liberal college and we are all each other’s equal. We’re all Newnhamites irrespective of the school(s) we attended and the backgrounds we come from.

What is the accommodation like?

Ellie, Newnham, MML, 2nd year
Ellie
MML, 2nd year
Accomodation

At Newnham, accommodation within the college is provided for at least three years of your course, no two rooms are exactly the same, and they all have some antique furniture e.g. a bureau. There are currently only a handful of ensuite rooms in college, although building work taking place from 2016-18 will bring lots of new rooms with ensuites. We have a ballot system, which means everyone gets an equal chance at living in the nicest rooms in college! First years are allocated rooms at random, but after that you get a choice for your second and third year rooms, with those going into third year picking rooms first, followed by the year below. There are shared bathrooms and kitchens on each floor, which are cleaned every day Monday-Friday.

How good is the food?

Ellie, Newnham, MML, 2nd year
Ellie
MML, 2nd year

The catering facilities at Newnham are generally quite good. If you can’t be bothered to cook you can go to the buttery (cafeteria) which is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner - vegetarian options are available every day, vegan options most days, and halal and kosher meals can be provided upon request. There’s also a salad bar, sandwiches and wraps and drinks dispensers. If you don’t want to eat there, student kitchen’s are pretty well-equipped, with every kitchen having hobs, lockable cupboards, fridges and a microwave, and the majority have ovens too (and if yours doesn’t you can get access to a kitchen that does!). There’s also formal hall, a fairly cheap optional three-course meal which happens once per week at Newnham, where you can dress up a bit, go with friends and eat in our lovely college hall!

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Olivia, Philosophy, 1st year
Olivia
Philosophy, 1st year
Entertainment & Extra-curricular

There is always something going on in Newnham. It’s an extremely sporty college with representation at all levels from College to University in sports ranging from Athletics to Football to Tennis. Societies range from religious societies such as Newnham Christian Union to subject-related societies like Law Society and MedVet Society. JCR ENTS (events) officers plan fun things for Newnhamites to do like a ‘Galentines Day’ movie night, Easter egg trail and charity speed dating. The Bar Manager also throws fun events like a Disney Cocktail Night, International Evening and a Green Pub Quiz.

What welfare support is there?

Olivia, Philosophy, 1st year
Olivia
Philosophy, 1st year

Welfare support at Newnham is two-fold, with support at both JCR and College level. The JCR has a Welfare Officer whose role is to promote welfare within College. The Welfare Officer is able to distribute sexual health supplies if needed, hosts weekly Welfare Teas and is friendly and non-judgemental person for Newnhamites to speak to if ever in a time of need. At a College level, welfare support can be received from the Newnham Counsellor who is based at Newnham on Mondays and Fridays. You can either book a session by email or simply dropping by in the case of an emergency.

What about your College would you change?

Ellie, Newnham, MML, 2nd year
Ellie
MML, 2nd year
Olivia, Philosophy, 1st year
Olivia
Philosophy, 1st year

Ellie: The only things I’d probably change would be for all kitchens to be big enough to have tables, and for all of the rooms to have sinks.

Olivia: I’d have a lift installed in every hall! Living on 3rd floor Peile is great but moving in was quite tiring.

What has been going on at Newnham College?

- Recent Events -

Newnham Marriage Ceremony – 1st March

The freshers celebrated their ‘college marriages’, walking the length of our very long corridor to the wedding party organised by Ents – food, drinks, music and a lot of fun!

Newnham Smoker – 4th March

Our twice termly student comedy night, held in the bar, was a great success, with headliner Sarah Bennetto – free, hilarious and a fab evening for all!

‘Galentine's’ Film Night - 13th Feb

An alternative Valentines, involving snacks, drinks, rom-coms and friends! With a projector and big screen, it was a really chilled evening run by the Ents (entertainment) Officers!

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