Trinity is new Cambridge pinnacle

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The Independent Online
Trinity is the top college in this year's Tompkins table of Cambridge University exam results.

It moves up from sixth place to supplant Christ's, last year's leader, in the table which many high-flying sixth-formers use to help them choose a Cambridge college.

Trinity is also the college with the highest percentage of first-class degrees, up to 34.1 per cent from 26 per cent last year. At Christ's, the college with the second highest number of firsts, this year's figure was 26.2 per cent.

The main table ranks undergraduate colleges by allocating five points for a first, three for an upper second, two for a lower second and one for a third. It shows the percentage of the maximum possible if every candidate had had a first.

New Hall, one of the two remaining women's colleges, remains bottom, just below Corpus, which fell 10 places from thirteenth. New Hall was also bottom of the firsts' table with 9.7 per cent. The other all-female college is Newnham.

Oxford University, Cambridge's old rival, frowns on college exam results tables and the university makes it as difficult as possible for anyone to collect the information.

A university spokeswoman said:"It isn't something we encourage because we think it doesn't give a true picture of colleges. Nor is it particularly helpful."

But Peter Tompkins, a partner in Price Waterhouse, who compiles the tables said no one from the university had tried to stifle his annual efforts.

He said the tables were a useful indicator of the colleges which were doing better over a long period of time. "The precise position is not as important as the general level. The top college is not necessarily better than the second. The significance of appearing consistently in the bottom four might be cause for concern or in the top four a cause for confidence."

Mr Tompkins, who receives many inquiries from schools and pupils, said league tables could be self-fulfilling. "People are attracted to the top colleges. The best people apply there and they get more candidates."