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These 11 studied at the world's best university

Last updated on: September 9, 2011 18:30 IST

These 11 studied at the World's Best University

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Earlier this week, the Cambridge University was ranked number one in the QS world rankings 2011. We profile 11 influential personalities from across the globe from various walks of life who have been products of Cambridge. Read on:

1. Rahul Gandhi

Many winters ago, when he was not even a speck on the Indian political landscape, Rahul Gandhi was a student at the Cambridge University.

Gandhi completed his Masters in Philosophy from Trinity College at Cambridge University in 1995, worked for a management firm as a consultant briefly before promptly plunging into Indian politics.

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Image: Rahul Gandhi

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2. Karan Thapar

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Eminent news journalist and political analyst Karan Thapar also graduated from the Cambridge University.

He earned a degree in Economics and Political Philosophy from the Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1977.

In the same year, he was also appointed the President of the Cambridge Union, one of the largest and premier societies of debate which was founded on the principles of endorsing free speech and opinion.

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Image: Karan Thapar
Photographs: Reuters
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3. Emma Thompson

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British actress and scriptwriter Emma Thompson was also student of Cambridge University.

Thompson studied English at Newnham College at the University of Cambridge and was the vice-president of Footlights, which was the name of the university's comedy group.

Other members of Footlights include actors Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Tony Slattery.

The actress who has won an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for best actress, graduated from Cambridge in 1980.

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Image: Emma Thompson

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4. Rachel Weisz

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London born actress and model Rachel Weisz graduated in English from Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

During her course of education at Cambridge, she also closely pursued her passion in acting and starred in a few student productions.

She co-founded the theatrical group Cambridge Talking Tongues, which also won the Guardian Student Award in 1991 for the play titled Slight Possession.

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Image: Rachel Weisz
Photographs: Jason Redmond/ Reuters
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5. Lily Cole

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Among the many luminaries to have walked the Cambridge corridors was 23-year-old international supermodel Lily Cole.

Cole had commenced her studies in Social and Political Sciences at King's College, Cambridge but dropped out and chose to study History of Art, where she topped her class consecutively for two years.

In 2004, she earned the title 'Model of the Year' at the British Fashion Awards and in the following year was featured in Vogue's 'Best Dressed' list of celebrities.

Since then Lily Cole has appeared on the covers of most leading magazine covers in the world.

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Image: Lily Cole
Photographs: Tim Whitby / Getty Images for Hunter Wellington Boots
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6. Zia Mody

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India's leading legal consultant Zia Mody studied Law at Selwyn College in Cambridge.

Mody is a partner and co-founder of AZB & Partners, which is the second largest legal firm in the country.

She is an active member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) Standing Committee on Mutual Funds, and also of the Capital Market Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Zia Mody was listed among the 25 most powerful business women in India by Business Today magazine in 2004 and 2006 respectively. She has also received the Knowledge Professional of the Year Award from Indian Express group.

She also won the award for 'Businesswoman of the Year 2010' at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in 2010.

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Image: Zia Mody
Photographs: Courtesy, Outlook Business
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7. Amartya Sen

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One of India's proud citizens, Amartya Sen also went to Cambridge.

The Indian economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 is well known for his contributions in the field of social and welfare economics.

He joined Trinity College, Cambridge in 1953 and graduated in Arts with a first class in 1956.

After enrolling for a doctorate in Economics at Trinity he returned to India where he was appointed Professor and the Founder-Head of Department of Economics at Jadavpur University, Calcutta.

At the age of 23, he became the youngest professor to have headed a department in any university in the country.

Sen completed his PhD from Cambridge in 1959.


Image: Amartya Sen

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8. Thandie Newton

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Popular Hollywood actress Thandie Newton was also a student of Cambridge.

Thandie studied Social Anthropology at Downing College, Cambridge and graduated in 1995.

In 2006, she won the BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Crash.

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Image: Thandie Newton

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9. Sacha Baron Cohen

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English stand-up comedian Sacha Baron Cohen studied at Cambridge University where he studied History at Christ's College, Cambridge.

He was a member of the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club, where he acted in several plays.

Cohen who won Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical in 2007 also has several Emmy and BAFTA award nominations to his credit.

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Image: Sacha Baron Cohen

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10. Hugh Laurie

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British actor Hugh Laurie graduated in Archaeology and Social Anthropology from the Selwyn College at Cambridge.

During his college days, he was the president of the University's theatre club Footlights, which has produced actors like Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson.

Best known for his title role in the drama series, House, Laurie is one of the highest paid actors in American television, as of 2010.

Laurie has two Golden Globe awards, two Screen Actors Guild awards and several Emmy nominations to his credit.

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Image: Hugh Laurie

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11. Sam Mendes

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Academy award winning English film director Sam Mendes graduated from Cambridge University.

Mendes who won two Academy Awards -- for his debut film American Beauty in 2000 and Revolutionary Road in 2009, majored in English from the Cambridge University.


Image: Sam Mendes

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Famous Indians at Cambridge

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Some of the other famous Indians who studied at the Cambridge University include the following:

  • Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Christ's College
  • Prince Ranjitsinhji, Cambridge University
  • Jawaharlal Nehru,Trinity College
  • Harivanshrai Bachchan, St Catharine's College
  • Homi Jehangir Bhabha, Gonville and Caius College
  • Subramaniam Chandrasekhar, Trinity College
  • Dr Vikram Sarabhai, St. John's College
  • Rajiv Gandhi, Trinity College
  • Salman Rushdie, King's College
  • Sarojini Naidu, King's College
  • Manmohan Singh, St John's College

Image: Famous Indians at Cambridge

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