Students begin life at prestigous Cambridge University with opulent ‘Harry Potter style’ 800-year-old ceremony

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First year students begin life at Cambridge University in the splendour of St John's college's spectacular chapel
First year students begin life at Cambridge University in the splendour of St John's college's spectacular chapel

Cloaked in gowns, this is the moment hundreds of new students at Cambridge University witnessed the grandeur of their college for the first time – like a scene from Harry Potter.

The first years at St John’s crowded into the college’s spectacular chapel for their Matriculation Service – their official welcome into university life.

The process is simply administrative at most universities, but it has retained its arcane ceremonial charm at Oxford and Cambridge as this stunning scene from St John’s shows.

First year students begin life at Cambridge University in the splendour of St John's college's spectacular chapel
First year students begin life at Cambridge University in the splendor of St John’s college’s spectacular chapel

At St John’s the service is the first time the freshers experience the stunning beauty of the chapel in a scene with echos of Hogwarts, the setting for the Harry Potter books.

As well as the service the new members of the college enjoy a feast at their Matriculation Dinner held in the college’s grand Hall.

The start of University’s 2012 -13 academic year was officially marked with the annual address at the city’s Senate House by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

The pupils take part in the Matriculation Service - their official welcome into university life
The pupils take part in the Matriculation Service – their official welcome into university life
The opulent surroundings are bathed in a warm golden glow - like a scene from a Harry Potter film
The opulent surroundings are bathed in a warm golden glow – like a scene from a Harry Potter film
The process is simply administrative at most universities, but it has retained its arcane ceremonial charm at Cambridge
The process is simply administrative at most universities, but it has retained its arcane ceremonial charm at Cambridge

He said: “We are curators of an 800-year-old institution, which has the potential to last many centuries more.”

During matriculation at Cambridge every student must sign the declaration: “I promise to observe the Statutes and Ordinances of the University as far as they concern me, and to pay due respect and obedience to the Chancellor and other officers of the University.”

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