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IN the late 16th century, the Corporation of the City of Dublin decided that the time had come for the small city to have a university. Located in that part of Ireland then under the control of the English Crown, which had not authorised the establishment of a university anywhere under its dominion for more than 300 years, Dublin City modestly requested a College with degree awarding powers, instead of petitioning Queen Elizabeth I for a potentially more controversial full university.

When the charter was granted, the new Trinity College Dublin (TCD) was linked closely with England’s only universities at the time - Cambridge and Oxford, and came to be known as the ‘third sister’. The small College thrived as the only college of what became the University of Dublin. The close statutory relationship between the three universities exists to this day: Dublin’s degrees are the only ones in the world that are ‘officially’ recognized in the statutes of Oxford and Cambridge.

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