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{June 5, 2012}   Cambridge students in “Rear of the Year” competition

ImageWhile their predecessors have amassed dozens of Nobel prizes and other intellectual accolades, the current crop of undergraduates is focusing on a rather less taxing competition – rear of the year.

Female students at the university have submitted risque photographs of their behinds in the hope of clinching the title.

They insist it is innocent fun – and male classmates are quick to agree – but critics have accused them of harming the feminist cause and the university’s reputation.

The pictures have been sent to independent student website The Tab by women using pseudonyms and hiding their faces from the camera to protect their identities.

Each gives a brief tongue-in-cheek biography with her photograph. While other students are using the university library to revise for their impending exams, one going by the name of Meredith stripped down to her underwear to be pictured on tiptoe taking a book from a shelf.

Bella, who poses in frilly knickers and nude stilettos with her long dark hair tumbling down over a tight-fitting jumper, said: ‘The trick to looking good in knickers is to wear high heels.’

Elizabeth, from Homerton College, whose alumni include actress Cherie Lunghi, claims her ‘first sexual thoughts were of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’.

The entrants were found through ‘word of mouth’ at the university and the photos sent in through anonymous email accounts.

A university source added: ‘We can’t stop what they’re doing but it would be fair to say we don’t approve of it. It is not the kind of image we would want to project.’

Male students were generous in their praise, however. Comments posted online included: ‘High-definition pics from multiple angles would’ve provided a better comparison.’

And ‘Leila’ joined the debate herself, saying: ‘It’s given me a bit of a confidence boost. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with feminism really

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