- About Balliol
- Schools and Outreach
- Undergraduate Admissions
- Graduate Admissions
- For Current Members
- Alumni and Friends
- Conference Facilities
- 750th Anniversary
Balliol College is a thriving academic community in the heart of Oxford.
What is Balliol like?
With almost 400 undergraduate students and an equal number of graduates, Balliol is one of the largest colleges of the University of Oxford. It’s also one of the oldest, having been established in 1263.
As well as being big and old, Balliol is known for its relaxed atmosphere, for active participation, and for students who achieve outstanding academic results. There are lots of things going on and whatever your interest you will be able to get involved in some aspect of College life.
In addition to the students there are 65 Fellows and about 120 staff who help to make the college a beautiful, safe, and interesting place in which to live and work.
Some famous alumni
Balliol is renowned for producing Prime Ministers (Herbert Asquith, Harold Macmillan, and Edward Heath), as well as literary figures (Robert Southey, Matthew Arnold, Algernon Swinburne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Hilaire Belloc, Aldous Huxley, Nevil Shute, Anthony Powell, Graham Greene, Robertson Davies, and Robert Browning). Four Nobel-prize winning scientists studied here: Oliver Smithies, C.N. Hinshelwood, Baruch Blumberg, and Anthony Leggett.
John Wycliffe, who inspired the first translations of the Latin Bible into English, was one of the College's Masters in the 14th century. Adam Smith, of The Wealth of Nations fame, was here from 1740 to 1746. In the 20th century Balliol man William Beveridge led the development of modern social welfare.
More recent well-known alumni have included Paul Almond, Richard Dawkins, Peter Snow, Bill Drayton, Christopher Hitchens, Cressida Dick, Nicola Horlick, Robert Peston, Boris Johnson, Yvette Cooper, Stephanie Flanders, Amit Chaudhuri, Rana Dasgupta, and Dan Snow.