In the 2018-2019 admissions cycle, Balliol made a majority of its offers for undergraduate places to female students for the first time.
As we celebrate 40 years since the first women undergraduates matriculated at Balliol in 1979, this is welcome news and we hope that all our offer-holders will be successful in their exams and able to take up their places in October 2019. Balliol will always seek to admit the brightest and best students and we are glad that this year’s offers reflect both our commitment to excellence and our focus on gender equality.
We have been working hard to address gender balance in subjects offered by the College where women have been historically under-represented. Recently we held a women-only PPE Taster Day for year 12 students from state schools – Balliol’s first such event. Balliol’s David Freeman Outreach Officer, Pravahi Osman, commented: ‘PPE was one of the subjects in which we have offered a majority of places to women this year and we want to ensure that women being well-represented on the course becomes a trend. Our aim is to hold similar women-only events in other subjects.’
Such efforts are part of a range of initiatives to improve diversity in the College. Other outreach activities, which aim to draw the very best applicants to study here regardless of background, include events for state-school students only (such as our Floreat access programme); targeting areas of socio-economic disadvantage in our work in our link region; and supporting University-wide schemes (including Target Oxbridge, which supports black prospective applicants, and UNIQ summer school for state school students).